A Step by Step Guide to Becoming a Web Designer
So you want to become a web designer? Why not! This job means you’ll be working at the intersection of cutting-edge technology, user experience, and the newest trends in marketing.
Web design is an exciting and in-demand career. It can also pay well, but you would require good work experience and a good portfolio of clients to start seeing significant income.
The road to becoming a web designer can take a lot of turns. As such, you may not know where to turn to figure out the best and most proficient way to arrive at your chosen career.
Should you learn to code, in earnest? Watching videos on web design accessible on the Internet be sufficient to empower you to become a web designer, or should you make a commitment by getting a formal education in web design?
With numerous questions arising, we’ve put together the step-by-step walkthrough of what you’ll have to do to become a web designer.
Step 1: Choose What Type of Designer You Want to Be
Some designers can code (HTML and CSS), and some cannot. The discussion over which type of designer is “better” is one that’s been going on for numerous years.
When you understand, though, what the role of each type of designer is and what he or she can still achieve, you begin to understand that it’s not so much a question of who’s better, as it is the reality of using different paths.
The Prominence of Knowing How to Code
As a web designer, you’ll be working with developers on sites and on the user-experience process. Knowing code allows you to communicate with these developers clearly.
Knowing how coding works means you’ll also be able to form a much more accurate idea of whether or not your design will be technically feasible on a site or app.
The excellent thing about website templates, however, is that web designers can from sites from them irrespective of whether they know to code from scratch or not. If your knowledge is limited, you can still customize a template’s layouts to attain the end result you want.
Step 2: Get an Education
The thing about this line of work is that a formal education helps, but it’s not required. What’s important is being keen to learning and knowledge to use the newest tools to make yourself an in-demand and skilled designer.
If you want to go the formal route, there are precise degrees in web design and development that you can endeavor for. There are a number of web designing institutes that offer these programs, opting for a full-fledged Web Designing course will be highly beneficial for your career.
Of course, don’t think for a second that getting an education will automatically make you an in-demand web designer—you’ve got to market yourself first or get hired by a top design agency.
You can also go the informal route, which includes self-education. The internet is full with a cornucopia of web-design educational material that’s waiting for you to absorb it!
These courses are either paid or free, and they’re all immersive and deep. That just goes to show you the amount of self-learning that’s obtainable on the web for those who are motivated. If you’ve opted for formal classes, you can refine yourself—making your brand that more indispensable—by studying with these resources.
Step 3: Learn to Use the Tools
You’ll need to develop a proficiency in using the tools in your design work if you want to become a top-notch professional. These tools not only let you work as a web designer, but they also tell your clients that you’re a pro and know the way around your industry.
Tools to design web elements
For beginners, using Adobe’s suite of tools is a necessity. To prosper at web design, you’ll need to learn how to professionally use tools like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. These two programs are vital for your work with graphic design.
Step 4: Become Versatile in Your Skills
Part of being a successful web designer is being able to do more than just design and build sites for your clients. Web designers need to have sound knowledge of SEO.
When you have a background like this, you can take your know-how of SEO and marketing to make the site you craft for your clients all the more user-friendly and featuring a great user experience.
For instance, if you understand the fundamentals of marketing well, you can design a website that includes:
A big headline, tagline, and explanation of your client’s product or service.
A minimalist design that uses popular design trends like flat.
Fast performance in terms of page loading.
When you do this, you design a site that not only looks aesthetic and functions brilliantly, but also does much better for your client concerning driving traffic and, therefore, leads to the new site.
Step 5: Decide Where You Want to Work
You’ll usually work in one of two environments as a web designer: as part of a company, or for yourself, as a freelance designer. Whichever path you select, it’s vital that you understand what you’re getting yourself into in either case.
If you work in-house for a company, the advantage is that you won’t have to hunt for new clients all on your own or network. You’ll be part of a team that has projects that have to get through the pipeline, and you’ll work on those when at work. You’ll also enjoy the support of an entire team, which can assist when it comes to staying on track and accountable, not to mention with morale.
Then, there’s the introverted route, which is going into business for yourself. Note that, sometimes, you don’t always have the choice to freely make on your own since your situations can dictate which path you choose. For example, if you’re not getting hired by a design firm or don’t like the environment of working for someone else as part of a team, then you’ll have to go into business for yourself.
When you’re a freelance web designer, you enjoy freedom and fun of running your own business. You decide what projects you want to work on but remember that you have to find your own clients, which means networking and marketing yourself. This means setting up your design website and/or portfolio, in addition to showing off your work on design sites like Behance. Since you’re not part of an agency, work won’t find you; you have to go out and seek it!
If this professional lifestyle is appealing to you, then you have what it takes to go out on your own. Remember, though, that it’s not easy starting out on your own, as it takes time to build up your portfolio, gain experience, and network to get the word out about your services.
A Lot of Hard work, but A Lot of Rewards
In your journey of how to become a successful web designer, you’ll find that it’s not going to be charming sailing. Before you get to the point where you can also be working for a design firm or running your own successful web-design service, you’ll have to map out your roadmap for this goal and then pursue it with confidence.
Web design is a field that necessitates you to have a lot of know-how. It’s significant to note that it doesn’t have to be formal education — given the sheer wealth of design-related courses on the web—but your understanding of all things design needs to be rock-solid.
Then, there’s also the auxiliary know-how that you need to, at the least, be aware with. This includes the marketing-oriented side of things, which contains the basics of SEO and marketing in the 21st century today. When you train yourself to develop an even basic understanding of these two topics, you boost your career and your feasibility as a web designer since you come across to clients as more useful.
In short, it takes more than an eye and an gratitude for design to make it as a web designer.
When you do make it, though, you’ll relish working in an industry that’s rewarding, as you’re helping to build the Internet for several clients by establishing their web presence. The more experience and clients you add to your portfolio, the more money you’ll also make, but don’t expect this in your first few years.