What is Web Design?
Web design is an umbrella term for the many processes that go into creating an attractive and functional website. Every time you visit a website, you experience the work of web designers firsthand. They organize the content on webpages into a logical structure, add responsive graphics, and may even create animations or videos that catch your eye as you browse. Whether they a content management system (CMS) like WordPress or build the website from scratch, web designers ensure that the website looks good and runs well.
Although web design is a relatively new career field, it has become an extremely important one for businesses and organizations in every industry. While web design is commonly associated with jobs in tech, media, and commerce, it’s also important in education, finance, healthcare, and media. As people increasingly go online to shop, learn, and entertain themselves, companies have to meet them with well-designed websites. From Fortune 500 corporations to brand-new startups, businesses are reliant on experienced professionals who can communicate their offerings through a web-based format.
Why Learn Web Design?
Pretty much everyone can benefit from knowing web design. Websites form the digital architecture of the online world, and as online traffic becomes increasingly important for businesses and organizations, it creates demand for new (or better) websites. Being able to set up websites can be a fun hobby, a side job, a way to branch out in your current field, and a key skill for entrepreneurs.
In addition, learning web design is an easy way for people in non-tech jobs to pivot to a tech career. Moving from a general design career to building, updating, and maintaining websites generally results in higher pay and more job opportunities. On average, web designers make 25% more than traditional designers.
What Careers Use Web Design?
Visual designers are not the same as web designers, but their skill sets often overlap. Unlike web designers, visual designers don’t code the websites they design for (and may not design interfaces at all). They are designers who focus on any or all types of digital design, which includes social media posts, logos, infographics, banner ads, and emails in addition to web graphics and landing pages. While you can be a visual designer without knowing how to code or use the layout tools common in web design, both professions involve crafting images that look great in a digital format.
Some front end web developers have similar careers to web designers. Like web designers, they write the code that controls how websites look and behave. However, web developers are less likely to be adept in color theory, typography, and design trends. Their main concern is making sure a website is functional—not that it is optimized for aesthetics.
UX designers and UI designers both work in related areas to web design. UX designers conduct user research and testing to ensure that websites work well for users. UI designers depend on design principles and wireframing software like Sketch to produce attractive website interfaces. While UX and UI designers don’t actually code websites themselves, they play an important role in the development process and can benefit from specialized web design training.
What Web Design Classes Are Available?
Enrolling in a web design course will let you develop the design and coding skills you need to build websites. Noble Desktop, our design school, has a range of web design classes that you can take live online or at our location in NYC. Whether you learn virtually or through in-person classes, you’ll participate in hands-on projects led by an expert instructor.
Want to start by learning how to code? You can choose from a range of courses that teach techniques for coding websites. After you take Web Development Level 1, you’ll be able to code simple websites by hand. This course covers HTML and CSS. You’ll learn how to style your webpage, how to use web browser developer tools, and how to create a fluid layout that is responsive for users.
If your main area of interest is creating website graphics and layouts, you may be interested in the Visual Design Bootcamp. This course reviews the fundamentals of designing a website’s appearance, including color, typography, fonts, and wireframing. You’ll also learn how to draft a creative brief and tips for making sure your website looks good on mobile. This course does not require any coding knowledge.
There are also classes that bring together web design and UX/UI design. Noble Desktop’s Sketch Bootcamp and Adobe XD Bootcamp each deliver comprehensive training in industry-standard prototyping tools. If you have some basic knowledge of Photoshop and want to bring it to the next level, check out Photoshop for Web Design & UI. This class teaches you how to use optimize graphics for websites and adapt layouts for tablets and mobile devices.
Certificate Programs for Web Design
Since web design involves a breadth of knowledge across multiple disciplines, people who are planning to start a career in this area stand to benefit from attending a web design certificate program. Enrolling in a certificate program allows you to develop abilities in both coding and design in a single streamlined experience. Plus, earning a certificate demonstrates to potential employers that you have professional training in the tools you would use if they hired you.
The Web & Visual Design Certificate gives you the same in-depth technical training as the Web Design Certificate, along with additional lessons in creating and fine-tuning graphics for your website. Over the 120 hours of training, you’ll complete projects for a portfolio to show employers during your job search. This course is the best option for newcomers to both the development and design industries who want to learn everything it takes to make a beautiful website from scratch.
If you already know how to code or want to specialize in the “design” part of web design, consider the Visual Design Certificate. In this program, you’ll learn how to design web graphics and website interfaces with Photoshop, Illustrator, Sketch, and Adobe XD. Expert instructors will also teach you design concepts and trends. It’s a good option for programmers who want to expand their web design abilities or artists who want to branch out into online design.
Maybe you want to learn some web design to accompany other skills in a UX or UI career. The best option for building this specific area of knowledge is the UX & UI Design Certificate. In 72 hours of hands-on training, you’ll practice wireframing and prototyping apps and websites. Besides picking up Photoshop, Illustrator, and Sketch, you’ll practice research, testing, and presenting your product.
Web Design v. UX & UI Design
You may be curious about the advantages of learning web design as opposed to UX or UI design. Both of these are gateways to in-demand tech careers. Professionals in UX and UI often work on the same teams as web designers. The two go hand-in-hand when it comes to building successful websites and applications—so what sets a web design career apart from working in UX and UI design?
Web design focuses on the website itself and the organization or individual it represents. UX and UI design take a user-centered perspective. Although UX and UI designers need to understand the basics of how a website works, they typically aren’t involved in any of the coding. They also don’t get involved with arranging and manipulating graphics to the degree of web designers. If you’re interested in how people interact with a product, you may enjoy the research, testing, and user-centered perspective of a UX or UI career. If you are more interested in the act of building websites than creating surveys and collecting feedback, taking a web design class may be the better option for you. Still not sure? Take a class in Sketch or Adobe XD. You’ll use these applications in either field, and completing different projects will help you figure out which field appeals most to your interests and talents.