Web design is the visual aesthetics and page layout of a website. It goes hand-in-hand with web development in the creation of a static website or dynamic web application.
Even if you don’t consider yourself a creative person, it’s still a good idea to learn web design. No matter whether you want to make static websites or dynamic web applications, design is an important part of the process. The design is the first thing people notice when they arrive on a website, and if it’s not good enough, they’ll leave. You don’t want to create a site that frustrates people, do you?
If you do identify yourself as a creative person, you might even consider a career as a web designer. Today, there is a huge need for competent web designers with up-to-date skills. It’s not an opportunity to be sneezed at.
Learn coding and you’ll be a valuable asset to many. But learn coding and design and you’ll be second to none!
Web Design Overview
The web design process starts with a visual concept, which you could sketch by hand or with software like Photoshop. Then, you use HTML and CSS to build the website. HTML and CSS are the codes for writing web pages. HTML handles the basic structure and ‘bones’ of your page, while CSS handles the style and appearance.
If you’re a good web designer, you’ll also pay attention to concepts like responsive design, aesthetics, usability and accessibility when building your site.
Responsive design is a popular technique for making websites look good and function well on additional devices, like phones and tablets. It does this by setting different CSS rules for different browser widths.
Want a live demo of responsive design? If you’re viewing this page on a computer, reduce the width of your browser window and see what happens.
Aesthetics plays a big role in web design, since it’s all about how web pages look. You’ve probably seen a lot of websites that look shocking. Learn a bit of aesthetic theory and hopefully your website won’t be one of them!
Usability is another important component of web design. This is all about how intuitive a website is, and how easy it is for users to find or do what they want.
Finally, there’s accessibility – a very important web design practice. Accessibility is all about making web pages viewable by people that use assistive devices to browse the web – including the deaf and blind.
Ways to Learn Web Design
Some people might say that the only real way to learn visual design is to teach it to yourself. Practice, get inspiration from existing websites, practice, have people critique your designs and practice. But remember, web design isn’t just about the visual look of a site. Could you teach yourself accessibility? It would be a challenge, that’s for sure.
Learning web design on your own is great, but you should also support yourself with a web design book or online web design training. A lot of people choose to learn web design from a book, since it’s something that you do need to study closely to master.
Treehouse Design Training
While there is a lot of coding training available on the Internet, design training is something you will not find a lot of. Treehouse, a technology training website, is unique in that it offers both web development and web design training.
Treehouse is our main online training recommendation because it has a focus on web design, is recommended by many of the world’s most trusted and recognized web designers (such as Chris Coyier) and most of its teachers are themselves web developers or designers.
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