Mon. Jun 17th, 2024
Tips for beginners web designers: how to learn the profession from scratch

Web design is one of the young and in-demand areas, which received a major boost in 2007 due to the development of mobile content. Today, the profession of website designer is in high demand primarily because of the simple threshold of entry.

Whether this is true and how to master web design from scratch – let’s understand in this article.

Who is a web designer?

Someone says that this specialty involves only the design of sites, some add to this design, layout, logo creation, and some even consider a web-designer many-armed wizard. In fact, a web designer – is the man who works with the graphical part of the site, that is, creates a layout from scratch on the approved terms of reference. But here, too, not everything is simple, because before the drawing of the layout is a lot of steps. To understand all this, let’s start with the roots of website creation. More info 

When a person needs a website, he applies to a professional studio or is looking for a freelancer on the Internet. Then there is a discussion and fill out a special document – the brief, which allows the performer to examine in more detail the problem of the customer. The next step is to draw up a statement of work, after its approval begins to develop the site. The so-called “classic” construction consists of an analysis of the target audience, prototyping, creating a layout, layout, programming and testing.

If we are talking about the studio, the web designer in it is engaged only in creating the layout, which is often done in Figma, but there are those who work in Photoshop, although this is already a past age.

It all looks something like this: frames, layers, elements, grid, and a lot of design.

Often a web designer in the studio also makes a prototype of the site – a black and white, sometimes even a graphic version with clickable elements. It allows you to understand even at the prototyping stage what needs to be removed and what is missing – in general, the prototype points out errors and makes it possible to make the final result the way it should be.

There may also be a narrower focus – this is when the prototype is engaged in a separate specialist – the designer. In that case, the web designer creates only a prototype of the site, and that’s where his competence ends. Then go to the stage layout designers, programmers and other specialists.

All of the above – it’s about the studio, but in freelance it’s a little different. As a rule, a web designer working for himself can be a designer and a programmer, and sometimes even a graphic designer. That is, such a specialist is versed in prototyping, design, layout, programming, marketing and much more. Programming is most often at the level of understanding, as is layout. Here it all depends on what path the web designer has chosen – it creates sites on a CMS or on the designer. If it comes into it, for example, WordPress, then without the layout and programming here is not enough. In the case of the constructor are required only a basic knowledge of layout.

But all of this is not always necessary: in freelance web design may feel well without programming languages and other things. Only the design and nothing else – such orders can be found a lot.

It is also worth saying that a web designer does not draw logos, does not design social networks, does not create a corporate identity – all this about other professionals.

Well, let’s summarize the above: the web designer is engaged in website design, sometimes their development of turnkey. He knows the basic rules of design, understands the layout and programming at a basic level. In general, if you dream of a modern creative profession, the road to web design is open to you.

What tools and skills are needed

We have already talked about the tools – first of all it is Figma. An ideal program that allows you to create prototypes and layouts of websites. You can use it to do everything – the site map, user interactions, presentations. It’s like Photoshop, but perfectly adapted for websites. You can also create animations, clickable prototypes, and augment the functionality with multivariate plugins.

Other tools:

  • Photoshop – rarely used today, it can be useful if you need to cut out some object from a photo. However, even such a task can now be solved without Photoshop, for example, with the help of special services.
  • Moqups is an online service for prototyping. It is often replaced by Figma, but it is suitable for more professional prototyping websites and mobile applications.
  • Illustrator – used as a supplement to Figma for drawing illustrations. It is a rare tool in the hands of web designers, because, first, there aren’t many sites with illustrations, and second, you can find a lot of suitable images on photostocks. If, however, you need a unique solution, then usually for such tasks hired a separate specialist.
  • Sublime Text – a program for typesetters. It is used only by those who are engaged in layout.

In general, knowledge of Figma alone will allow you to become a web designer and find high-paying orders or work in a good studio.

But you can’t get away with just tools, because personal qualities and soft skills are also important. All these are even more important than any tools. You can be a guru of all these programs, but if there are gaps in your personal qualities, it will greatly affect your professional growth.

These are the main qualities that are needed to become a web designer:

  • Ability to negotiate – to resolve conflict situations and communicate with clients constructively.
  • Curiosity – to constantly search for new information. I would choose definitions such as “passion” or “interest in the activity” as synonyms. If you are truly interested in web design, all of these will be the default.
  • A desire to develop and a sense of purpose will help you get into big projects. Here again, it’s about passion and interest. If you burn and do, these qualities will come on their own.
  • Perseverance and attentiveness are probably the most important qualities. Even if you’re on fire with web design, it can quickly run out when things get tough. Can not work, it will seem that it’s not your – in such cases, just diligence will help.

Don’t assume that you’re not born creative. If you’re interested in web design and you look at other people’s work as something incredible, then know that you can do the same. Some may give it easier, some more difficult, but come to a good result can everyone. That’s where diligence comes in.

Where to start as a novice web designer

It is best to start with a basic study of websites – you need to understand how they are created and designed, what problems they solve, and how they differ. By answering these and other questions related to the web, you will begin to understand the essence of the web designer profession. The next step is to study Figma in small steps. You don’t have to become a Figma guru at once – it will take a lot of time. It’s enough to learn the basic functionality, and then gradually build it up.

The third step – the basic skills of design in the web: what makes up a site, how to create its structure, how various graphic elements affect human perception, and so on.

The fourth step – training, training and more training. Like in sports – if you started running and want results, then continue and improve your performance.

We advise to start with watching videos on YouTube – now there are a huge number of them, although some of them are detached from reality. Many show cool work, teach you how to do it, release clips a la “How to make a wow effect on a site in 5 minutes.” All this, of course, is cool, but in fact is forgotten the very next day.

It’s important to approach videos holistically and practice regularly. If you just watch a thousand videos, there won’t be much result. It will seem that you have learned everything and will do it again in a week, but this is not the case – most likely, you will forget how to implement a particular solution and will return over and over again to the guide you have watched. That’s why it’s important to practice what you’ve learned right away in the course of the video.

For example, if you are watching how Figma works, then take it and open it at once, don’t repeat the actions exactly as on the video, but try to understand yourself and understand how everything works. Only then will there be progress.

What to do next

In general, design is built on observation: the more you study other work, the higher your level of creativity will be. You can do cool work if you spend a lot of time doing it. Even if you don’t do well, that doesn’t mean it’s not your thing. If you want to be a cool web designer, you can do it.

At first, it is difficult to talk about the analysis of works, because most likely you will not understand the logic of the designer due to lack of experience. That’s why it’s best to take some works and try to repeat them in Figma. When your knowledge base is full, you will be able to analyze the work and understand how things work.


Web designer – a modern profession that does not require higher education, but needs special efforts and diligence. Starting may seem difficult, because you need to learn a lot, practice, understand, correct errors and develop soft-skills. But if you do not give up on the way and go to your goal, you will succeed. Study new materials on web design, watch videos, read thematic books, and then progress will go smoothly.

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