A web designer is a person who designs various types of websites, while helping people to realize their goods, services or information through these sites. In essence, the work of a designer is the visual embodiment of certain ideas or business ideas through the use of computer programs.
A designer doesn't draw whatever he wants, he solves someone's problem. The designer does not draw as he pleases, he uses the experience gained by others. A designer is not an artist, he does not have to be able to draw, although this skill can help.
To help you understand exactly how the design process works, let's look at it in the simplest way: the designer–client. Stages:
- Communication with the client: you are approached with a request to make a website. You divide your communication into three main parts:
- financial: how the payment will be made, prepaid/postpaid, choice of payment system, hourly payment or fixed amount, etc.
- technical: choice of a graphic editor (determines which source file you will transfer after work is completed), technical requirements from a layout designer/programmer, adaptive design for different devices (desktop, tablet and smartphone), etc.
- semantic, it is also the main one: getting to know the client and his business, the main problem and goal that the site solves, the terms of reference from the client himself (choosing the site structure, visual components), restrictions, example sites, etc. < /li>
- Estimate: after negotiations, you estimate the amount of work in hours, while receiving an exact or approximate cost.
- Working on paper: an important stage not only for beginners, but also for experienced designers. Using a pencil and paper, you can schematically sketch out the main blocks / pages of the site. This makes the next step faster.
- Working in a graphic editor: you completely render the site using the tools of the program of your choice.
- Edits: there are almost always, this is normal and should not be feared. The client may ask both to correct certain details of the layout, and to completely redo some blocks or pages.
- Design approval, payment received, source files submitted.
Naturally, this process is quite different for large projects, as well as designers who work in studios or IT companies. But it will give you a rough idea of what you will encounter in the first days of real work.
You can learn web design skills on your own or with the help of preparatory courses. At the beginning of my journey, I chose the second one.
Courses can be a very good impetus to the profession, but they will never give you 100% basic knowledge. You will always need to search, read, watch, study and work on your own. For example, at the moment, for almost all such courses, the entry threshold is the knowledge of one or more graphic editors.
Courses can be divided into online and offline. Of course there is a difference, for people who do not have parallel work, I advise you to choose offline courses. Why:
- Develop more responsibility for the result: you go to the audience, while making an effort; show your first works to real people, see their reactions and emotions.
- Closer contact with the teacher: again, personal communication, the opportunity to discuss live the questions you are interested in, ask for help, get feedback.
- Quick entry into the design community: There is a good chance that you, as a newcomer, may be noticed and offered an internship in the company. Also, subject to the successful completion of the courses, you can use the recommendation from your teacher. A recommendation from a person who works in the same city weighs much more than from a character from the network.
Online courses have their advantages:
- The ability to individually choose the schedule of your training. If you work or study in parallel, then a flexible schedule can be very helpful.
- The opportunity to learn from top designers. If this niche is not developed in your city, finding suitable courses is quite problematic. But the online mode knows no geographical boundaries.
And the most important advantage of any paid courses in principle – you pay your money for them. And this can be a guarantee that you will not relax and do not give up on the idea of training.
How to choose a course?
- Pay attention to requirements
Do not neglect the information about the course, all conditions must be 100% suitable. This applies to your incoming knowledge and certain skills. For example, if the conditions say that you must be proficient in Photoshop or Figma, then be prepared to learn it before the start of the course. Or if basic drawing is listed among the required skills, then you should be able to do it. Also courses can be
We live in a very cool time when you can find videos on almost any topic on YouTube. There are an incredible number of good channels where free video tutorials help you get acquainted with the field of design and IT, get the necessary skills in almost all graphic editors. I advise you to start with Figma or Sketch (if you have a Mac), master Adobe Photoshop and basic knowledge of Adobe Illustrator. This will be enough to start learning web design.
I decided to dwell separately on the topic of managing my time. It was the constant lack of time, the inability to properly plan your workload by day, and elementary laziness that did not allow 70% of my design classmates to start working in this profession. Of course, among them there were those who realized that this area was not his format. But most simply did not have the patience and perseverance to achieve their goals.
My advice to new web designers:
- Look for opportunities, not excuses
How many times have I heard from everyone: “I didn’t have time, I have a blockage at work”, “I didn’t do it because I’m raising a child, and you know it’s not easy”, “I didn’t do it, now is a difficult period” ;. Why, then, was it necessary to go to the courses at all? If you are not 100% sure that you can devote at least 2 hours a day to this activity, do not even start.
- Clear timelines
Make it a rule that for example three times a week, on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, from 18:00 to 20:00 you do web design. And give it the next three months. No one and nothing during these two hours should not distract you from this activity, and the transfer is possible only for emergency reasons. Treat it immediately as a job, and not as something not serious.
- Phone and food – to the side
Before classes, be sure to eat, solve all your business and put your phone away, or rather put it on airplane mode. Nothing should distract you. We all know how little you can do, constantly sitting on social networks or unsubscribing to friends in the messenger. The same applies to the environment, if we are talking about independent learning - it is best given in solitude.
- Plan for each session
Before starting self-study, give yourself a plan. The more detailed it is, the better. For example with links to videos and articles. If it's homework, try to do it the best you can. When I went to the courses, I always tried to do more than I was asked, to find some interesting idea or work on the details.
- Combat laziness
Len is very insidious, she is ready to come to us at any moment. And our task is to drive it with all our strength and methods. Remember one thing: “detail through force” – this is normal. This does not mean at all that this is an occupation – not yours. Our brain is unfortunately designed to save energy, and training requires a huge amount of it. That is why it is so hard for us to learn, remember and use skills for the first time.
- Understand the main purpose of the – helping people solve problems, not creativity for the sake of creativity.
- Know the main graphic editors (Figma, Sketch, Photoshop, Illustrator…) and be able to use their tools.
- Knowledge of web design theory: UX / UI, typography and grids, color theory, composition and organization of sites and interfaces, trends.
- General knowledge of layout: HTML and CSS and understanding of how websites and applications work.
- The first works in the portfolio.
Recently, I wrote an expanded list of topics aspiring UX/UI designers should know. This also includes web design. In addition to the list itself, I write tutorials on these topics, so this can be a great help for beginners. It was precisely this kind of glimpse of the necessary information that I lacked when I started. Therefore, I highly recommend it!
Follow me on Instagram – @frusia.pro – stay up to date with announcements of new lessons, check homework in stories, ask questions, and you will also find many useful posts about design.