Jumping into web design

Studying design in school or learning everything by yourself in the evening? Web is more accessible then ever before and industry is welcoming new people, but this is only beginning. In next years it will only get better. So, what is the BIG thing you have to learn?

Just recently I read an interesting post – question on LinkedIn. Author was about to make decision to start in web design. The main question was focused on what to learn as first to break in. As you probably guessed, author was beginner without any previous skills either in programming or design. In similar cases, questions like this one can cause you serious headaches. What’s more, if you try to use your wise friend Google, or whatever you use, the results will hit you like a brick.

Just looking on the first few suggested results will cause you to consider starting out in web industry all over again. The more articles you look at, the more questions will appear. Do you want to be front-end developer or back-end developer? What is front-end and back-end anyway? Do you want to be a web designer or web developer? What is the difference? What programming languages should you know? How many programming languages should you know? Which of them should you learn first? X reasons to learn WordPress. After ten minutes you are not thinking about doing web design, but where to get some painkillers to get rid of that headache.

Unlike some other people who will tell you to learn to code, my advice will be different. If you want to be a web designer, forget the code for moment and focus more on design part. Anyone can learn to code. It is not that hard, you can teach it small child. On the other hand, learning design is different story. Design is very broad subject to learn, not to mention mastering it (if it is even possible). There are many principles you have to understand. When you finally handle the basic, another topics will start to amass. Learning design will take you huge amount of time and patience, so it is better to dive into it as soon as possible.

To also answer the remaining part of web design … HTML, CSS and JavaScript are necessities. You can also add jQuery, but learn JavaScript first because it is better to know language than just a library. After learning these, add a bit of PHP and MySQL to make it tastier. PHP will also bring you more opportunities in the form of contracts for creating WordPress websites or templates. MySQL databases are important if you want to work on more complex projects. They are also often used with WordPress, so it is better to get this know-how.

After learning all the things above, if you are still alive, you will either fall in love with programming or hate it wholeheartedly (what a weird word). For those in love, check out frameworks like node.js or angular.js for building network applications. You can also move to another languages like Ruby and Python and to tackle with Rails (in case of Ruby) or Django (in case of Python) frameworks.

When you really get into it, only your imagination is the limit. However, if you want to contribute to visual appearance of the web, learning design is necessary for you. One more thing … In case of web design, don’t ask developers (sorry guys). Look for web designer and ask them because they are more likely to have some experiences from going through design education, either in school or by self-education.


Want to start in web design? Great! Forget everything you heard. Learn the design first and code later or do it simultaneously. If you skip the design part, you will regret it later because creating really good pieces require great taste for design which can be acquired only by hours of hard practice, observing and exploring. Nothing in the world will supplement it. You can write code so good it can place in the museum, but when your design skills are poor, your work will suck. So, learn design! AD

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By Alex Devero

I'm Founder/CEO of DEVERO Corporation. Entrepreneur, designer, developer. My mission and MTP is to accelerate the development of humankind through technology.

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