How to Learn Web Design and the Website Design Process

How to Learn Web Design and the Website Design Process

How to Learn Web Design and the Website Design Process

Learning web design can be an exciting new hobby or profession. This article shows the overall process and provides helpful resources.

Learning web design is something many people aspire to. But unfortunately, many people either think it’s not very easy or just don’t know where to begin. First of all, anyone can learn to do web design.

Teaching the mechanics of creating a website isn’t something that can be taught in an article of this length. Still, the following is the general development process and some helpful recommendations to learn more.

Web Design

Web design refers to the actual look of a website. It is made up of the images and graphical elements and the general layout of those elements on the screen. Now to create a visual site that looks incredible requires some solid graphic design skills. That’s an entirely separate subject altogether.

However, even if a person isn’t a graphic designer, they can still make simple graphics, get them from free resources online, or buy them from such sites as istockphoto.com. The decisive point to recognize is that with good web design, the actual layout and appearance are controlled by what’s known as CSS.

CSS stands from Cascading Style Sheets. It’s usually a separate document that controls the appearance of the (X) HTML. An ideal spot to commence learning HTML and CSS is either through a book such as Learning Web Design by Jennifer Niederst Robbins or free on w3schools.com.

Website Development

Website Development, on the other hand, usually refers to the actual coding that makes up a website. It includes HTML and CSS and client-side languages such as JavaScript and PHP or server-side scripts such as Java. It’s not necessary to know all of these things to make a website.

It’s important not to get intimidated by all these various things. As mentioned earlier, a person can create highly functional and exciting websites that serve their purpose without ever learning them. The only real exceptions are HTML and CSS, which are the basic skills needed to learn web design. Start by making simple websites and add other skills, such as JavaScript, as required.

Basic Process of Website Design

Here’s a rundown of the website design process, whether designing something for personal use or a client.

  1. Research– This refers to the first step: to have a clear understanding of what the site will be used for and by whom. For instance, is this a commerce site meant to sell something to a target customer, or is it a personal site meant to share the news? Also, what elements or sections will the site include? Examples of different typical areas are the home page, a blog, contact, and product page, if for a commerce site. These are only some of the interrogations to ask, but the important thing is to clearly understand the site’s objective before going on to step two.
  2. Organize Content- Information Architecture This is simply drawing out how each page will link out from the main home page and how they link to each other. It’s essential to keep the site’s architecture or how pages are linked and organized as clean, simple, and logical as possible. It is also the phase where the content is created.
  3. Creative or Design Phase Here’s the fun part. It is where the actual visual design of the site starts to be created. It includes creating or finding graphic elements such as icons and pictures. A great program to use to create the initial design is called Adobe Illustrator. A tutorial on creating a website layout in Illustrator can be found here.
  4. Final Design- Produce a Working Prototype This is where the final design has been decided on, and all the elements, including content, have been created. Now it’s time to code everything with X(HTML) and CSS, upload it to a hosting server, and then examine to assure everything, such as links, is working.

Start small, build something simple and then move on to more complicated and robust designs. After learning to create a primary site, the following web design will be a lot easier.

 

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