“If your business is not on the Internet, your business will go bankrupt.” Bill Gates said that over two decades ago.
Today there are almost 2 billion active websites on the Internet and web designers have become a central part of any business’ marketing strategy. All of this has put web designers in high demand.
If you want to become a Web Designer, but don’t know where to start, this guide can help.
1. Learn the theory of web design
When it comes to learning a new discipline, it is essential to learn the fundamentals first. Well-designed websites follow strict UX design guidelines – they have good usability and great visual appeal. A good UX design will make visitors stay on your site while a bad one will make them go elsewhere.
Before you try to create anything, you need to learn the rules of organizing websites. Anyone who wants to become a web designer should learn how to create a clear and robust information architecture. To gain this knowledge, start by reading books on web design.
To create an eye-catching web design, it is essential to learn color theory and the basics of visual hierarchy.
Web design is a constantly evolving field, so you need to be prepared to learn something new all the time.
2. Learn to code
It will be difficult to work in the web design industry without knowing one of the programming languages. Of course, it is possible to build a website using website builders like Wix or Squarespace. But you will have a hard time knowing the possibilities of the web when working only with site builders. Knowing how to code will bring you many advantages. For example, you will be able to get a much more precise idea of the technical feasibility of your design.
You must have the necessary skills in HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). HTML defines the structure and content of the page, while CSS defines the styling options.
3. Get the right tools
In every industry, mastering the essential tools is the first step to success. You can’t expect to be a successful web designer without knowing the industry standard tools.
But since web design is a vast discipline, web designers need to be familiar with different aspects of design such as:
Graphic design. Although graphic design and web design are two separate fields, web designers often have to delve into graphic design to solve a particular design problem. Thus, it is essential to learn how to use a graphics editor such as Adobe Photoshop. The most common task of web designers in graphic editors is image editing – resizing or cropping the images so that they fit properly in specific spaces or compressing the images to make them more suitable. to web viewing.
Prototyping. Prototyping is a cornerstone of web design. When web designers have strong prototyping skills, they don’t have to wait for the final web design to validate their assumptions; instead, they can validate their design decisions in minutes.
Coding. As mentioned before, web designers need to understand how to code.
Web designers should also be familiar with popular Content Management System (CMS), software used to create and manage digital web content. CMS makes a content management process much more comfortable for site owners.
4. Learn the basics of SEO
To be a in-demand web designer, he has to do more than just design. Websites should be structured in such a way as to make them friendly not only for users but also for search engine bots. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a site optimization process that aims to create better online visibility of a website. Web designers should focus on ‘natural’ (or ‘organic’) promotion by improving the
The performance of the site, optimizing it for multiple platforms and focusing on the content, which makes it relevant and valuable to the target audience. Such activities can help increase the site’s ranking with search engines.
5. Make a habit of regularly testing your design.
The web design process requires evaluation and analysis of the finished work. Designers should test a website to make sure pages load quickly and a site is accessible to both desktop and mobile users (responsive design). Today it is much easier to verify.
6. Improve your communication skills
Website design is rarely a one-man show. Whether you work in a large design department or a small design studio, teamwork is inevitable. Web designers need to communicate regularly with clients, developers, or other designers. This is why web designers must learn to present their work in the best light.
7. Keep an eye out for upcoming trends
Inspiration is vital for all creative people, and web designers are no exception. Web designers need to be familiar with the latest trends in web design to understand the ever-changing demands of web visitors. We recommend that you spend 30 minutes each day looking at the best designs.
8. Join the Webdesigners communities
The best way to learn is to learn from the best. It is extremely important not only to join the web design communities but also to be an active member.
Join popular online communities, follow web experts.
But don’t forget about offline activities. Focus on getting contacts offline. Keep in mind that many great positions are only available for reference. So, join local meetings and conferences and start collecting valuable contacts.
9. Seek criticism and learn to repeat
Design is a very subjective matter, and website design is no exception. That’s why, when designers create something, they should solicit feedback from other people – other designers, stakeholders, users. You can read more about how to get feedback in the article The Importance of Getting Good Feedback in Web Design.
It is also essential to avoid the curse of creative perfectionism. Most designers are perfectionists; they try to make things perfect on the first try. But it can be difficult to achieve this, especially when you have just joined web design. So, don’t worry too much about getting your design perfect the first time. It’s always better to create something tangible and get feedback on your work from real users rather than spending a lot of time tweaking something just to realize that your design decision wasn’t exactly. the maid.
10. Focus on building your portfolio
To hire a web designer, companies or clients should make sure that a web designer has all the skills required to do the job. This is why when companies / clients are looking for a potential designer, they want to see tangible results of their work, not just to hear this deep understanding of design theory. The best way to prove your web design skills is to build a strong portfolio.
But what if you don’t have examples for your portfolio? Start this process by creating your own personal site. Make yourself a virtual presence as a professional – demonstrate your skills and level of craftsmanship. Spice up your design with some personalization elements (add something unique to your website, something that can only be found on your website).
When it comes to self-promotion, don’t be shy. Use all available resources.
Becoming a web designer is not as difficult as it sounds, but it does take time and effort. Many of the skills mentioned in this guide cannot be learned quickly by reading books or taking online courses. They take a lot of practice. So, train a lot and be patient. Remember that Rome was not built in a day.