13 May 2022

Six steps to becoming a web designer


As technology only becomes more integrated into our daily lives, technology will continue to generate new and unique opportunities. In this regard, web design has quickly moved to the forefront of the creative industries, as the face of businesses, large and small, move increasingly online.

What is a web designer?

A web designer is responsible for the overall look and feel of a website. This includes the layout, colours, fonts, and images used. They hone the capacities and skills needed to thoughtfully design and structure websites, and do so in favour of page user-friendliness and accessibility.

Why are web designers important?

Because of the growing adoption and integration of technology into our society, websites and other digital means of representation are becoming more and more mainstream. Websites are now close to essential for any business or organisation wanting to seem relevant, compared to two decades ago when they were more or less a luxury or novelty.

There’s now a greater need than ever for businesses to establish and maintain a solid online presence, and responding to this demand are web designers who are able to make it a reality. They’re applying knowledge and skill in delivering quality websites, and in doing so are providing the much needed connection modern day businesses need between themselves and an increasingly digital market.

Becoming a successful web designer

Web designers are part of the workforce of the future, being highly skilled in everything it takes to stand out in an online world. They are highly sought-after professionals, with those at the top of their game in constant demand. As a promising career with lots to offer, it’s no wonder why so many individuals are taking interest.

Anyone can claim to be a web designer, but at the end of the day, what makes a difference is what can be shown for it. You can design a website? Great. How have you capitalised upon the skill?

Putting your time and effort into web design will only be worth it if you do so in a successful way. With that in mind, we’ve compiled these six tips on how to make the most out of your potential as you work towards a promising career in the world of web design.

1. Master Visual Design

A lot of what work, and ultimately success, comes down to in web design is an ability to use and apply concepts of visual design. While it may seem pretty obvious, visual design is one of the most important facets of web design and is too important to overlook when looking to be successful in this line of work.

Fundamentals of visual design are what will give you the ability to determine and adapt the overall look and feel of a website. Ranging from typography and colour theory to grid systems and proportions, they cover everything involved in making visuals that attract.

Learning and mastering visual design is one of the most straightforward ways to grow your potential as a professional, as not only does it make you more efficient in building great websites, but it can also be applied to a range of other capacities.

2. Know Your UX

An abbreviation for User Experience, UX defines how people feel or react to a website. It’s all about creating the right experience and evoking the desired perceptions and intents from target users.

As an important factor in a website’s ability to source and convert things like leads, UX is a pivotal concept to know. As a web designer, it’ll be one of the things you focus on and integrate into your work the most. Designs need to be user friendly and positioned in a way that inclines and supports visitors in finding and getting what they’re looking for.

Being good at UX means a couple of things, but mainly centres around a capacity to be good at catering to customers’ needs. This is done through a few practices, namely:

  • Researching users and their needs
    The first step is to learn as much about your target users as possible. Try and get into their shoes and understand what needs or wants they have that your website can address. This will help you determine what design elements need to be focused on and given more attention.
  • Creating personas
    A persona is a composite sketch of your target user. Once you’ve done your research and understand what sort of person you’re catering to, you can create a persona that will serve as a reference point whenever you make design decisions. This helps to keep the user’s needs at the forefront of everything you do.
  • Conducting user testing
    After putting together a website design, it’s always a good idea to test it with actual users to see how they interact with it. This will help you gauge what works and what doesn’t, and allows you to make necessary changes so that the user experience is as optimal as possible.

3. Organise!

A major part of being successful as a web designer goes beyond simply building beautiful websites. A lot of it also has to do with concepts like organisation, and how you’re administering the skills you sell. Whether you’re looking to work for a company or go freelance, your time organisational skills are what will really determine your success as a web designer as a whole.

Work is fast, projects are complicated and deadlines are important. Without an ability to navigate or keep up with them, you’ll almost surely have a hard time succeeding.

4. Manage your time and commitments well

Similarly to having organisation, time management is another essential tool in benefiting from your work as a web designer. Overextending yourself and losing track of commitments is an easy way to find pitfalls in any area of work. In the fast paced and demanding world of web design, it can spell disaster. This is why time management is such an important skill to hone.

Being able to manage your time and work on a schedule will help you stay afloat no matter how many projects or deadlines you’re facing. It can be done with a simple paper schedule or through the help of digital tools. Productivity apps are a great option to consider, as they’re designed to boost your ability to manage commitments and can take a lot of the worry out of your hands when it comes to remembering things.

5. Understand Web Development

While web design is about visuals and crafting an attractive interface, web development is all about the code that makes it all work. It’s the foundation of a website and covers everything from the layout and organisation of content to how users interact with the site.

As a web designer, it’s important to have at least a basic understanding of web development principles and be able to apply them in your work. This will help you create more well-rounded and functional designs that are able to adapt to change and scale as needed. You’ll also have a better understanding of how websites work under the hood, which can come in handy when troubleshooting problems or collaborating with developers.

Some basic concepts you should familiarise yourself with include:

  • HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) – The standard code used for creating web pages.
  • CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) – A code used for styling and formatting web pages.
  • Javascript – A programming language used for adding interactivity to web pages.
  • PHP (PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) – A code used for developing dynamic websites.
  • WordPress – An open source content management system that lets you create and manage websites without any coding knowledge.

6. Be a good communicator

Aside from getting your intentions across visually, as a web designer you should also be proficient in conveying your thoughts verbally. Communication is key in any profession, and as a web designer it’s doubly important.

This is because so much of the design process relies on feedback and communication with clients and team members. Clients need to be able to communicate their vision for their website, while team members need to be able to relay their thoughts on the design and how it can be improved.

Being able to communicate effectively will help minimise misunderstandings and make the design process smoother for everyone involved.


Web designers have to wear many hats, from visual design and coding to user experience. There’s a lot that goes into designing a website, and honing abilities such as these is a great way to support your own success in the field. There are plenty more, with each being important to the amount of relevance they hold to your given circumstances.

The most important thing is to keep learning and expanding your abilities. The more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to take on whatever comes your way.

Web design is a fast-paced and demanding field, but it’s also a lot of fun. With the right skills, you can create beautiful and effective websites that meet the needs of both clients and users, as well as bring you success for years to come.

To learn all about web design from industry experts, check out our Web Design and UX short course, or get in touch to discuss your options with our team.

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