As a designer in this area, your work will involve different aspects of designing websites. It includes creating layouts, graphics, and content for them.
Like many other positions in the tech sector, this job requires both the creative and analytical sides of your mind. Moreover, it is a versatile profession with many job opportunities, allowing you to discover what you love.
So how to become a web designer? We are bringing you a step-by-step guide to help you master the skills, tools, and knowledge to build a career in this field.
Let’s get into the details!
How to Become a Web Designer
If you stick to these nine steps, you’ll be able to start your career as a professional web designer.
Always remember that it is not easy to get this position. You will need to learn a lot, put in a lot of effort, and put in a lot of sweat. Therefore, do not expect to become a designer in this field overnight.
1. Learn The Theory of Web Design
Before starting to jump into the website design field, it is essential to learn about the theories and background related to the field.
Most websites are not simply connected to each other through the content. Instead, a good website always follows a strict theory of design, attractiveness, coding, and navigation rules.
Many partners want their pages to have a lot of “elements,” but they don’t understand that the design should prioritize effortlessly in appearance and cohesion.
Having a basic understanding of design principles allows you to create beautiful websites quickly. They include:
- Learn to adjust adjacent colors to increase contrast, create depth with texture
- Learn to combine movement.
- Learn to use repeating shapes, patterns, and contours to unify your designs.
On the other hand, your font needs to be easy to read on your computer or any other device while still keeping the feel of your brand.
Generally, it is an industry constantly evolving rapidly, requiring designers to be willing to learn new things.
2. Learn Coding
If you do not know any programming languages, you will have a hard time in the website design industry.
Although it is okay to create websites using popular site builders like Squarespace or Wix, it will be challenging to know the capabilities of your website.
Knowing or being fluent in how to code gives you a lot of benefits, such as
Proficiency in Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) and Cascading Sheets (CSS) is recommended. HTML refers to the setting of the content and structure of sites. Meanwhile, CSS refers to styling options.
3. Obtain the Proper Tools
There is no denying that you will be more successful with the right tools in whatever industry you’re in. So do not expect success in this field if you don’t know the essential tools of the industry.
Website design is a vast discipline, encompassing many different aspects, and each aspect comes in a range of tools.
The fact is that graphic design is a separate industry from website design. Yet, web designers always need to master graphic design because it allows them to solve specific problems.
So we recommend learning how to use essential graphic editing software, such as Adobe Photoshop.
It is essential to master image editing in graphic design, such as cropping images or resizing them. As a result, you will gain images with specific spaces or those suitable for posting on the web.
It is also an essential foundation in web design.
If you have solid prototyping skills, there’s no need to wait for the final web design to confirm your assumptions. Instead, it’s possible to confirm your design decisions at a glance.
Knowing how to code will significantly benefit you when pursuing this field. So let’s start with getting a great code editor like Atom or Sublime.
As a designer in the field, it is wise to become familiar with the CMS (Content Management System), which allows you to manage content on digital sites.
Thanks to using CMS, website owners’ content management process will become easier. Now, many different CMSs are available out there, and we recommend you learn about the top three, which include:
Proficiency in at least one of the above systems is required in this field.
4. Learn Basic Rules of SEO
If you want to succeed in this challenging field, you need to do more than just design webs. Your products need to be structured to be friendly to both users and search engine bots.
You will need a solid knowledge of SEO, optimizing your webs in a targeted way to generate better visibility on search engines.
You can increase your website’s rankings on search engines through things like:
- Improve the performance of your website
- Optimize your website for multiple platforms
- Focus on content
- And more.
5. Testing Your Design Regularly
Web designers’ work includes an analysis of the completed work as well.
Therefore, it is essential to test your website regularly to make sure that it loads quickly and is available for access through desktop and mobile devices.
6. Enhance Communication Skills
As a designer in this area, you rarely work alone. Whether you belong to a small or large design department, teamwork is essential for designers like you.
In addition, you will also have to regularly communicate with developers, other designers, superiors, partners, or modern customers. Therefore, you will need to learn how to present your work most clearly.
7. Constantly Updating the Latest Trends
Inspiration has always been an essential aspect for creators of all professions, including website designers.
We recommend familiarizing yourself with the latest trends, so you will understand the ever-changing needs of your visitors. Ideally, spend half an hour a day looking at the best designs.
Here are some recommended resources to spark your inspiration:
- Dribbble: It is an excellent resource to familiarize yourself with the new visual trends.
- Awwwards: This site is top-rated for website professionals. It has a ‘Website of the day’ nomination, which allows you to find exciting web design examples.
- Behance: It is an excellent site for in-depth web design case studies.
8. Join at Least Web Design Community
It is always wise to learn from those who are better than you. Participating in communities related to your field will allow you to learn a lot.
We recommend joining popular online communities like Uxmastery and Sitepoint. Besides, you should also follow famous web experts on Twitter like Brad Frost, Sara Soueidan, Jeffrey Zeldman, Jesse James Garrett, etc.
On the other hand, don’t ignore offline activities. There are many perfect locations available for your reference.
You can join your local conferences or meetups. By attending the meetings, you will gain valuable knowledge in your area.
9. Looking For Critique
Contributions and feedback are essential for web design. So, when a designer completes something, he is hungry for feedback from users or other designers.
You need to avoid “creative perfectionism.” Many designers are perfectionists, always trying to make their work perfect from the first session. So it is tough for them to accept criticism or negative comments from others.
If you are a beginner, you are unlikely to succeed on the first try. Thus, don’t worry if your design isn’t perfect after the first try.
It is best to seek feedback on your work from real users instead to get a more objective view of it. One of the great things about web designing is that you can continually improve your web at any time.
10. Making Your Portfolio
When hiring a designer in this field, companies or organizations always ensure that the candidate they choose possesses the necessary skills to do the job well.
That’s why employers always want to see tangible results instead of hearing candidates talk about design theory insights. So if you want to prove your web design skills, the best thing is to create a strong portfolio.
What Does It Mean to Be a Web Designer?
Web developers/designers are experts in designing websites and the necessary functionality according to the specifications and requirements of the client. In other words, they will convert customer requests into one or more web pages.
Designers in this field play a significant role in a company or organization. For example, they may be responsible for converting their superiors’ language into a computer-understandable language, such as HTML.
Effort and creativity are the prerequisites of web development, along with complex knowledge of different elements of website development to have a competitive edge in the market.
What Is a Web Designer’s Job Description?
As a designer in this area, you may be responsible for planning, creating, and coding the web.
You can use technical and non-technical skills to produce websites that fit the customers’ requirements. You will also be involved in the technical and graphical aspects of pages and decide the web’s look and how it works.
What’s more, you may also be responsible for maintaining an existing web.
Does Web Design Have a Future?
The potential of the internet is vast, and it will increase over time. Most of us can access the internet through computers or smart devices.
Web designing is one of the most important aspects of a website’s performance. According to experts, design has a 75% influence on the credibility of a website.
So organizations and companies both need designers in this field to make their websites more attractive and perfect, pleasing as many users as possible.
The number of websites will only increase over time, leading to an increase in the demand for designers in this area.
What Qualifications Do You Need For A Web Designer?
Here are some essential qualifications you should have as a web designer:
- Basic knowledge of web programming and scripting languages
- Proficient skills in web design applications, such as Adobe Dreamweaver
- An imaginative and creative mindset
- Focus on detail and problem-solving skills
- Good communication
- Can work with deadlines
- An understanding of SEO and SERP (Search Engine Ranking Positions)
How Long Will It Take To Become A Web Designer?
The length of time it takes to become a designer in this field varies.
But, if you want to land a web design job with a good starting salary, you should spend four years pursuing a bachelor’s degree.
Moreover, it can take one to three years to complete a master’s degree in web design and several weeks to obtain certification.
Is It Hard To Become A Web Designer?
If you have an interest, passion, drive, and proper tools for your job; web design is not complicated. It’s a career with many offerings and attractive pay.
Can I Become A Web Designer Without A Degree?
It is possible. However, having a degree will give you more advantages.
Do You Have To Code To Do Web Design?
Yes. Knowing how to code will help you a lot.
The Bottom Line
If you want to succeed in this field, stay passionate about your work. Even if you just got an entry-level job, keep learning to improve your experience.
You also avoid “creative perfectionism,” and treat challenges as opportunities to learn. Follow our tips, and you will become a skilled designer one day!