How to Learn Web Design

There’s a lot of mystery surrounding the term “web designer.” If you’re someone who doesn’t know much about creating web pages, odds are you think of web designers as wizards with a skill set very distinct from your own.

While it’s true that web designers provide a valuable, sophisticated service, that doesn’t mean that you’re not capable of learning web design, too. We’re going to look at some essential tips on getting started with web design today, hopefully giving you some confidence as you start to learn this skill.

So, let’s find out how to learn web design.

Start by Choosing a Discipline

The first step in learning web design is choosing which discipline of web design that you’d like to engage with. The generalists out there might need to know a little bit about everything, and that’s an option, too.

That said, if you want to learn web design so that you can create a site, do the graphic design, manage it, and take care of everything on your own, you’ve got a big journey ahead of you. Further, it might be smarter to specialize in one area and divvy the rest of the responsibilities out to others.

You can learn more here about utilizing other professionals for aspects of your web design. A few of your other options are graphic design, web development, user experience, and more.

The web designer holds the keys to the functionality and aesthetic appeal of a website. So, you can dive deeper into those areas and harness your skills. In order to do that, you need to learn a few essential things.

How to Learn Web Design: Functional vs. Aesthetic

The functional side of things requires that you have some understanding of coding.

Fluency in different coding languages allows you to navigate the back end of a website and make effective changes. All of the visual aspects of a website that you want to change have corresponding pieces of code that exist in the back end.

There are different pieces of software that help with this. That said, the software comes with limitations. If you want to truly be free to create the site you want, you need to understand coding languages.


HTML and CSS are two of the most important coding languages you’ll come across. HTML deals with the functionality of websites. You can incorporate text and links in various ways with HTML, allowing you to craft the nuts and bolts of websites.

It’s an interesting language to learn if you can get into the right headspace. Just keep in mind that HTML underpins the existence of the internet. All of the sites and pages you’ve ever navigated have used HTML in some way.

By learning it, you’re becoming a much more informed and effective digital actor. You can peel the veil back a little bit and see what the internet is truly made of, allowing yourself to make your mark in the process.

CSS, on the other hand, deals more with the visual side of things. If you want to work more on the graphic design end, you’ll want to spend some more time with CSS. That said, you need to understand CSS and HTML in unison to be an effective web designer.

Web Design Principles

To learn web design, you need to apply the logical side of your brain alongside the creative side. Once you become fluent in coding languages, you need to rely on your taste and creative preference.

Contrary to popular belief, taste and style aren’t just things you’re born with. Sure, it helps if you have a natural sense of design elements, but tens of thousands of people go to college each year to learn about graphic design.

The majority of that coursework deals with visual elements and artistic principles of design. So, if you’re looking to learn web design in an effort to make a career out of it, you should certainly learn about the following things.

Color Theory

The relationships between various colors are extremely important to understand. Why do certain colors clash? What do particular colors emote and when should you use those colors in your designs?

You might be surprised how much there is to learn about colors and how they’re used in marketing, design, and art.

Visual Layouts

There’s a lot to learn about the way different visual elements interact with one another as well. The use of color is one thing, but the placement and arrangement of elements are another.

There’s something to be said about how good something looks, but there’s also a lot of importance in the functionality of those things, especially in the context of the web.

The next time you’re browsing the web, look at the arrangements of the sites you’re using. Note that everything (every square, link, block of text, visual element) was created by a person with a particular intention. The more you explore sites with design in mind, the better you can incorporate ideas into your own work.

Get Familiar With Typography

A big aspect of graphic design is the discipline of typography. The established fonts aren’t always what a client is looking for. In fact, most clients with a clear design vision will want a unique typeface to work with.

You might need to create different fonts that match a particular brand’s style. If you’re not required to make your own font, you’ll at least need to understand the fonts available to you.

Do some research on how to use particular fonts, why certain typefaces are more effective than others, and more. The text and typeface of a page are two of the most important aspects of usability and aesthetic appeal.

Need More Web Design Tips?

We hope the ideas below helped you understand how to learn web design. There’s more to go through, but the ideas above should be a good primer on your next few moves. We’re here to help with more guidance.

Explore our site for more ideas on web design, insights into graphic design, and a whole lot more.

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