How to Learn Web Design (in 9 steps)

It doesn’t have to be difficult to become a web designer. If you’re looking for a quick introduction, we’ve compiled this tutorial that covers all you need to know about getting started.

What is web design?

Web design, which mixes art and science, works with both the creative and analytical elements of a person’s mind.

Web designers transform ideas into visuals. Images, typefaces, colors, text, negative space, and structure are all combined to create a user experience as well as a channel for sharing thoughts.

A good web designer understands the importance of each component in a design. They make decisions on a granular level, styling each element while never losing sight of how the components will combine and operate to fulfill the overall goal of the design.

Even if the visuals of a website are breathtaking, it’s worthless without organization. The framework of ideas and pictures on each page, as well as how users will travel around it, must be directed by logic. A skilled web designer creates designs that take the fewest amount of clicks to execute.

Web design is divided into a number of subdisciplines. Some designers focus on particular areas such as user interface, user experience, or search engine optimization. You should be aware of all of these different aspects of web design when you start your career as a designer.

How to learn web design (in 9 steps)

1. Understand the key concepts of visual design

Line

Every line, border, and division in a layout is composed of smaller lines that make up its overall structure. Understanding web design means comprehending how lines may be used to construct order and balance in a document.

Shapes

Squares, circles, and triangles are the three basic shapes in visual design. Squares and rectangles are used for blocks of content, while circles are utilized for buttons. Icons that convey an important message or call to action are frequently made using triangles. Shapes also have a psychological meaning; squares represent strength, circles signify harmony and comfort.

Texture

Texture is a method of simulating the real world. We get an indication of whether something is rough or smooth thanks to texture. Textures may be found in every area of website design. Consider the various sorts of textures that may be added to your designs to make them more appealing and give them a feeling of physicality, ranging from white paperlike backdrops to vibrant wisps of a Gaussian blur.

Color

Color theory is an important aspect of web design. You should educate yourself about color theory in order to create designs that aren’t a strain on the eyes. Understanding the color wheel, complimentary hues, contrasting colors, and the emotions linked to different colors will help you become a better web designer.

Grids

Grids have long been a staple in the world of design. They’re so useful for organizing pictures, texts, and other pieces in a website. Learn how to utilize grids to structure your web layouts.

2. Know the basics of HTML

HTML is a language that specifies how online content, images, navigation, and other elements should appear in a browser. Even if you’re using a visual-based design platform like Webflow, it’s helpful to have some knowledge of HTML.

HTML tags are the instructions a browser follows to create a website. These tags control headings, paragraphs, links, and pictures. You’ll want to understand how headings like H1, H2, and H3 tags are used in content organization. Header tags are also important in how web crawlers categorize a design and influence how they appear in organic search rankings.

3. Understand CSS

CSS (also known as cascading style sheets) is a language that lets you add appearance and instruction to HTML components. CSS allows you to do things like change fonts, apply margins, align items, pick colors, and even build grids.

You will be able to utilize CSS effectively if you are aware of its features. Understanding how CSS works will give you the ability to create unique-looking websites and modify existing templates. Let’s go over some important CSS concepts.

CSS classes

A CSS class is a set of characteristics that are used to style a specific element. A font, size, and color might all be part of the same CSS class for something like body text.

CSS combo classes

The base class for a combo session is an existing one. It gets all of the same sizing, color, and alignment properties that may already be in use. Attributes can then be modified as desired. Combos save you time by allowing you to build up variations of a class that may be used in any web design.

When learning about web design, knowing how CSS works is critical. As we discussed in the section on HTML, Webflow University is a great resource for learning more about how CSS works.

4. Learn the foundations of UX

The term “UX” refers to the magic that turns a website from a static configuration of components into something that entices people to keep scrolling.

Your color scheme, content, typography, layout, and visuals all work together to serve your audience. User experience design is about creating emotions and precision. The experience a person gets when they visit an internet site is powered by the personality or brand that created it.

Here are some UX concepts you’ll want to be aware of.

User personas

Understand your customers is what it means to be a web designer. You should understand how to do user research and build user personas. You’ll also need to know how to translate this knowledge into a design that’s tailored to their wants and needs.

Information architecture

People will get thrown off if your site isn’t properly organized. People will bounce if they are unsure where to go. Information architecture and content mapping offer a plan for how the website and each section of it may work together to provide a well-defined consumer journey.

User flows

You’ll need to consider construction of user flows when you work your way up to larger design tasks, but you’ll be better off in the long run if you think about these and create them for your early concepts. User journeys describe how people will use the design. They assist you in prioritizing the most essential parts of your site and ensuring that visitors can access them.

Wireframes

Wireframes show where on a web page headings, text, images, forms, and other components will be placed. Even if your one-page website is basic, creating a wireframe can help you figure out where things should go. Wireframes are especially crucial when you’re dealing with more complicated websites. In building a consistent experience, structuring layouts, and not missing anything that has to be included, wireframes are required.

Prototyping

Prototypes are used to show a product’s design in its most basic form, and they might or may not be fully functional. Prototypes can take many forms, but they all serve as representations of a working design. The real-world design is replicated with images, interactions, content, and other key components. Prototypes are used to acquire comments and fine-tune a design throughout the process.

5. Familiarize yourself with UI

A user interface is a means of putting a technology to use. A doorknob is a basic example of a user interface. The volume knob on your car radio that your significant other keeps fiddling with is also a user interface. A user interface is also known as a keypad, and it’s the device you use to input your PIN into when using an ATM. The buttons and other components of a website allow someone to interact with machines in much the same way as do physical buttons and other equipment in the real world.

Let’s take a look at two important UX concepts: intuitive design and minimalism.

How to create intuitive interfaces

Interacting and engaging with a website should be consistent, following similar procedures. Users should instantly comprehend the methods for navigating around a website once they land on it.

Make UI simple

UI is designed to make things easier for users. This implies that the controls should be simple to operate and easy to recognize in their purpose. Understanding UI will aid you in streamlining someone’s experience with a website by reducing the number of navigational options, speeding up the payment procedure, or integrating additional interactive elements that enhance accessibility.

6. Understand the basics of creating layouts

We’re more likely to notice and recall designs that follow preferred design patterns. Certain design motifs are instantly recognized by our eyes, allowing us to swiftly browse a website. Because we’ve encountered these same patterns time and time again while consuming media throughout our lives, we instinctively know where to look. Design patterns can assist you in developing websites with a smooth flow to the content and visuals. Z-patterns and F-patterns are two common web layout patterns that you should be aware of.

Z-pattern

The Z-pattern is a simple method to cruise through a website because it consumes little words and pictures while providing plenty of negative space. When you take notice of where your eyes go when viewing a design, you’ll see right away if there’s a Z-pattern in place.

F-pattern

The popular F-pattern is often used for designs that have lots of text, such as an online publication or a blog. On the left side of the screen, you’ll see a list of articles or postings, while the main body of the page contains rows of relevant data. This design is built to convey all the information a person might need, even if they are reading it quickly.

7. Learn about typography

Colors, typefaces, and type treatments can all have a significant impact on readability. Knowing how to utilize typography is important if you’re studying about web design.

Web design requires the use of typography for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, it is used to make information readable. However, stylized type may also be used as decoration, giving it a stylish touch.

Here are the three most basic typographic ideas.

Serif

Serif typefaces feature tiny lines called serifs that embellish each character. This typographic design is rooted in printing.

Sans serif

Sans serif typefaces lack the distinctive lines of serif typefaces and, as the name suggests, are sans serif. These types of fonts can be found on the internet in the form of websites and applications.

Display

Arial, Avant Garde Gothic, and Adobe ITC are examples of display typefaces. They may be big and powerful or composed of sharp, thin lines. They usually have complex letterforms and are intended to attract attention.

8. Put your knowledge into action and build something

Although you may watch instructional videos, read blog articles, take online courses, and absorb all of the theory and information you want about website design, becoming a web designer is only achieved by first beginning to design websites.

Begin with a little project. Perhaps someone you know requires assistance creating a portfolio or has an amateur side business that lacks any sort of online presence. Offer to create something for them for free.

A blog is yet another wonderful place to start. This will give you experience with a CMS and showcase your writing talents, as well as provide you with practical design knowledge.

Another interesting design project is to create a website for a totally phony firm or company. It’s also a great opportunity to polish your design skills. You may even include it in your portfolio.

9. Get a mentor

Mentors are critical because they’ve been where you are — at the starting line — and want to assist you through the lessons they’ve learnt after years of struggle. They have a vast reservoir of understanding and experience. They’re an invaluable tool for getting feedback on your work, as well as pointing out what you’re doing well and where you can improve.

When looking for a mentor, make sure you select someone who does the sort of design you like and specializes in the area of study you wish to pursue. Mentors can provide you with a clear route forward from years spent in the industry so that you don’t have to figure out how web design works.

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