Intuitive web design is crucial for any business to be successful. No matter what it is you’re selling or promoting, the design of your website will have an impact on your success. Not only does web design affect brand perception, it also has a tangible impact on things like SEO performance and Google rankings.
Unlike web development or software engineering, web design is all about the user experience (UX) aspects of a website. It includes all the elements of the visual appearance of the website, including colors, layout, font choices, images, menus, and much more.
This article looks at the best training options for aspiring web designers. We’ll also look at the most important skills to develop through your web design training.
What Does a Web Designer Do?
Web designers are responsible for creating visually appealing and user-friendly websites. They work on a website’s appearance, visual layout, and overall usability. They’re also sometimes responsible for a website’s content too. If you’re interested in a career in web design, you’ll need to have both technical and creative skills. It’s a profession that involves developing a vision for how a website should look and function, and then executing that vision.
Training and Education in Web Design
Web design is a technical field. To become a web designer, you’ll need to get qualified and develop career-ready skills and techniques. You can decide to pursue the traditional route of earning a college degree, or you can try new learning avenues like online courses, training programs, bootcamps, and certification courses. There’s also the option of self-learning web design.
You should choose the path that suits you the best. For example, if you’re a working professional, then a program of online courses might be more appropriate for you than going back to college to study in web design. Let’s take a closer look at the options.
Bachelor’s Degrees in Web Design
A bachelor’s degree in web design will be highly regarded by potential employers. Most recruiters prefer candidates with bachelor’s degrees in computer science or a related discipline. A bachelor’s degree is also mandatory for many entry-level web design jobs. The average annual remuneration of an entry-level web designer is $73,000.
If you’re a recent high school graduate and you’re serious about a career in web design, then a bachelor degree might be the right path for you. Some of the career options you can pursue after earning a bachelor’s degree in web design include:
- User experience (UX) designer
- Mobile app developer
- Database developer
- Web administrator
- Information architect
- Software developer
But keep in mind that a four-year college degree is expensive. And because the industry is so dynamic, the technical skills that you learn in a college may be outdated by the time you graduate.
Master’s Degrees in Web Design
A master’s degree in web design will make you eligible for higher level web design roles, which may offer higher salaries. If there’s a particular specialization within web design that interests you, a master’s degree focusing on your area of interest could be a rewarding avenue of study.
Web Design Bootcamps
Bootcamps have grown in popularity as a mode of learning in recent times. They can run for anywhere between a few weeks and a few months. Bootcamps provide intensive, condensed learning experiences. They focus on the skills relevant to the current job market. Statistics show that over 65 percent of bootcamp graduates land a job within six months of graduation.
The main benefits of bootcamps include:
- Hands-on learning; you get to learn by doing
- The focus is on industry-relevant learning
- Fees are comparatively affordable
Online Courses and Training Programs in Web Design
This path of learning has made education affordable and accessible to anyone with an internet connection. If you’re interested in learning web design or the skills related to it, you can enroll in an online course or a training program. This mode is also beneficial for working professionals who can’t commit a large amount of time to a bootcamp or university degree.
Some advantages of online courses include:
- Flexibility in timing and schedule
- Condensed course content
- Constantly upgraded curriculum
Web Design Certifications
Certifications are a great way to validate your skills, and even brush up on fresh industry knowledge. Certificates can also help your resume stand out in a competitive job market, open new job prospects, and even help you earn higher pay. There’s a wealth of reputable universities and online platforms that provide certificates in web design.
Some popular certification courses in web design include:
- Google Analytics IQ certification
- Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) Certification
- Google Mobile Specialized Certification
- Responsive Web Design Course
- Web Design Certification
Self-Learning Vs Formal Education
The number of self-taught web designers is on the rise. Although learning web design on your own can be an arduous process requiring a lot of hard work and patience, the wealth of material online makes learning on your own a lot more achievable than it once was. A significant percentage of web designers in the workforce today are self-taught, whether it's by reading books or taking online tutorials.
Self-directed learning is very different to the formal classroom education. It has its own set pros and cons. Self-learning allows you to study and learn the most recent trends and skills that are in demand, instead of relying on a set curriculum which may not be up to date. This mode of learning is much more affordable than a formal education. Self-learning also allows you the flexibility to learn at your own speed. You can spend more time on the topics you find challenging.
But, you obviously won’t get that framed piece of paper at the end. Degrees are helpful when you’re looking for a job, as they validate your eligibility for a broad range of positions.
Essential Web Design Skills
As previously mentioned web design is a field that requires both technical and creative skills, so you need to cultivate a mix of both. We’ve put together a brief list of the top technical skills you’ll need to become a good web designer, as well as the soft skills that highly sought after in this role. The technical skills include:
Visual design principles – Understanding the principles of visual design is at the heart of your expertise as a web designer. A strong foundational knowledge will guide you in creating visually appealing websites.
Typography – This refers to the fonts used on websites. There’s a whole world of psychology behind font choices, and having a good sense of what works where is crucial for web designers.
Basic design tools – Web designing tools like Adobe PhotoShop and Illustrator are used in image processing and graphic design. Familiarity with these tools is essential to the craft.
User experience and user interface – A website’s success largely depends on how the users feel while using it, making UX and UI one of the most important skills to have in your toolkit.
Content management systems (CMS) – This refers to software applications used to manage digital content. As a web designer, you’ll need to build familiarity with popular CMS’s like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – SEO is the process of increasing traffic on a website by enhancing its visibility through search engines. Being skilled in SEO will help you to create websites that reach more people.
Responsive design – Since most people access websites and web apps through mobiles and tablets these days, it’s become essential for website designs to be adaptive and responsive to different screen sizes.
Some of the important soft skills required for web design include:
- Time management
- Attention to detail
If you’re plotting out your next career move, read more about web design for beginners. Or if you’re ready to take the plunge and start learning, enroll in our Web Design Bootcamp. Our online program has been put together by experts and will teach you how to create stunning websites from scratch. You’ll be provided with mentoring and support every step of the way, with the goal of getting you hired by a great company.