Designing websites is an increasingly relevant and valuable skill. Our society’s growing dependence on the internet, rising mobile internet usage and an increasing number of e-commerce businesses fuel our demand for more talented web designers.
If you want to learn web design on your own, we have good news: it is possible for you to gain the knowledge and skills required in designing websites, over time. In the strict sense of the word, you can’t really learn web design “on your own” since you will be relying on the knowledge of experienced web designers who are generous enough to share their expertise with self-learners like you.
Check out these three sources of knowledge about web design and start learning!
1. Learn through online resources.
The internet is the place to go if you want to learn almost anything, and that includes web design. Online tutorials and classes, blogs, and forums are among the most popular and trusted online sources for web design that you may want to consider.
There are several online learning courses that can teach you how to create stunning web designs. Generally speaking, these beginner-level courses include the fundamentals of web design such as colour theory, white space, navigation plus other principles involved in the web design process. They will also introduce you to web design platforms such as WordPress, Wix and Weebly, and coding languages like HTML and CSS. Treehouse, Lynda, and Udemy offer popular, paid online web design courses that run anywhere from 2 hours to 8 months.
If you want to learn web design without spending a dime, we recommend that you start reading blogs of web designers online. These blogs can give you useful tips and tricks in web design, help you avoid common web design mistakes, and teach you the latest and best practices in designing websites. Some blogs of independent web designers also come with detailed video tutorials. Established blogs like SmashingMagazine, 1stWebDesigner, the Envato network, and WebDesignerDepot are great blogs that provide tutorials and useful post that can help you learn web design on your own.
If you want to quickly find an answer to a specific web design-related question you may have, we recommend you check out web design forums. These forums are one of the best places to find answers to your most pressing web design questions. The best part? Real web designers who may have encountered the same issues as you will answer them. Two great examples of web design forums are Digital Point and Sitepoint
2. Learn through books.
Many web designers attest that reading books have helped them learn the basics of web design, so if you are a self-learner who loves to read books, this approach may work for you. We know it can be confusing to know which book you should choose as there are so many web design books being released, so to help you get started, we’re sharing with you some of the most highly recommended web design books out there:s
Build Your Own Website The Right Way Using HTML & CSS 3rd edition by Ian Lloyd
This best-selling book is perfect for aspiring web designers and developers who have no prior knowledge of HTML or CSS. It offers a step-by-step guide on building a fully operational website from scratch and shares the best practices on web design. This book also teaches text styling and page layout controls using CSS, visitor tracking using Google analytics, social media linking for a wider reach, adding interactive site features like forms, contact us page and news/events section and optimisation of graphics. This third edition includes the most recent web browsers and operating systems.
HTML & CSS: Design and Build Web Sites Book by Jon Duckett
Another beginner-friendly reading material, this book teaches the basics of HTML and CSS, which are two major languages used in building and designing websites. If you’re looking for a book that explains what these two languages are and how they work together in a very simple and engaging way, this book is perfect for you. Ideal for those who want to know how to update their e-commerce store or content management system, or those who want to know how to upgrade the aesthetic value of their personal website or blog.
Learning Web Design by Jennifer Robbins
3. Learn by doing.
The best way to learn any new skill is through practice. After understanding the basic processes and principles of web design, which the online resources and books mentioned above provide, you need to apply what you’ve learned and put them into action. Here are a couple of ideas that can help you learn by doing:
Design a website.
Designing a website by yourself is one of the best ways to apply what you’ve learned, and see which area of web design you still need to work on. You can start a blog or create your personal website, and have an experienced web designer assess your work for feedback.
Learning the rules that govern the use of HTML or CSS is another good place to start. You can practice what you’ve learned about web design by creating a static HTML site on a local server or web server.
Student today, web designer tomorrow
You can achieve anything if you put your mind to it, and learning web design on your own is not an exception. The resources you need are readily available online and in the market, but it is up to you to apply your knowledge and improve your skills further through constant practice and application.