No matter what journey you are on, learning a new skill can be challenging without knowing where to go. You need a guiding light to help you navigate every opinion, idea, step, etc., that you find on the Internet.
If your interests lead you to web design as a career choice, the next step you need to know is how do you go about becoming a web designer. It’s not just about having a creative background or coding and technical skills.
Successful web designers have an array of expertise and a strong knowledge-base they use to create visually stunning websites. Below are steps that will help anyone become a web designer.
Understanding web design theory
Before developing web design skills, it is critical to begin by learning the fundamentals of web design. Useful websites follow collective user experience (UX) practices. Useful websites also have a combination of good visuals and user-friendly features. Having a good UX is crucial. It will determine if visitors will revisit your website or not.
The field of web design is continuously growing and to be successful, web designers will always need to continue educating themselves on the newest trends. There are free web design courses and a web design bootcamp available to help anyone get started with their web design journey.
Almost every web designer in the industry knows a programming language or two. To be successful in this industry, it will be beneficial to include programming skills in your repertoire. Nowadays, luckily, it is possible to develop a website quickly using various web development platforms (Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace). However, without learning code, it may hinder your growth as a web designer. Knowing how to code will help with developing problem-solving skills and career-flexibility.
Learn web design tools
To be successful in any industry, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with tools used by experts in the field. Being well-versed with standard tools will turn you into a pro. Web design can be broad, and the definition of web designer may vary, but most web designers are skillful in the various realms of design.
Successful web designers are well-versed in the following:
Although web design and graphic design are different disciplines, graphic design is a must for web designers when solving graphical problems. Photo and design software, like Adobe Photoshop, is a great editor for web designers. Adobe Photoshop is used often by a web designer for cropping and resizing images to fulfill layout requirements. Additionally, this software can help with compressing images so that they be view on a website properly.
Website prototyping is a significant step in the web designing process. A web site prototype refers to different types of mock-ups that will display how a website will look. Prototyping includes HTML prototypes or sketches, to name a few. There are many advantages to having prototyping skills.
A functional prototype relates to a prototype that provides interactivity. An interactive mockup will help a web designer or a client know how a site performs in both functionality and navigability.
I found a useful video that takes a look at some tools that can help you with your prototyping. Check it out below.
As mentioned previously, having a coding background is essential and will separate novice web designers from great ones. Web designers need to familiarize themselves with industry-standard CMS (Content Management System). Companies use CMS to develop and manage digital web assets.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and focuses on creating greater online visibility and user experience of any website. Most companies use SEO to ensure that their sites are seen in most popular search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo Search, etc.).
In fact, if you are interested in learning more about SEO, we have an awesome SEO 101 basics training you can take for free!
Build an online portfolio
Before companies or clients hire a web designer, they want to make sure that the individual has the skills to perform well on the job. Most experts suggested having an online portfolio that showcases web design skills is the best way to attract potential employers and clients.
Start your web design journey with WordPress
WordPress is one of the most popular CMS and website builder throughout the entire world. WordPress credits its success to being extremely user-friendly and flexible for novices, graphic designers, web designers, and developers alike. WordPress is easy to use because its system uses a point-and-click interface, and the fundamentals are simple to learn. Our Agency Bundle and WordPress developer course is beneficial and can turn any novice into a pro. What attracts many individuals to WordPress is anyone can create a good website without having a coding or design background.
If you are thinking about starting a journey as a web designer, this is what your day could look like.
WordPress is cost-effective, and it wouldn’t cost you much to create, develop, maintain, and update a website. Another important fact is that WordPress is SEO friendly, which will help to keep a site ranked high on popular search engines. By learning the fundamentals of WordPress, you will gain skills in researching, decision making, and problem-solving. The Agency Bundle is a great starting point to learn how to create webpage layouts, blog posts, and SEO, among others.
Below are the many benefits of using WordPress:
- WordPress provides flexibility
- The WordPress community is massive with tons of forums to read and educational materials to learn
- WordPress is a great site to build content and also blog
Benefits of being a professional web designer
In today’s digital world, every business, big or small, can benefit from having a website. By having a website, companies can sell their products or services directly to their consumers. Having a strong online presence in today’s climate is crucial. This is where a professional web designer comes in handy. By having the skillset and knowledge required to be a web designer, you can fulfill companies’ and clients’ needs. Websites are a powerful and useful marketing tool.
Most companies know this and are stepping away from traditional marketing. Traditional marketing involves printing advertisements, handing out flyers, and press releases, to name a few. Although this form of marketing can still serve a purpose, having a website can save any business time and money.
Remember that today, there are more than 3 billion active users online. Websites can connect those users to their brand, service, or product. With standard web design practices and SEO marketing, web designers can help a company’s website generate millions of visitors worldwide. It is crucial to share with potential clients the importance of having a website if they don’t already have one.
When it comes to sales, having a website will help a company generate more visitors, which can convert to sales. Good web design will keep the site looking simple, which will help with visitors navigating from page to page.
One of the beauties of being a web designer is that you not only create the website but also design how the users interact with the website. In today’s digital world, whether a visitor, potential employer, or customers, their first impression is commonly based on their website experience.
A freelance web designer can be a very rewarding career. You can have the flexibility to work on a wide range of projects that give you a creative outlet. If this is something that interests you, make sure you check out the How to Speak Unicorn webinar happening this week and the Web Design Bootcamp later this month.
AJ brings over two decades of experience working on and developing membership sites with a wide range of clients.