Behind your favorite websites, online stores, and social media platforms lies a world of technology. A lot of work goes into making your favorite websites look and feel the way they do, and a significant part of this work is done by web designers.
The work that web designers do has a major impact on the user experience and the success of a brand. A bad website design can turn users off, affecting the bottom line of a business and stunting its growth.
In this article, our aim is to teach you what you need to know about the field of web design. You’ll learn what web design is, its importance and advantages, as well as how to kickstart a career in the web design industry. If you’re interested in becoming a web designer or you’re simply curious about the process of design, we’ve got all the information you need to explore this exciting, growing field.
Dive into the world of web design. We’ll help guide your journey.
Launch Your Web Design Career
Learn how to design smarter websites from industry professionals, 100% online, with the security of a career guarantee when you graduate.
What is Web Design?
Web is the art of creating and maintaining a website that’s appealing and easy to use. This process is far more complicated than it seems and involves a lot of moving parts that work together. The end goal, however, is always the same: a beautiful and functional website.
Positive or negative, every user reacts in some way to every website they access. The goal of the web designer is to have that reaction be a positive one. Their work determines guides the look and feel of a website. This then guides the way the user interacts with a website and how long they engage with it.
Elements of Web Design
Web design is an art form that each designer approaches in a different way. As with any creative endeavor, web designers are artistic and inspired in the work they do, which enhances the overall quality of the sites they design.
Still, there are standard concepts and design principles that all web designers accept and apply to their work. Some of these concepts include:
Website Layout and Visual Appearance
Humans are visual beings. For a website to catch and hold a visitor’s attention, it needs to have a pleasing appearance. If a user sees a cluttered layout with hard-to-read text and a complex design, they’ll exit out of the page.
This means that when a web designer is creating a website, it should be simple, clean, and accessible. The design items should be organized properly, and the use of graphics and photography should supplement the information on the website.
Color choice and coordination is an integral part of the visual appearance of a website. A website designer must choose the colors based on the project specifications and the client’s preference.
For example, a website for a kindergarten school can use primary and bright colors, but a website for the Supreme Court will use a different color palette denoting professionalism.
The typography or font that the web designer chooses is very important. The type of font used may vary from client to client.
For example, formal professions like doctors and lawyers are likely to use serif fonts. What’s most important though, is that the font is easy to read.
Website navigation involves site architecture, menus, and other tools that help users navigate the information they’re looking for. Good navigation allows the user to move around the website easily, which is vital for a positive user experience.
For example, if a webpage has a ton of content on one page that requires the user to scroll a lot, the web designers can add directional arrows. These arrows help the user to directly go to a specific section.
The information about what a business and its brand are about can be conveyed through content on the website. This content should be easy to understand, well-organized, and informative. The primary selling point of the brand or product should be conveyed quickly to the user. That means extra words as well as long and complex sentences should be avoided.
Currently, there are more people accessing websites from their mobile phones than those accessing websites through desktops. This means that your website also needs to be optimized for mobile devices. Mobile friendliness is just as important, if not more important, than desktop-centered web design.
Why is Web Design Important?
The design of a website is crucial to its success. If a website is not designed properly, users will quickly exit the site and are less likely to return. This can be damaging to the website owner, who may depend on web site traffic to promote their brand or business.
If the design of a website is bad enough, it can even hurt the brand and growth of a business.
This is why web design is so important. Users expect a positive experience with the websites they visit and are more likely to stick around if your web site is well-designed. Without the guidelines of web design, users will have a negative experience every time they browser the internet.
Benefits of a Well-Designed Website
Many businesses aren’t convinced of the importance of web design. They might consider focusing their time and money into other aspects of their business such as marketing efforts. While there are many other important aspects to a business, it’s crucial that business owners invest in their web design.
Here are some of the biggest benefits of having a well-designed website:
It helps your marketing efforts: A well-designed website is optimized for search engines. This helps your digital marketing efforts, as it allows search engines to crawl and index your website with ease.
It increases your revenue: The longer a user interacts with your website, the more likely they are to be converted from prospects into paying customers. A well-designed site engages your website visitors and increases your likelihood of converting them, thus increasing your revenue.
It shapes how customer see your brand: The impression that a visitor has of your website is linked with the impression they have of your brand. If your web design and brand are perfectly aligned, website visitors will have a positive impression of your business, making it easier to convert them into customers.
It gives you a competitive edge: A memorable web design helps you stand out from the competition. Sure, your competitors are also focused on their website design. But if your design is of higher quality than your competitor’s, you’ll have an edge they can’t compete with.
Careers in Web Design
If you’re come this far, you’re likely very interested in pursuing the web designer’s career path. This is great, as web design is a growing field that needs awesome aspiring web designers like you. A lot of skills are needed to be a successful web designer, so keep reading to find out the state of this field and how you can kickstart your career in web design.
Are Web Design Jobs in Demand?
Web development and digital design roles are expected to grow by 8% by 2029. This may not seem like much, but this percentage of growth is much faster than average for all occupations.
And this growth makes sense.
More and more businesses are founded every day, and with them, the need for good web designers who will put businesses on the digital map increases. Web designers have an important role in the success of a business, so it’s no surprise that this career path is growing fast.
What Do Web Designers Do?
The daily life of a web designer is spent working on the visual layout, the appearance, and the overall usability of a website. A good web designer should be skilled in both the creative and technical aspects of the job. An important part of the job of web designers is to visualize the site and then turn that vision into a functioning website.
Typically, a skilled web designer creates a website that includes the following elements:
- Compatibility: A website should be designed in a way that's compatible with all the most common operating systems, devices, and browsers.
- Technology: As technology is constantly evolving, designers need to stay dynamic and upgrade websites according to the changing requirements.
- Interactivity: Increasing the time that users spend on a website is important for many reasons including SEO and converting users into clients. Adding elements like a comment section and opinion polls can increase the time that users spend on a website.
- Multimedia: The incorporation of relevant video and audio on a website can help users understand the information on the site easier.
Being a web designer is no small feat, and it takes a lot of work to create a good website. This effort, however, is well worth it for aspiring web designers who have a passion for this technical and creative field.
How Much Do Web Designers Make?
This number will vary depending on your years of experience and level of education. If you have previous experience in this field, you can expect a much higher salary. Still, it’s a relatively high number considering all the work that goes into building a website.
What Skills Does a Web Designer Need?
Every job requires its own set of hard and soft skills. Wed design is no different. In fact, this field requires plenty of skills, many of which work together to assist the web designer is creating awesome websites that users love.
Here are some of the important skills web designers need:
Hard Skills: These refer to the job-specific and measurable skills that affect your job performance.
- Graphic design
- Design tools (Photoshop, Illustrator, MockPlus, etc.)
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Soft Skills: These refer to the personality traits you have that affect how you work by yourself and with others.
- Attention to detail
- Time management
Learning these skills will take time, but they’ll give you the insight you need to be an effective web designer. Notice the skills you need to work on and get started on learning them.
How Do I Become a Web Designer?
Becoming a web designer won’t happen overnight, but all your hard work and effort will help you go from an aspiring web designer to a full-fledged professional. You might start learning the principles and best practices of web design, as well as do some training on programming languages.
This is good, but there are a series of questions you should ask yourself as you do your research on this career path:
- How do I know this is the right path for me?
- Can I see myself following this career path?
- What skills do I need to work on for this career path?
- What educational requirements do I need to meet for this career path?
Answering these questions will give you greater insight into your personal motivations and intentions for this path, helping you solidify your decision. Once you know this is the right path for you, you can be confident in your journey to becoming a web designer.
Education in Web Design
If your goal is to gain some valuable knowledge on the field of web design, you might want to consider getting an education. This will take time and money but will give you all the skills you need to excel.
Here are some of the education paths you can take.
Web Design Degrees
A college degree is one of the most common ways aspiring professionals get educated on their preferred field. This is a good option for many and should be considered. However, you need to keep in mind that a college degree is not only expensive but also time-consuming. If you’re working with a limited budget or want to start you career much faster, you might want to consider other education options.
Web Design Certificates
There are many great web design certificate programs available to aspiring web designers like you. These work well for many, as they are much cheaper than college degrees and require less time to complete. The only drawback of this path is that you might not get the in-depth knowledge you’re looking for.
Web Design Courses
There are also countless web design course or bootcamp options available to you. These are great options for many aspiring web designers, simply because they offer a balance between in-depth knowledge, estimated time to complete, and price.
If you’re considering taking the bootcamp path, consider Thinkful’sUX/UI Design Bootcamp. Not only do you learn about this field, but you’re also matched with a professional mentor to receive one-on-one guidance. We make kickstarting your web design career fun and easy.
Web Design Resources
In order to get started learning about web design, you need the right resources in your toolbox. Here are some of the most helpful tools and resources you can use to learn more about this awesome career path:
Don’t Make Me Think
Perfect for: This incredibly popular book is perfect for aspiring web designers who want to learn the principles of usability and design. You’ll also learn how to test your designs, as well as the importance of optimizing your design so it’s as high-quality as possible.
Graphic Design Playbook: An Exploration of Visual Thinking
Perfect for: This awesome book is perfect for those looking for a solid introduction to graphic design. This will help aspiring web designers get a better grasp of design factors such as typography, use of color, and much more.
Responsive Web Design
Perfect for: This book is perfect for aspiring web designers who want to learn about creative websites with a responsive design. You’ll also learn what the components of a quality website and how you can deliver awesome results.
The web designer needs a massive arsenal of tools and resources that help them do their job efficiently. Here are just some of the tools that you’ll benefit from using as a web designer.
Web Design Tools
Many of these web design tools are essential to the process and are used by almost all web designers:
- Adobe XD
When you’re building websites for others, you’ll need to stay in touch to find out what your client needs, wants, and expects from you. Use these tools to communicate effectively:
- Gmail or Outlook
Productivity is key to meeting project deadlines and delivering high-quality results. Use any or all of these tools to increase your productivity:
Like with many career paths, web design has a variety of terms you’ll need to learn along the way. Here are some of the most important terms that will help you get a better grasp of the field:
CMS (Content Management System):This refers to a computer program that is used to create, publish, modify, and manage digital content.
UX(User Experience): This refers to the experience a website visitor has with your website.
Usability: Refers to the level of convenience that a website has when it’s being used. If a website provides users with a seamless and effortless navigation experience, it likely means it’s level of usability is high.
Accessibility: Refers to how easy it is for a user with disabilities to navigate through a website.
There are many more web design terms to learn, but these will give you a head start on your journey.
Pursuing a Career in Web Design
If you think the web design career path is right for you, you’re on the right track.
You now have the valuable information you need to make an informed decision about your next steps. It’s time to decide. What will you focus on first? Regardless of what you choose, you should consider the online bootcamp option as your educational path towards this exciting career.
We’ll give you the tools and knowledge you need to excel in the web design field. Take the leap towards your new career.
Why is web design a good career?
Web design is a growing field that is perfect for professionals looking to make an impact on the experience users have with the websites they visit. As a web designer, you’ll do the necessary work to ensure the success of your website, helping those who visit it to gain valuable experiences that stick.
This career isn’t for everyone, but if you already know it’s right for you, then all that’s left to do is take a chance on yourself.
What is the difference between a web designer and a web developer?
The terms Web Designer and Web Developer are often used interchangeably, but they mean different things. A web designer is concerned with the overall visual and aesthetic portion of a website. They also focus on user experience and usability.
A web developer builds applications on the internet. They take a design and create a website from it. They also use coding language to build the core structure of a website.
Does Thinkful offer courses in web design?
Yes! We offer a fantastic UX/UI Design Bootcamp that will equip you with the skills and knowledge you’re looking for. With part-time and full-time options, our bootcamp offers you the flexibility to learn at your own pace. All at a much more affordable price.
Launch Your Web Design Career
Learn how to design smarter websites from industry professionals, 100% online, with the security of a career guarantee when you graduate.