How to become a web designer from scratch in 2022

A web designer is a professional who creates the look and feel of websites as well as mobile applications. He doesn’t just come up with the layout of the interface, but is also thinking about the best way to use it. Here, we’ll describe what an internet designer ought to be able to do and how you can become one.

What are the duties of web designer?

Different businesses have different needs for a designer. Some require only the creation of layouts. Another needs them to create up. In general, a web designer:

  • Creates layouts for websites and interfaces ranging From concept development to the preparation of detailed prototypes that include a completed layout.
  • Design and develops icons, mobile applications, and banners.
  • Develop and implement ideas that are creative.
  • Creates scripts for interactive web elements (splash screens banners, splash screens, different animations).
  • Creates layouts to layout or typesets them by himself.

Where can web designers work?

A web designer has a range of job opportunities:

To a digital agency

Being employed in a business can be challenging jobs, which allow you to gain experience quickly. The company typically includes layout designers, marketers as well as developers, therefore the role of web designer will be to create layouts and be involved in discussions about projects.

To a large company

A few large organizations are looking for designers who can join the team. In general, you will be required to work on a single product and not need to learn the work from scratch each time. It is not realistic to expect multiple tasks, which could hinder the development of your professional.

Be an independent freelancer

There’s a lot of competition among freelancers and to be able to secure more work, you have to be able to perform a variety of tasks. These designers are usually sought-after by people with smaller budgets, for example, young entrepreneurs, startups or owners of small stores. Most of the time, these customers don’t conduct market research and do not have funds for similar specialists. They could find a professional who can analyze the target audience and competition, draw an outline, then typeset as well as create animations and illustrations.

The main benefits of freelance work can be described as an unpaid work schedule and unlimited growth in salary and that is the reason why designers are not always looking for the opportunity of hiring.

What qualifications should an internet designer need to

Be aware of the theory of design

The specialist should be aware of:

  • The fundamentals of composition are to be able to organize elements to create a stunning whole.
  • Typography that is attractively incorporated into the layout.
  • Coloring for the best colors and mixing them together.

This helps in creating beautiful designs that are harmonious, where accents are present and details are easy to comprehend.

Understand UI/UX principles

First of all, the design should be comfortable, and only then beautiful. No one will admire the ornate header of the site if it is not clear where the menu is on it. Any interface must comply with the principles of UI / UX design, that is, be understandable.

UI design (User Interface, “user interface”) is responsible for how the interface looks. The UI designer must make sure that the user correctly understands the purpose of the elements in all screen states. For example, that the green rectangle is the order button. 

UX stands for User Experience. He is responsible for how the interface works and how convenient it is to interact with it. A UX designer must create an intuitive website or application that is easy for the user to navigate and achieve the desired goals (purchase, registration, search for the necessary information, etc.)

Many employers are looking not just for a web designer, but for a specialist who understands UI / UX. 

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An example of requirements for the position of a web designer

Know the basics of marketing

A specialist must understand how to solve a business problem with the help of design — create a flow of leads, demonstrate the status of a company, keep a visitor as long as possible, etc. A designer needs to know the target audience well and how to influence it using interface elements. 

Know the basics of layout

Not all employers need the ability to create websites professionally. However, knowledge of the basics of layout (HTML, CSS) will allow you to speak the same language with developers, as well as understand whether it is possible to implement a particular solution from a technical point of view. A web designer does not need to know to program. 

Be able to work with graphic editors 

A web designer should be able to work with the following programs:

  • Adobe Photoshop: allows you to process photos, and create illustrations, prototypes and layouts.
  • Adobe Illustrator: this also allows you to create layouts and interfaces, icons, logos, and other elements.
  • Figma: This is an online graphical editor in which you can create a prototype of a website, or application.
  • Sketch: Another graphics editor for creating web and mobile interfaces.

Have a watchful eye

This is a visual experience that a specialist gets by looking at other people’s work. Watching helps to form a sense of beauty, broaden one’s horizons and create a catalog of visual images. Such experience helps the specialist to solve the problem faster since he already has several ready-made solutions in his head that only need to be adapted. 

Who is a web designer for?

The design is suitable for creative and creative people who are able to work for many hours in a row. You don’t need to know how to draw, but it won’t hurt. 

It is important to have such soft skills as:

  • Attention to detail: in any design there are many small elements, and they need to be drawn without errors.
  • Analytical mindset: it is important to be able to analyze the target audience, stand out from competitors, and also solve business problems. 
  • Sociability: in the process of work, the designer needs to communicate a lot with the team and customers, discuss edits and sometimes defend his decision.
  • Curiosity: It is important to constantly learn something new and practice observation every day. This allows us to withstand the daily growing competition. 

Where to Learn Web Design: Paid Courses

Taking design courses is the fastest way to enter a new profession. Of course, you will not become a professional right away, but you will get the first experience and an understanding of where and how to move on.

In the courses, you will learn design theory, master graphic editors, and create several works that you put in your portfolio. We will tell you where you can study.

And here you can study UX / UI design and learn how to create user-friendly interfaces. Learning takes place in a special environment. The theory is in the interactive textbook. There are also interactive tasks in which you need to take tests, pump over observation, and perform mini-tasks to develop skills. 

Already in the process of training, you can get a paid commercial task, which will be carried out under the guidance of an experienced designer.

Skillbox

The site offers over 500 feedback videos to help you master web and UX design. The speakers are art directors and designers of large companies: Wildberries, Tinkoff, Raiffeisenbank, etc. There is an employment program that will help you find your first job.

Netology

The training lasts a year, during which you will learn Figma, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. You will also learn the basics of design, learn how to conduct UX research, build websites and create landing pages on Tilda.

At the end of the training, you will have to make a graduation project from several layouts that need to be prepared for transfer to development and layout.

School Studio Oleg Chulakov

The course is suitable for those who want to master UX / UI design in a short time. The school was founded by Oleg Chulakov, who is in the Top 5 key people in the digital market. It can be used by both beginners and experienced people.

Is it possible to study web design at a university

Higher education institutions have design programs that train generalists. Let’s talk about some of them.

British School of Design

This institution is considered the best design school in the Russian Federation. It is a partner of the British University of Hertfordshire and specializes in vocational education in the creative and business industries. 

Here you can enroll in studies in the field of classical design and art. Those who want to get a job as a web designer will be interested in their UX / UI immersion direction. The training lasts 3 months, and in order to get into it, you need to pass an online interview. Training format: online lectures and offline meetings (Moscow, Nizhnyaya Syromyatnicheskaya St., 10).

NITU «MISiS»

The institution offers to complete a master’s program in Graphic Design and Applied Graphics. In it, students will go through the entire cycle of developing design products and learn how to brief a client, create moodboards and work presentations. Different areas of design will be considered: graphic, web and motion design, branding.

Full-time form of education. The training has been going on for 2 years in a remote format. Students undergo a mandatory internship. 

School of Design

This is a division of the Higher School of Economics, one of the leading universities in the country. By design, it offers several directions at once:

  • Communication design: a discipline in which students will master theory, motion design and branding.
  • Design and programming: this direction allows you to become a full-cycle designer (from creating a visual to layout in JavaScript).
  • Design and promotion of a digital product: the profile will teach you not only how to create a product design, but also how to conduct an effective advertising campaign to promote it.

The training lasts 4 years. To enter, you need to pass the exam in Russian language and literature with at least 60 points, as well as prepare a creative project (the concept of a digital product). 

The School also has online training in these disciplines, for which it is required to pass the USE and a creative project for 50 points. 

The institution offers to undergo retraining in the direction of “WEB-development and design”. It allows you to master the creation of a visual, as well as layout in HTML5, CSS and JavaScript.

The training is online. For admission, a certificate of higher / secondary vocational education is required.

How to master web design on your own and for free

Learn Theory

Any courses at the beginning of training I suggest studying the basics of design – typography, coloring, composition. This can be mastered independently from books:

  •  ” Live Typography ” by Alexandra Korolkova. Everyone who plans to work with fonts needs this book. It can be downloaded for free in PDF.
  • “Design School: Layout” by Richard Poulin. A practical guide with the fundamentals, rules and examples of compiling compositional layout layouts. 
  • “Graphic design. The Grid Principle by Kimberly Elam. The book will teach you the basics of composition and design images and pages based on a grid.
  • The Art of Color by Johannes Itten. The creator of the famous color wheel in his cult book talks about color harmony and color design. It will suit not only designers but also illustrators, photographers and artists.

Take free courses

Some educational institutions offer free education. It will not work to master the profession in-depth, but you can learn its basics. 

Coursera 

This portal is in English, but many materials have Russian subtitles. For web designers, courses on responsive web design and UI/UX design may be of interest. 

You can study for free, but in this case, there will be no feedback and a certificate of completion. If these things are important to you, the course can be purchased for $49 per month. You can apply for financial assistance to complete a full-fledged training for free – the application is considered for about 2 weeks. 

Hackdesign

This newsletter is in English from Facebook, Google, and Techcrunch specialists. Every week for 3 months will receive letters with theory and practical tasks on the basics of design. 

Codecademy

If you want to try your hand at the layout, you can take a free course on this site. Using HTML5, CSS3 and Bootstrap, you will create 4 simple portfolio sites.

keep practicing 

It’s important to keep exercising. At first, you can analyze other people’s work, think about why it was done this way, and this decision affects perception. Then you can copy other people’s work, completely or just some ideas, and then move on to creating your own designs.

Register on the designer marketplace

On the sites 99designs , Designcrowd , Crowdspring, customers post tasks according to which performers create designs. The best option gets a fee. 

You can participate in the competition: in this way you will learn how to work according to the present TOR and solve the assigned tasks. The work of a beginner is unlikely to be paid, but you can put the created layout in your portfolio. By the way, it can be issued on the same sites.

Train watchfulness

Look for interesting ideas in everything: on subway signs, labels, mobile advertising, an online store, etc. This will help develop taste, learn to distinguish good work from bad, understand trends, and quickly find the right solutions.

How much do web designers earn?

Designer salaries vary. Looking at hh.ru, companies offer from 1 thousand dollars. professionals with at least 1 year of experience. Middle designers can apply for payment from 2 thousand dollars, leading specialists – from 5 thousand dollars. 

Screenshot of RealHR presentation

A freelancer’s earnings depend only on his ability to sell his services. At first, fees can be 3-5 thousand dollars per project, then you can take from 10 thousand and gradually increase the price tag. 

Conclusion

To become a web designer, you can take paid training or study on your own from books and free materials on the net. You can start making some money in just a few months. In the beginning, you will perform small and inexpensive (sometimes free) tasks for people you know. Then you can take orders on the exchanges. And when there are a couple of dozen works in the portfolio, you will be able to apply for projects from large customers. There is no easy money in this profession, but if you make an effort, everything will work out.