How to Become a Web Designer

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Web design is a fascinating and profitable creative field. If you are good with technology and have strong artistic abilities, this career path could be ideal. Getting started requires learning about the theory and tools, developing practical skills, and building a portfolio. Here is how to get started.

1. Learn Web Design Theory

Every aspiring designer must begin with the fundamentals. In addition to color theory, you need to get familiar with the technical basics, such as website structure and UX. You can find both paid and free courses for designers online. Some of them are boot camps — short, intensive, and immersive programs that take around 12 weeks.

YouTube offers hundreds of tutorials, and there are countless articles and podcasts on the subject. Free resources on platforms like Coursera or DesignContest are also a great starting point. However, you will need to commit to a longer course eventually.

2. Master the Tools

One of the things making web design dramatically different from other art fields is the rapid pace of technical innovation. This industry is constantly changing, which is why experts never stop learning and upskilling. Some tools and platforms in high demand today include:

  • WordPress;
  • InVision Studio;
  • Photoshop;
  • Dreamweaver;
  • Sketch;
  • Google Web Designer.

3. Work on Your Own Projects

Now, it is time to try building websites yourself. This experience will help you develop a lot of practical skills, including technical ones (e.g., programming in HTML, CSS, or JavaScript). The only way to sharpen them is to get down to business. The more sites you create, the more you will grow as a professional.

You will also need to apply knowledge of UX design. Learn to build attractive screens that consumers will want to interact with. Try using the sites the way a user would reveal weaknesses like navigational issues. Successful web designers can put themselves in the shoes of a UX designer when they need to.

4. Develop a Portfolio

A flawless portfolio will showcase your strengths and excellent work, so companies looking for a designer will be more likely to hire you. Make this selection diverse but concise. Include the work you take pride in and show that you can handle different types of functions and aesthetics. Customize the portfolio for every job interview to emphasize the work matching the company’s look and feel.

An ideal portfolio must also include text. Describe your thought process and the problems you were trying to solve with the designs. To the employer, this commentary will reflect your soft skills — the ability to communicate your thoughts clearly.

5.  Apply for Jobs

Web design is a broad field of expertise that includes multiple dimensions. Read about the different positions to understand which job suits you best. A person with strong web design skills and experience may be qualified as:

  • Web Designer;
  • Front-End Developer;
  • Front-End Designer;
  • UX/UI Designer;
  • Product Manager;
  • Visual Designer;
  • Interaction Designer;
  • Mobile Developer.

Neophytes who have just completed an educational program should look at the entry-level. Most boot camps offer additional services to help participants kick-start their careers. For example, you may get help with preparing your resume or portfolio, get interview coaching or resources for job hunting.

Applicants with previous experience in tech, even if it did not involve design, may be qualified for higher positions from the get-go. Good web designers are in high demand in many cities and countries, so you can find opportunities everywhere, even abroad.

set of pencils and the design word in it

Types of Employment in Web Design

Designers can work as freelance specialists, get hired by an agency, or join in-house teams. Each of the options has its benefits and caveats:

1. Freelance

Freelancers are self-employed, so they are their own bosses. Being proficient in the visual and technical side of things is not enough. You will also need to learn to manage and market your business. Freelancers can choose what projects to work on, but they also need to find clients.

2.  Agency

Getting employed by an agency will give us some job security. On the downside, you will not be able to choose which projects and clients to accept. However, different firms specialize in different industries or niches, so you can find the one that attracts you the most.

3.  In-House

As an in-house designer, you may be tasked with creating one or more websites for your employer, developing specific features, etc. For instance, the company may ask you to work on its mobile offerings or add a new section to its website. You will not have to think about finding clients, and the knowledge of the company culture will help you make the right aesthetic choices. However, there is less variety.

To Sum Up

If you have a passion for web design, begin with a professional course to learn the theoretical basics. After mastering the theory and the technical tools, start building websites to polish your practical skills and aesthetic vision. Gradually, you will create an impressive portfolio. Web design is a massive field with countless opportunities for talented artists. Choose the employment system that suits you best. Good luck!

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