In a relatively short space of time, our lives have become incredibly convenient thanks to the Internet. The world is now at our fingertips. Our favorite food is just a click away and our loved ones are always accessible through apps like Skype and WhatsApp. And whether you know it or not, the way those sites, apps and tools are designed has a huge impact on your daily life.
While browsing the Internet, most people don’t think about how this amazing technology works. It takes a team of qualified professionals to put together a well-formatted, well-planned, and aesthetically pleasing website. These professionals are known as web designers.
The good news is that if you have an eye for design and passion for learning, you too can kickstart your own web design career by enrolling in a web design bootcamp.
This article aims to help you understand web design, why web design certification is important, and which path is best for your career. We also discuss some popular web design certification courses available today.
What is Web Design?
Web design is essentially the process in which websites are created. It includes the development of a web page layout, graphic design, user interface, and other content that make a website useful and aesthetically pleasing.
Don’t confuse web development with web design. If you’re new to this field, it may not be clear how these two are different. Both designers and developers are involved in building websites. However, web design is just a part of the entire web development process.
Web design is sometimes used interchangeably with user experience (UX) or user interface (UI) design. This is because web design focuses on the aspects of a website that the user sees and interacts with. Though web designers usually have some coding knowledge, their main responsibility is to plan the layout of the site, and other visual elements such as the colors, shapes, fonts, and images on the webpage.
What Does Web Design Certification Mean?
Certification basically shows that you have a specific skill or understanding in an industry, technology, or occupation. In contrast to a degree, which calls for a major commitment and investment in terms of time and money, certifications are less expensive and can be earned quicker. In the field of web design, certifications are less important than your portfolio, but they could help you stand out early on in the application process.
Why Get Certified?
There are countless benefits to gaining a web design certificate. Nothing testifies to your proficiency in a specific field better than certifications from industry experts.
For example, becoming an Adobe Certified Expert sends the message to hiring companies and clients that you have the expertise (or at least a working knowledge) on Adobe's products. Some certifications never lose their credibility, no matter what position you’re at in your career.
Hiring managers will always prefer candidates with certifications to those without. Certifications can also give you an edge over your non-certified colleagues, in terms of salary and promotions.
There are hundreds of web design certification courses to choose from. But it’s essential to realize that not every course is for everyone. Some courses are for students, some for graduates, and some advanced courses more suited to experienced web designers.
Popular Web Design Courses and Certifications
We’ve compiled a list of web design courses and certifications that should help you kickstart your career in this field:
- UX Design Bootcamp from Thinkful: This course doesn’t come with a specific certification, but it provides something much more important: the tools to build a beautiful design portfolio and impress future employers. Offered in both a part-time and full-time format, you’ll learn through a thorough, project-based curriculum, and finish off the course with professional career support and industry guidance to help you kick off your web design career.
- Adobe Certified Expert (ACE): The course is expensive, but can increase your chances of getting hired, especially for an Adobe related role. The course intends to make you an expert on Adobe’s suite of design products.
- Free Web Design Courses from Edx: EdX provides a wide range of courses on web design that you can take for free. They have something for everyone, regardless of your level of expertise in the field.
- Web Design Courses from Pluralsight: According to their website, the courses are "dedicated to teaching you interactive, responsive and user-centered visual designs” and will help you “master the visual art of web design”. You can get a free 10-day trial.
- Responsive Web Design Course by the University of London: This course teaches advanced topics such as APIs, animation, and data visualization. You can also get a free 7-day trial.
- Web Design Courses from Lynda (by LinkedIn Learning): Here, you can learn to use software such as Dreamweaver, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and Flash. It’s free for an entire month.
Beyond The Web Design Certification
It’s important to understand that certification alone might not be enough to land you a job. Some recruiters say that having a certificate simply means that at some point in time you gained some knowledge about a particular area. Using the knowledge gained to work on projects, and building a strong portfolio is key.
For this reason, if you’re serious about a career in tech consider enrolling in our web design bootcamp. It provides you with practical experience working on real-life projects and allows you to develop your very own professional portfolio. The course has been developed by leading experts and is laser-focused on helping you land a job at a top tech firm. You’ll be assigned an experienced mentor that’ll support you throughout the whole program.
Key Responsibilities of a Web Designer
As a web designer, you'll have a variety of high-level responsibilities in addition to creating digital masterpieces. Some of your job requirements might include:
- Identifying the needs of clients
- Developing blueprints of website specifications.
- Designing graphics and animations.
- Registering web domain names.
- Presenting clients with web design ideas.
- Working in a team with different content management systems and web developers.
- Editing content, debugging and redesigning faulty web pages.
- Testing the website.
- Handing over the completed website to the client.
- Training staff.
- Providing technical support.
- Researching current trends in web design.
- Undertaking professional development activities.
A certification won’t necessarily help you earn all of these skills, and it won’t automatically turn you into a professional web designer. But it might help set you apart from fellow applicants when you’re vying for your first design gig.
Your Future in Web Design Starts Here
That concludes our guide on web design certification. Bear in mind that some of the certifications listed above cost over a thousand dollars. The importance of choosing one that suits your needs, finances, and availability cannot be overstated.
In the meantime, take advantage of all the resources that are ready for your perusal in one click, and completely free. Check out our UX design blog to learn the differences between a UX designer and a product designer, or brush up on the best practices of UX design. With the right course and a little research, you’ll land that web design dream job.