Steps on How to Become a Web Designer (2021 Guide)

Many businesses are turning their products and services into online markets. The dynamics of the sales scheme have increased the web design services demand. This technological expansion also allows you to build a career as a web designer. 

Web designers will need to combine their technical and artistic skills to create an optimal output. Technical ability will guide them in creating functional websites. Meanwhile, artistic proficiency will help in making aesthetic and visually interactive layouts.

What is web design?

Web design is a development process to create visually intriguing and interactive site displays. A few features are incorporated in the web designing process such as user experience, user interface, and programming.

User experience

Developing websites requires you to consider the user experience element. A well-designed user experience will ease users’ interaction with your website. You will need to think from the user’s perspective and understand their objectives to create smooth navigation on your site.

User interface

The user interface determines the website’s graphical layout and it is related to user experience. The set of menu options in your site are considered as user interfaces. You will need to create an intuitive design to communicate with your users and help them reach their aims when interacting with your website. 

Programming

Web design is both a creative and technological process as this field integrates the site’s visual layout and the technical language. That’s why as a web designer you will need to understand basic programming skills. The common programming languages used to develop a website are HTML, CSS, and Javascript.

Considering other aspects such as site performance, security, and SEO is another responsibility for a web designer. It’s common for the process to employ different kinds of skills as the procedure requires many specifications. That way, the process of building a website can be done quickly and effectively. 

If you enjoy both technical and creative disciplines, a career in web design might be suitable for you. Follow this guide to find out the steps to becoming a web designer!

Learn how to become a web designer in 11 steps

Becoming a web designer is not something that you can do instantly. You need to spare your time honing your skills. 

Some are considered hard skills and they are necessary to deliver your product. Meanwhile, the other skills are classified as soft skills that can aid you in thriving in the professional field. 

  1. Learn Web Design Theory

Photo by Jeroen den Otter on Unsplash

Learning web design theory is an essential step to becoming a web designer. Understanding web design theory will help you in seeing the logic behind each layout that you create. Mastering this skill will also be beneficial for you to build favourable yet functional web displays.

Studying web design principles will lead you to discover other related elements such as user interface and user experience. The UI principles will guide you in making visually enticing layouts. At the same time, the UX fundamentals provide a foundation to help you build a smoother navigation feature when users surf your site.

If you want to learn web design theory, there are various options of how you can go about it. You can start learning by accessing free materials available across the internet. However, if you want to improve your skill by learning from the professionals, you can enrol in design boot camps.

  1. Learn Programming Languages

Photo by Danial Igdery on Unsplash

Also known as front-end development, a web designing process will require you to understand programming languages. Although using website developers such as WordPress, Wix, and Blogspot is easy to implement, having a solid understanding of coding principles will help you when you need to tweak your website. 

However, you don’t need to get stressed about it! You will only be required to know basic programming languages such as HTML, CSS, and Javascript. Mastering the practice of these 3 languages is highly recommended in order to deliver the best results when users interact with your website. 

You can start by practising from free learning materials on the internet. However, if you wish to deepen your programming knowledge, you might want to check learning centres within your area that offer programming courses. You can benefit more by learning directly from the professionals and acquire a better understanding of this discipline. 

  1. Learn website design tools

Photo by Szabo Viktor on Unsplash

As a web designer, you are required to be able to operate a variety of design tools. Having a good understanding of how to work on the tools will affect the quality of your output. You might benefit from exploring different functions and adding variations to your designs based on each tool. 

Learning website design tools can also help prepare you for the daily circumstances that web designers usually face. Honing your ability to operate the web design tools will give you a better understanding of how each tool has a different purpose that you can apply according to your objectives. 

Here are some of the recommended tools that you can start learning from:

  • WordPress
  • InVision Studio
  • Photoshop
  • Google Web Designer
  1. Work on your web design projects

Photo by UX Indonesia on Unsplash

After you’ve acquired your web designing knowledge, you can start building websites as a part of practising. Honing your proficiency can be done by continuously training at it. 

Along the way, you will discover numerous perspectives that can help you differentiate excellent features from the rest. You will also recognise some parts that need to be tweaked to improve your site’s quality and performance.

Working on your web design projects will require you to use a user-centred perspective. Putting yourself in the mindset of users will aid you in creating an efficient design that eases the user’s navigation in your website. Solid knowledge about user experience design will also attract more visitors and maintain the existing users.

  1. Learn SEO rules

Photo by Myriam Jessier on Unsplash

Websites are meant to be accessed effortlessly by users and easily understood by search engines. Thus learning search engine optimisation rules can be beneficial for you.

Web designers will try to attract more organic visitors by optimising their websites. For this reason, learning SEO rules is a crucial step when it comes to web development. The optimisation is commonly done by making high-quality content and improving the site’s performance. 

Once a website has successfully gained a high transaction in organic traffic, the search engine will automatically consider it trustworthy. It will also give the website more online visibility, which provides a higher possibility to rank on the search engine.

  1. Test your design regularly

Frequent evaluation and analysis is the important part of constructing websites. As a web designer, you will need to test your website often and make sure that the pages load quickly and properly. 

Another aspect you will need to consider is the site’s accessibility across different gadgets. You might want to make sure that the users can access your site from desktop and mobile.

Web designers usually use tools like Google Pagespeed Insights to test the site’s page load speed. Another tool that might help you optimise the site effectively is by using Google Web Console. Both of the tools can give you insights into your site’s performance so you can tweak some parts to improve your site. 

  1. Improve your communication skills

Web designing is not solo work. As a web designer, you will collaborate with your team, which consists of either developers or other designers. You will also be communicating with your clients to discuss their objectives. 

Having excellent communication skills will help you improve your step as a web designer. Make sure that you present yourself as a reliable designer who can achieve goals effectively. That way, people will trust you, and you will have a higher chance of getting hired for another project.

  1. Stay updated with the latest trend

Web design belongs to the creative field, thus staying updated with the latest trend would benefit you. It will help you understand the ever-changing demands for web designs.

Here is the list of websites that you can use as inspiration:

  • Behance
  • Dribbble
  • Awwwards
  1. Join web design communities

Joining web design communities can benefit you in learning the subject directly from the practitioners. You can also discuss with fellow web designers and ask their opinions. Another plus point is that you will be connected with people of the same interests as yours. 

Associating yourself with any reputable communities will also help you in staying relevant to the latest advancement. Talking with your peer group will help you gather more fresh ideas that you can apply to improve your outputs.

Please note that if you want to grow as a web designer, you need to be active in the community. Being a silent member will not help you improve your skills. Make sure that you stay active and join any meetups or scheduled events.

Here is the list of web designer communities that you can check out for more information:

  • Designer Hangouts
  • #frontendDevelopers
  • Webdeveloper.com 
  • Stack Overflow
  1. Seek opinions and feedback

There is no definite parameter in defining web design’s quality. That’s why you will need to get feedback from other people. By receiving opinions from other individuals, be it fellow designers, stakeholders, or users, you will make better design decisions on this subjective matter. 

Seeking opinions can also help you improve the quality of your output. As a web designer, you will need to learn to accept feedback from other people. Sometimes you will get criticisms, but you will need to take them objectively for the sake of your skill development. 

  1. Build your portfolio

A portfolio is a compilation of your previous work. Presenting an excellent portfolio can be beneficial to build trust with your clients. Clients commonly want to develop their websites with trustworthy web designers. 

Demonstrate yourself as a professional web designer in your portfolio. You can also show your skills and the level of your proficiency in your portfolio. Make sure that you add personalisation to your portfolio so your proven work will look unique and attract clients or recruiters effortlessly. 

Creating a portfolio that stands out in the eyes of clients or recruiters can also boost your chance of landing the next project or job. There are few online portfolio tools that you can use to build your splendid portfolio:

  • Behance
  • Dribble
  • Moonfruit
  • SmugMug

Conclusion

Now that you have understood the essential steps to becoming a web designer, you might wonder whether this industry is the right fit for you or not. The answer is, this field might be a good career if you are keen in exploring the structure of a website and willing to build a proper representative site for your client.

Another plus point is that the web design industry commonly offers good pay. However, it depends on the site’s scale and the client’s requirements. More complex websites tend to pay more money as it takes more time to build them.

Does the article captivate you? If so, it’s time to give it a go and start your career as a web designer!

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