How to Become a Web Designer – Main Tips
Whether you’re looking for a career change or are still in high school, looking up how to become a web designer is a good idea. It’s one of the most in-demand and fastest-growing careers, so it promises a future with plenty of opportunities no matter where your interests lie. You may decide to freelance, work for a design agency, marketing firm, or entirely different type of company. There are plenty of avenues to explore, but they all start by learning the basics.
Familiarize Yourself with the Field
Before you go rushing full-steam ahead, it’s important that you slow down and take the time to understand what exactly this job entails. One of the biggest misconceptions people have when learning how to become a web designer is that it’s all about making pretty sites. Aesthetic appeal is important, but there are a lot of underlying factors that have to be taken into account.
Experts know that a good site is all about form and function. The visual elements all come together to create an experience that helps clients achieve their goals. From connecting with an audience to converting viewers into customers, there’s a lot riding on a web designer’s shoulders.
The process is long and often filled with revisions. You’ll be collaborating with a team if you’re in an office or going back and forth with clients as an independent contractor. Make sure that you’re prepared to handle constant feedback without taking it too personally. After all, this is a job, and your sites are the product. It’s not just about artistic expression. Another thing you need to be familiar with is all the other key factors that go into this field. Aside from the HTML coding, there are all sorts of things you need to learn including:
- HTML and CSS formatting
- Digital marketing principles and best practices
- Graphic design fundamentals
- Time and project management skills
- User experience (UX) and user interface (UI) knowledge
- Educate Yourself on How to Become a Web Designer
Speaking of educational requirements, this brings us to the next topic: college. It should go without saying that you won’t ever get a long-lasting career without a proper education. This is especially true regarding the one that’s very technical like web design. There are various types of web designers, like freelancers, agencies and in-house. Freelancers work at their own pace and agenda. In-house designers typically work for a company that has them work on a certain part or the entire website. Agencies are in charge of managing the company, but the thing is that you won’t have as much freedom as the other two options.
How you choose to work is up to you, but you’ll still need a strong education to support your journey. When you research how to become a web designer, you’ll likely find that a degree is considered a bonus rather than a hard requirement. If you decide to be self-taught, then you’ll need the portfolio and references to prove to future employers that you’re the right hire. Because so many people do enter the field on their own, companies are raising the requirements for candidates to ensure they only get the best talent. If finances are holding you back, you can take out a student loan from a private lender in order to pay for your higher education and invest in yourself, while starting repayment after graduation.
Become a Web Designer Sharpening Your Skills
We briefly touched upon the basics of how to become a web designer. Now, let’s explore them in a bit more detail.
HTML & CSS Formatting
HTML primarily focuses on the overall structure of the site and how everything is laid out. It is, however, possible to aesthetically customize the website using only HTML. The problem with this is that it can get mixed up in the main code, which can make it really confusing. CSS lets you focus on the overall base of the website before going into the design aspects. We’ll begin with the HTML’s companion; CSS. CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. This is mainly used for the aesthetic of the website such as coloring, pictures, and unique fonts that will be displayed. CSS makes developing a website much easier because it separates the needs from the wants, per se.
Continuing on the topic of design, you need to learn how to properly implement the coding for it. The colors and pictures you add are also in various forms of code. There are four ways of adding colors; RGB values, HSL values, Hex color codes, and HTML color names. RGB is short for red, green, and blue. HSL stands for hue, saturation, and lightness. Hex color codes use a hexadecimal value and HTML color names when you simply write the name of the color within the code. As for the pictures, they’re embedded into an internal link from a designated location. Each web designer has their own way of doing things, so experiment with each method to see which one you are most comfortable with.
UX and UI
Understanding how to properly implement UX and UI will help the website you’re building soar. The UI of the website is how the website is laid out. Each website has its own unique layout that makes it different from the rest. In today’s day and age, you want to keep things as simple and accessible as possible. Having a complex UI can deter a lot of people. In this context, UX is how a consumer interacts with the website. This can include how long it took for the page to load, what they clicked on, and things they actively searched out. One way to ensure the UX is sufficient is to constantly optimize it. Optimizing simply means making something more functional. You can do this by getting rid of unnecessary clutter, like miscellaneous images.
Become a Web Designer – Start the Job Search
While you’re in college or once you’re confident in your skills, you can start taking on jobs. It can be helpful to offer your services free to family and friends, building sites for them that you can show off in your portfolio. Low-pressure opportunities like this are ideal for newcomers who want to establish a professional image. One of the best things about this career is that there is almost no shortage of jobs. Companies are always on the lookout for aspiring designers to bring on to their team. All you have to do is search, be patient and compare each job offer until you find the one. The road to being a successful web designer may be a long path, but it’s one worth walking if you’re passionate about it.