When I tell people I am a web designer, I generally get this kind of response: “Oh, that’s so cool!” Often, I am asked “How can get I started”, and what skills and tools are needed. Web design definitely seems like a dream job for many. For me it certainly is. What I most like about it is the fact I am always learning something new. There are so many possibilities and techniques to explore, and it’s the constant improvements that make it so fun.
In this article, I’ll reveal how you can become a web designer. You will probably be positively surprised, because it may not be as difficult as you think.
What is needed?
In order to step into the world of website design and start the design process, the basic requirement is the will to learn. At the very beginning, it is enough to know the terms, and some fundamental things, but keep in mind that web design involves a lot of learning. I am still learning, and I am an experienced web designer.
Image editors and browser-based design:
When designing websites there are two ways you can do it. One is by using one of the various image editors and programs such as Illustrator and of course, Photoshop, though you may also choose to work with Inkscape, Sketch or GIMP to create your design. The other option is to design a website in the browser. I personally suggest to try both, and to see the end result. That way, you will be able to choose the method which is most suitable for you.
You need to keep in mind that many times, you’ll have to change and fix certain things. There will be all kinds of situations, bugs and issues, where adjustments will be needed. You will have to observe a website design as a whole. If something doesn’t fit into the big picture, change it. You also have to keep in mind that 99% of the time you will designing for client, so what looks great to you may look terrible in your clients eyes.
Content – the most important thing in the field of web design:
For many people, this often comes as a surprise. Most of them think the graphic is the main part of website design. It is significant, of course, but content is what matters the most. Before you start with the design, prepare the content, which not only includes text, but also contact information, photos, etc. Here, at the Ignition Media, we are strongly focused on the content and will not start designing a website until we have at least the content for the home page so we know what we’re designing for, what to give prominence to and where to add our call to actions.
What skills you will need?
Typography – as I mentioned before, content is vital, which is why typography is one of the skills you will have to learn right at the start. Learning typography means you will learn what fonts are the most suitable; you will learn about font types and sizes. Aesthetics are important. Bottom line – the text must look astonishing.
UI experience design – this is something you cannot learn overnight, because it is basically a whole philosophy. Every individual uses websites in a different way, and you will have to learn those ways, and turn them into an outstanding website design.
Colour theory – when designing a website, selecting colours must be properly done, and in order to learn what combination of colours are considered as proper, and more about colours in general, colour theory is a must. As I said, the aesthetic is essential. My general rule of thumb is to carry on the colour scheme of the logo, or use colours that complement the logo.
Basic coding languages – those languages are CSS and HTML, and both very simple to learn.
What tools you will need?
I will list the types of tools you will need, and later on, when you start with web design, you will choose a favourite one from each category yourself when you start designing. The tools are: web browsers (mobile browsers as well), image editor, code editor, and wire-framing tools.
It is not realistic to expect you will learn everything overnight. You will have to master the basics first, for which will take some time. It will include many errors, bugs, and fixes, but with practical work, you can overcome any obstacle along the way. From your perspective, all the things, such as needed skills, needed tools, content and adjustment seem like a lot. However, when you start learning and working, it will be a lot easier than just reading about it. It will be like you are assembling a puzzle. All the pieces will eventually be matched together.
If you need professional assistance in order to get started with website design, give Ignition Media a call. We are happy to do the leg work for you, anytime. Call and speak with me today: 07 55 687 515.