Home Business Insights & Advice A complete guide to becoming a web designer

A complete guide to becoming a web designer

by John Saunders
28th Feb 20 10:46 am

Web presentation is each day becoming more and more important, even more than the TV and news commercials. The job of a web designer has quickly become one of the most sought after positions on the market. The advantages of this job position are many- the ability to work from home, pick your clients and a great check pay. But there are also a few requirements to become a web designer and we will present to you a brief guide on what it means to be a web designer today. In other words, skills you’ll need to build to push through this market that is expanding each day.

The road to becoming a web designer

Necessary skills

Technology is progressing every day and the description of a web designer is nowadays different then it was years ago. A few years ago, the position of web designer implied the presentation of certain content. Nowadays, web designers are also required to know programming languages such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript and PHP. They are not required to be experts in programming languages such as web developers, but they need to understand how the programming language will impact the final design. This also allows for better communication and understanding with web developers. So let’s take a look at the programming languages and graphics editors you’ll want to check out.

Program languages and graphics editor to study:

  • HTML (HyperText Mark-up Language)
  • CSS (Cascading Style Sheet)
  • JavaScript & jQuery
  • PHP
  • WordPress
  • Responsive Design
  • Bootstrap
  • GitHub and GIT
  • SAAS
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • A code editor like Visual Studio Code or WebStorm

In this long list of programs, the top three you’ll want to build your skill on are HTML, JavaScript and CSS. They are the most requested ones and with the skill in these three languages, you’ll easily build skill in another programming language.

Knowledge and expertise in the Adobe Family is also a requirement. Tools such as Photoshop or Sketch App are a must if you want to create a visually pleasing design.

Programming languages

HTML, JavaScript and CSS are not only the fundaments for web developers but nowadays for web designers as well. Here are the programming languages explanation of how they can be used by a web designer.

HTML & CSS

Studying HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) you’ll learn the essentials of coding. You’ll have the ability to change and edit codes in a range of web browsers.

But what exactly are HTML and CSS? HTML is a language that gives the page structure while CSS directs the layout. Knowing these languages will help you out change the code by yourself and create more dynamic website layouts.

JavaScript is a language that is most often used for creating games and applications. JavaScript affects the behaviour and content of web pages.

PHP is a programming language most often used by back-end developers rather than front-end. Basic knowledge in this language will help you out communicate more effectively with your back-end developers. PHP is also used to create various contents in WordPress or Facebook.

Other required skills:

Although programming languages are very important, the core of this job is the sense for details and creativity. Here are the non-software based skills you’ll need to work on to become a top-notch web designer.

Creativity

Ability to create eye-catching compositions, well-balanced colour combinations and space utilization are must-have skills in any designer’s kit. Those skills will help you out create websites that visitors always come back to.

Following the instructions

Each brand sends a message to its visitors through their websites. Understanding the way a brand wants to present to others is a must.

Great communication skill

When explaining your ideas, be as simple as possible. Remember, you are at most times working with someone who is not an expert in this field; clear language and communication will make it a lot easier to understand your plans and visions.

The portfolio

The portfolio is a collection of your best and most representative works. The importance of a great portfolio in this industry is unsurpassed, even master degrees are less important. In this busy world, clients don’t have the time to read your long qualifications, but they have the time to glance at your portfolio and see your quality.

But if you are new to this industry, building a portfolio can be very challenging. At the early beginnings, you’ll have to be ready to offer your skills for less money or even for free.

Building the portfolio from scratch

Getting a first paycheck is not easy because firstly you’ll have to build your portfolio to present to potential clients. Here are ideas about how you can build a portfolio:

  • Your website
  • Websites for your friends and family
  • Reaching out to local community brands as potential clients
  • Reaching out to charities and NGOs as potential clients

Maybe you’ll not earn as expected in the beginning, but it will pay off eventually. Your skills will grow by each project you finish. You will have the necessary experience in the communication with the clients and you will be able to overcome any problems on the future project more effectively and easily. Make sure to get feedback from every project to include in your portfolio.

Starting a career as a web designer

Each beginning is hard, but if you have the necessary will and enthusiasm you will get through that stage with much success. When your portfolio is all set and done, consider whether you want to work as a freelancer or for an agency.

Working for an agency vs freelancing

Both ways have their pros and cons and the key is figuring out what kind of environment you’ll want to spend your days in.

If you are individualist and you prefer everything done on your own, consider freelance carrier. Managing your own time is a plus when working freelance, but you will have no feedback or help from other colleagues.

Working for an agency you will have more regular payments. Also, you will have the support of your colleagues. But you will have to manage your time according to your working hours and you’ll have to listen to your superiors.

Self-promotion

Self-promotion know-how is one of the most important steps to success. It is even more important if you are entering a freelance carrier. Getting a first job can be challenging and you’ll have to use all the tools to get there. Build your profile on various platforms and reach out to potential clients. Share your work on social media, ask the past clients to spread the word. But also be generous and share your tips to the community.

Upgrading

Technology is developing fast and you’ll want to keep up with it to stay on top. Always learn something new whenever you can and continue building your skills. Visiting conferences and courses can be a great way to introduce yourself to new technologies and skills. Niches you can start building your skills in include digital marketing, SEO and HTML newsletters. There is always room for improvement and never stop working on your skills.

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