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9 Ways To Learn Web Design

Author: Carl Heaton
He is our senior instructor and originally from Manchester UK. Carl teaches our Web Design and Online Marketing Courses.
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So you’ve decided to dive head first into the exciting and wondrous world of web design! You’re able and willing to drop everything and get your hands dirty right away! You can hardly stop yourself from jumping to your feet and getting creative, designing the most fabulous websites the world has ever seen! There’s just this annoying little thought that keeps niggling and nagging from out of the corner of your eye…how do you actually get started?


Learn web design in Bangkok

So you’ve decided to dive head first into the exciting and wondrous world of web design! You’re able and willing to drop everything and get your hands dirty right away! You can hardly stop yourself from jumping to your feet and getting creative, designing the most fabulous websites the world has ever seen! There’s just this annoying little thought that keeps niggling and nagging from out of the corner of your eye…how do you actually get started?

To simplify your start, I’m going to give you an overview of 9 different ways how to learn web design, the reason I am using 9 is because I am so bored of reading lists of 10, aren`t you?. There’s no need to stick to one of them, however, you can mix and match them as much as you like. So let’s start!

Reading Blogs

learn web design from reading blogs

Reading blogs is a way to learn web design that certainly requires time and good nerves, as you will have to deal with rather unstructured pieces and bits of information. There are loads of blogs either writing about how to do web design directly or compiling links to other online resources, such as for example Vandelay Design. They are free, which is a great thing, and they are all over the Internet, which means that you have to go looking for them (use Google, for instance). However, if you are a self-educator and enjoy roaming the web, jumping from one interesting link to another, this could be just the thing for you.

Pros

  • It’s free
  • Lots of information available
  • Up to date

Cons

  • Time-consuming
  • Bits and pieces
  • No continuous structure

Doing Tutorials

Learning Web Design by Doing Tutorials

Lots of the things I wrote about blogs are also true for tutorials, except that tutorials are a more structured approach. They are designed to teach people about something they want to learn – in our case web design – and can have different forms, such as videos or written articles. Usually they come in two varieties: Some are set up as a series of consecutive lessons aiming to teach you the basics of a particular program/technique/whatever such as Photoshop Basix at psdtuts+. Others are the HowTo-type, concentrating on one single topic at a time, for example how to create the image of a spiral galaxy with Photoshop.

Pros

  • Most are free as well
  • Lots of information available
  • More structured approach than blogs

Cons

  • You have to go looking for them
  • A lot of self-study
  • Quality might not be consistent

Going To University

Learning Web Design by Going to University

If you’d rather get a formal education on web design, you always have the choice to enroll at a university and study for a degree. Universities all over the world do offer classes about web design, allowing you to do a bachelor or even a master degree in this field. If you choose this option, you will be taught by professionals who know what they are doing, but keep in mind that tuition fees can be substantial. You also might run into trouble if you’re already past the age of your run-off-the-mill university student or if you’re trying to combine your studies with your job.

Pros

  • Formal education with degree
  • Taught by professional teachers
  • Structured approach

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Application process
  • Takes several years

Training Centres

Learning Web Design by Going to a Training Centre

Training centres are a great choice if you want to hit the right balance between professional teachers, hands-on experience and affordable prices. Most training centres take on students of all ages, so this would also be the right place for adult learners. As you will have face-to-face contact with your teachers, there will always be a person to ask questions to. You want to have a look for the quality of the school, which you can do by checking out their website, looking at former trainees’ work or just sending them a mail with your questions. Classes taught will consist of considerably less people than college or university classes, and most training centres will also give you a certificate after completing a class.

Pros

  • Structured classes
  • Professional teachers
  • Certificate
  • Clear timeframe
  • Evening classes can be studied after work

Cons

  • You need to invest some money
  • Your schedule has to fit the class times

Online Courses

Learning Web Design by Taking Online Courses

Online courses offer the benefit of having a structured course plan with not having to go out of the house for your class. There are different types of online courses, such as live teachers to skype with, courses that consist of videos and homework you have to send back or courses that are just a series of articles. Some of them are free and some of them will cost you money, so you have to decide which style you would like to go for. Make sure to check some online reviews on the course in case it’s paid, so you get value for your money.

Pros

  • Structured classes
  • No need to go out of the house
  • Possibly free
  • Study according to your schedule

Cons

  • Quality might differ
  • Possibly fraudulent

Buy The Book

wicked wordpress themes

For those who prefer to study on their own but like to have something more tangible, buying a book on how to learn web design is the solution. Except from having something to touch, page through and mark, you will also have the certainty that the content of the book was thoroughly checked before being published. As there are tons of books by loads of different authors, I recommend comparing books and reading reviews on a book-selling website such as Amazon.com, or just dropping by at your favourite bookstore and leafing through the books so you can find the one that is just right for you.

A recent e-book by Site Point called Wicked WordPress Themes is a great book that also allows you to make money directly from your designs.

Pros

  • Structured, approved content
  • Study at home or anywhere else
  • Mark, underline and make notes to your hearts content

Cons

  • Nobody to ask questions to
  • Content may be outdated – check publication date!

From a Friend

Learning Web Design From a Friend

Having friends who are familiar with web design might be a great source to turn to for learning about it. If they have enough time on their hands and your schedules fit, great! Unless your friends are web design instructors by occupation and know how to teach, however, you might first need to find out for yourself what you want to know so they can answer your questions and show you how to do things.

Pros

  • Informal, friendly atmosphere
  • Geared to your personal questions
  • (Hopefully) free

Cons

  • You may have to take a lot of initiative
  • No materials to work on by yourself

Doing an Internship

Thailand Internship Trainees at Web Courses Bangkok

An internship gives you a great possibility to gather hands-on experience in the field of web design. Whether you choose a web design agency, a web design training centre or any other place is entirely up to you and your learning aims, so make sure you know what they are before applying to any position. Some companies announce internship opportunities on their website, others don’t, but you always have the possibility to write to them or call and ask. Of course an internship period of several months gives you more time to learn and improve, but even a few weeks can help you to get a foothold in the world of webdesign.

Pros

  • Professional environment
  • Hands-on experience
  • Steep learning curve
  • You might even earn some money

Cons

  • Getting an internship position might take some time
  • Some companies require previous experience

Trial and Error

Learning web design by trial and error.

Trial and error is another method to learn web design, but if you are an absolute beginner, this alone might get you frustrated very easily when things don’t work out and you just have no idea why. However, I highly recommend the trial and error method in combination with any of the previous ways to learn web design, and I daresay that you will master web design much faster when you just start playing around with the things you just learned and see what happens when you change this tag or that number. A nice little tool, for example, is the Mozilla Firebug that allows you to see and edit the HTML and CSS code of any website in realtime.

Pros

  • Good to practise what you’ve learned
  • Can be great fun

Cons

  • Might be difficult as a single learning method

Summary

So after giving you an overview about 9 different ways to learn web design, I really hope that I was able to help you making your decision where to start. Whether you’re more the autodidactic type, a group learner or a hands-on person, I’m sure that one of these ways is the right one for you to make a successful start in learning web design. Once you’ve started, you will see that many more possibilities will open up to you, so just kick things off and always remember: Web design is for everybody, and everybody can learn web design!

Interested in Learning Web Design?

Every month we have a new Beginners Web Design course starting so if you want to take the method of learning at a quality training centre here in Bangkok, then please click here for more course details.

Hope you enjoyed the post and please comment and share.

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