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How to Become a Web Designer All You Need to Know .pdf

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How to Become a Web Designer

The pathway to becoming a web designer
o Skillset – Know what skills you need
o The Three Main Programming Languages you should know
 JavaScript
o Non-Software based skills required

Want a fast-track, comprehensive guide to becoming a Web Designer? Look no further. We
will cover everything from the ground up so you know exactly what steps to take. Discover
the skills you need under your belt, the software you need to know, the type of portfolio you
need to build and much more.
If you have ever come across a beautifully designed website before, you will remember its
power and how for a brief moment, you simply sat and admired it. Websites have the ability
to evoke wonder, curiosity and several other emotions in us and a large part of that is down to
its design. If you want to become a web designer, you’ll understand it’s about the finer details
and utilizing your artistic eye to reach visual harmony and hit that ideal cross between beauty
and functionality.
So, you’re ready to start your journey? Let’s crack on by firstly looking at the pathway to
becoming a web designer.

The pathway to becoming a web designer
Skillset – Know what skills you need

The definitions of a web designer and a web developer are blurring which nowadays makes
the job role increasingly more intricate. Years ago, the designer's job was to specifically
focus on the visual layout and how content was presented. In today’s industry, a web designer
is expected to know HTML, programming concepts, CSS, Javascript & jQuery and PHP.
Even though the designer isn’t required to know the ins and outs as well as a developer, for
example, the are still expected to know the languages. This way they can understand how it
will impact the final design and form a more cohesive team with developers.

You should study and develop your skills in the following areas:

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

Thinking that’s a long list? Even though the more front-end technologies you know, the
better and more intuitive websites you’ll build, there are three important skills.
Above all, the Web designer should become familiar with HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. With
the knowledge and understanding of these, tricky coding can be skipped to create simple
elements such as drop-down menus.
Being confident and comfortable with the Adobe Suite is also a top priority of the web
designer. You need to master software such as Photoshop and Sketch App. These tools will
help you kick-start the initial design and get visual aesthetics and graphics in place.

The Three Main Programming Languages you should know

As highlighted above, these three main languages are mainly used by developers but knowing
these are now a fundamental part of the designer’s job. Here is how they can be utilized in
your own projects.
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) are commonly used
by some of the best web developers out there. Studying these whilst on your learning path
will teach you the basics of coding but also how to edit and change the code. What do these
languages do exactly? HTML is required to give the page content structure and CSS governs
the layout and design.
This is a highly sought-after skill that enables you to work across a range of web browsers.
As you can imagine, knowing this language is essential to creating dynamic and adaptable
websites. It can also extend beyond websites to create applications and games.
With Javascript, the users can engage with the website and make it memorable. Responsible
for creating games, animations, and other interactive elements, it’s an essential tool for the
web designer. If you want to check out inspiring examples of how Javascript has been used to
accomplish enhanced user experiences, see the CreativeBloq website.
PHP is a back-end development language so it’s not commonly used by front-end developers.
However, when you work in a team with back-end developers, knowing the basics of PHP
will really help facilitate cohesive teamwork.
The popular CMS WordPress is fuelled by PHP. Whilst this isn’t as essential as the prior two
languages, it will give the ability to create anything you need to on platforms such as
WordPress or Facebook.

Non-Software based skills required
When promoting yourself and competing for jobs, you will want to make your artistic eye
and sense of detail blindingly obvious to observers.
Visual Dexterity & Creativity
Understanding colour theory, effective use of space, correct image selection and typography
are also an essential part of the designer’s toolkit. All of the above help make the website

more accessible and enhances the experience for the visitor; all of which are essential boxes
to tick for the designer.
Ability to follow instructions well
The key is to know what the brand and company want the website to say and then for you to
communicate that visually. Asking the right questions and understanding before you begin
the design will also serve you well.
Strong communication skills
Great communication skills will also help projects flow smoothly as some clients can find
technical terms a little overwhelming. Moreover, be precise, clear and confident when
expressing your ideas for the best success when completing projects.

The selling point- The Portfolio

In today’s market, the qualifications, degrees, and masters are becoming even less important
for the Web Design field. What trumps everything? Having a stunning portfolio of welldesigned and well thought out projects in your pocket.
The importance of a portfolio website cannot be underestimated. It gives you the opportunity
to show off your capabilities and skills through showcasing previous projects you’ve worked
on. This is essentially your CV and without it, you most likely won’t even get narrowed down
to the interview stage.
So, you have recently started out or completed a course as a web designer? Read the next
section to discover what you need to do to get your portfolio up to scratch.

Building your portfolio
If you are new to the world of web design, it's more than likely you are still building up your
portfolio of projects to showcase. If this is the case, you may have to take on work that is
initially free or done for much less money.

Ideas for how you can start building your portfolio from scratch:

Creating your own website from scratch
Asking friends, family, and local businesses if they need any websites designed for
their own ventures and brands
Ensure you get testimonials and feedback you can feature on your portfolio as you go

Go to NGOs and charities in need of work but have a much lower budget so they
cannot hire experienced freelancers.

Doing the above shows you are a self-starter whilst giving your artistic skills time to shine in
front of the employer.

Starting your career as a designer
Now for the moment, you have been waiting for, your first job. Getting your career going as a
web designer can be an exciting time on unchartered territory. After getting your portfolio
sorted, there are a few things you should consider.

Working freelance or for an agency
Knowing yourself and what environment you work best in will be key to figuring this out. If
you enjoy working in a team of individuals and bouncing off other creatives, an agency is no
doubt suited for you. If you prefer working more on your own and on your own terms,
freelance is the way forward.
The bigger the agency, the larger the support network, consistency of work and reliable
income you will have. Choosing an agency with the right culture and who work with projects
you’ll enjoy is crucial

Know how to self-promote
Selling yourself is a big factor of the web designers rise to success. You will need to do this
especially if you are becoming a freelance designer. Knowing where and how to promote
yourself, what price you’re going to set for your services and what projects you’ll attract are
key starting points.
Asking past clients to spread the word, gaining reviews on Google and social media will all
help you build your profile. Going above and beyond through blog posts, publishing helpful
videos and content will give you the upper edge over the competition.

You will never want to stop learning and sharpening your skills as a designer. Building your
skills and going to other courses will keep you on top of the game. Digital Marketing, SEO,

HTML newsletters and Microsoft certifications are all skills you can learn to make you even
more indispensable.
We have created a complete programme that guides beginners on the journey of become a
web designer, you can find more information about our web designer career programme here.
There are also options available to attend short courses in web design here. If you would like
to get tailored advice, please contact us here.

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