I worked at an agency coding websites for some time. I got very good, to where I could code entire websites from scratch in less than a day.
The agency had a separate department for graphic design, those designers would give me proofs of the final website exactly how it was to look and what it was to say. This is how I was able to code them so fast, I had full visual proofs of end product exactly as it should look.
Now I've been back to coding on my own for a couple years, and the biggest hurdle I am still having is creating a process of some kind to actually design the site. If I can have a final design, I can code the site quickly.
What is stopping me from finishing any sites lately is I have to design them too. And it can take me weeks to design one site. I can eventually make them look good, but its just trial and error for 2 weeks straight until I finally come up with something that looks half way decent.
My question, as a coder, how can I learn to design the sites too? I've tried working other designers but it hasn't worked out so well. I need to fill the shoes of a designer as well. And I need a process of some kind so designing sites can be a task that I can schedule, rather than it having to be some kind of creative retreat that takes weeks and weeks and hopefully I come down from the mountain with something that looks nice.
I need a step by step guide so to speak, or some kind of training to be able to design sites as quickly as I code them.
My uncle offered to pay for any courses I could take that would train to be a professional site designer. Does anyone have good links to online courses that can make me into a good designer so I can design the websites before coding them?
EDIT: The best web designers at the agency I worked for happened to professional print layout artists before learning the do the graphics for websites.
Edit 2: Theres another good answer here: Coming from a programming background, where should I start to learn web design?, the answers there and here are all great. This post is still valid because one is from the East, one is from the West. Combined the two should cover every aspect and no one ever needs to ask this question again ;) (of course unless someone from Antarctica asks the question for a third time!)