Attractive web design is an integral part of any business’s digital marketing efforts. Think about the last time you visited a website with a less than stellar web design: Did you feel frustrated? Were you concerned about the security of your information due to its sketchy design? First impressions are important even when it comes to web design!
The appearance of a website can make visitors more inclined to spend time and money on your site and influence their opinion on your business’s reputation. This guide will help you understand what web design is and teach you the best way to learn web design so you can make a great impression on any visitor who comes across your site.
Explore resources for learning web design
Find the perfect resources for learning website design with our library, which is organized by experience level. Start browsing now!
Learn web design: Beginner
Beginner resources for learning web design include:
- How to Design an SEO-Friendly Website
- How to Make a Website Responsive
- What Is Page Speed? (And How to Improve Your Site’s)
Learn web design: Intermediate
Intermediate resources for learning web design include:
- How to Master the Website Planning Process
- ADA vs. 508 Compliance vs. WCAG
- How to Make Your Website More Interactive
Learn web design: Advanced
Advanced resources for learning web design include:
- Rapid Web Design: How to Build a Site Fast
- 7 Tips for Commercial Web Design
- Website Accessibility Checklist
Learn web design: Tools
A few favorite tools for web designers include:
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What is web design?
Web design can be defined as the process of creating a website. Typically, anything related to altering the appearance of a website can be referred to as web design. Web design can be broken down into two subsections: The backend and the frontend.
Backend vs. frontend web design
The backend of web design deals with everything behind the scenes that powers a website.
When learning how to design a website, there is little expectation for a web designer to be an expert about what goes on at the backend.
A web designer needs to understand the purpose of the backend, but using languages and writing code to make sure that servers, applications, and databases are working together properly is the responsibility of a programmer.
Learning about both ends of web design helps create a solid foundation for you to practice web design.
5 web design principles to follow when learning web design
There are several web design principles you should aim to follow. They include:
- Create user-friendly experiences
- Work on different devices and screen sizes
- Load quickly
- Fit your brand’s image and messaging
- Follow search engine optimization (SEO) best practices
Learn web design basics
The best way to learn web design is to gain knowledge of some fundamentals of the process.
To start, you should understand some of the main concepts of visual design:
Lines give a design structure by creating order and balance within a layout.
Shapes, such as squares, triangles, and circles, are symbolic, and users unconsciously associate shapes with emotions. Square shapes represent strength, circles are a mark of harmony and comfort, and triangles signify importance and action.
When learning web design, you will find that squares and rectangles are typically associated with blocks of content while circles are often used as buttons. Triangles usually denote an important message or call to action that requires attention.
Colors are also an important part of visual design, so you should educate yourself on some basics in color theory. Understanding concepts like the color wheel, complementary colors, contrasting colors, and the emotions that colors invoke is necessary when learning how to design a website.
Next, it is critical to have a basic knowledge of hypertext markup language (HTML) when learning web design. Knowing how to use HTML tags, especially header tags properly, is essential when learning how to design a website.
That’s because header tags, like the H1, H2, and H3 tags, are used to structure content in a hierarchical order. Besides helping users, these tags also help web crawlers, which crawl the web to organize and deliver the world’s online information via search engines.
If you want to learn web design, you must understand how to use CSS.
CSS provides an additional layer of style and customization over HTML elements. Things like applying fonts, setting alignments, and picking out colors are all done through CSS. Refining your CSS skills will allow you to create artistic, unique-looking websites.
User experience (UX)
Knowing how UX works is essential when learning web design.
UX brings a website to life by turning a website from a static arrangement of elements into a dynamic page that visitors can connect with. UX is all about precision and evoking feelings and emotions when users are scrolling through a website.
The emotions that arise from the web design aim to connect users with the brand. UX uses principles like user personas and user flows that allow you to connect with visitors on your website and continue to design a website around their best interests.
User interface (UI)
When learning how to design a website, UI goes hand in hand with UX.
UI elements on a website allow users to put their actions into motion.
There are two main principles of UI that you should familiarize yourself with:
- Intuitive design
Intuitive design makes sure your website offers an engaging, interactive experience by using consistent patterns that are easily repeatable. Your main objective is to make sure the users landing on your website immediately understand the systems in place and how to use them to navigate.
Simplicity deals with optimizing usability. UI is a crucial component to understand when learning web design because it relates to the ultimate goal of creating a streamlined, simplified experience when users interact with a website.
It is important to know some basic layout patterns when learning web design. These patterns help create a smooth flow from content to visuals.
The two most common layout patterns are:
Z-patterns are suitable for websites with a small number of words and images and a large amount of negative space.
In contrast, the F-pattern is compatible with sites with large amounts of text, such as online publications or blogs. This pattern is optimized by separating information on different sides of the screen to allow users to understand the gist of what they are skimming over.
Keep learning web design with Revenue Weekly
The best way to learn web design is to keep practicing so you can continue to refine your skills.
Understanding the fundamental of visual design, familiarizing yourself with how the frontend and backend work, and having a basic level of knowledge about UI and UX creates a strong foundation for you to build upon.
There is so much that goes into learning web design, so we encourage continued learning for beginners. WebFX has a great resource, Revenue Weekly, that can provide you with exclusive digital marketing strategies, like web design tips and tricks, to help drive revenue.
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