Web design is the process of creating websites. It encompasses several different aspects, including webpage layout, content production, and graphic design. While the terms web design and web development are often used interchangeably, web design is technically a subset of the broader category of web development.
Websites are created using a markup language called HTML. Web designers build webpages using HTML tags that define the content and metadata of each page. The layout and appearance of the elements within a webpage are typically defined using CSS, or cascading style sheets. Therefore, most websites include a combination of HTML and CSS that defines how each page will appear in a browser.
Everything about your website – including the content, the way it looks, and the way it works – is determined by the website design. Web design is a process of conceptualizing, planning, and building a collection of electronic files that determine the layout, colors, text styles, structure, graphics, images, and use of interactive features that deliver pages to your site visitors. Professional Web design helps to make your business appear credible online.
When you’re ready to build a website, you have several options. If you are not familiar with HTML programming language and Web design applications, there are a number of other options for creating your Web design:
- Hire a professional website design expert to create and build a unique Web site.
- Create your own website design using off-the-shelf software such as VSCode.
- Use online website design tools with pre-set and/or customizable Web design templates to customize with your company colors, graphics and text.
The degree of customization included in your website design will determine the speed and cost of getting your site up and running.
How Can I become a professional Web Designer?
1. Learn web design theory
When it comes to learning a new discipline, it’s essential to learn foundational principles first. Well-designed websites follow strict rules of UX design — they have good usability and nice visual appeal. A good UX design will make visitors stay on your site while a bad one will make them go somewhere else.
To create an eye-catching web design, it’s essential to learn color theory and the basic principles of visual hierarchy. There’s an excellent design activity called Daily UI Challenge that promises that you’ll become a better designer in 100 days. Give it a try!
Web design is a continually evolving field, so you should be ready for learning something new all the time.
2. Learn how to code
It will be hard to work in the web design industry without knowing any of the programming languages. Of course, it’s possible to create a website using website builders like Wix or Squarespace. But you will struggle to know the possibilities of the web when you work only with site builders. Knowing how to code will give you a lot of benefits. For example, you’ll be able to form a much more accurate idea of whether or not your design is technically feasible.
You need to have the necessary skills in HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). HTML sets the structure and content of the page, while CSS defines the styling options. I recommend tutorials by W3schools: tutorial on HTML and tutorial on CSS.
3. Get the right tools
In every industry, becoming fluent with the essential tools is the first step towards the success. You cannot expect to be a successful web designer without knowing the industry standard tools.
But since web design is a broad discipline, web designers have to be familiar with different aspects of design such as:
Graphical design. Despite that graphic design and web design are two separate fields, web designers often need to dive into graphic design to solve a particular design issue. Thus, it’s vital to learn how to use a graphics editor such as Adobe Photoshop. The most common task web designers do in graphics editors is image editing — resizing or cropping images so they fit properly within specific spaces or compressing pictures so they’ll be more suitable for web viewing. Here an excellent tutorial for Photoshop by Tutorials.ws
Prototyping. Prototyping is a cornerstone of web design. When web designers have solid prototyping skills, they don’t have to wait for the final web design to validate their assumptions; instead, they can validate their design decisions within minutes. Check Mockplus, a powerful tool for prototyping. Using Mockplus its possible to create a fully-interactive prototype in minutes.
Web designers also need to become familiar with popular CMS (Content Management System) — software that is used to create and manage digital web content. CMS makes a procedure of content management much more comfortable for the site’s owners. While there are dozens of different CMS available on the market today, there are three leading CMS — WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. Having hands-on experience with one (or all) system is essential. You can start with simple activities such as introducing minor adjustments in the site’s design and move to more advanced activities such as creating a template for a website or developing a plugin.