How to Become a Web Designer in 2015 | Design Careers

How to Become a Web Designer in 2015 | Design Careers


– Hey, everybody, this is
graphic designer Roberto Blake of robertoblake.com helping you create
something awesome today. So, in today’s video, I’m
gonna talk about how you become a web designer in 2015,
how it’s changed since I got started in web design
about, what, 17 years ago when I was like 14 years old, and what you need to know today to succeed as a web designer, whether
that be as a freelancer or working at an in-house company or working at an ad agency. One of the big questions
that always comes up is do you need to learn HTML
code to be a web designer? And the short answer is yes and no. And I say that to say this, you can design websites
without learning HTML coding, but it’s not recommended,
and just because you can code doesn’t necessarily mean you can design. It requires both things. Part of the process of web design actually still requires some pen and paper because you have to plan these things out. You have to know a lot
of things when you wanna get started as a web designer. One of the first things is, what is the website gonna be about. When you’re taking on
a web design project, just like any other
graphic design project, you need to start with a client brief. Too many people, whether
it’s designers or whether it’s more technical people,
want to jump into the computer and not deal with human beings first and deal with pen and paper. Pen and paper is still part of the process and there’s a reason for that. You need to organize your
ideas, you need to have a hierarchy for the
website, you need to know how many pages it’s going
to be, you need to determine do those pages have different layouts and are there templates
that need to be developed for specific parts of the
website, different types of content that are gonna be on there. What media types are
gonna be on the website? Is it gonna have a lot of images? Is it gonna have a lot of video? Is there gonna be an audio component? Is there gonna be a blog? Is this an e-commerce website
that needs to move products and if so, what are we
doing in terms of, like, taking credit card payments, PayPal? All of these things are important and they need to be decided
before you even think about touching a keyboard and mouse. So, people ignore the
planning stages of a website and people don’t know what to
necessarily ask the clients. You needs to ask the clients
a lot of specific questions if you’re going to be
designing websites for clients, and if it’s a project team,
you gotta make sure you have a brief from your supervisor
and you gotta know, well, who’s supplying the content? Are you creating the images? Are the clients or your
employer going to supply you with the images? As for the copy of the website,
the text that’s gonna go in each of these web pages,
who’s supplying that? Are you responsible for the copywriting? Or is the copywriting
gonna be provided to you, and if so, I recommend requesting
it be in a Word document sent to you in an email as an
attachment so that you have the ability to just
copy and paste it out of the Word document, you
have it to to where you can strip out any formatting,
and you have a documented timeline of the fact
that it was sent to you. So, those are important things. If there are pictures, you
need to know if they’re gonna be delivered to you digitally or are you gonna have to scan them? If it’s gonna be stock
photos, you need to figure out who has the rights to them. So there’s things that have
nothing to do with coding, nothing to do with visual
design, color theory, CSS, PHP, Word Press, any of that stuff
that people take for granted as web designers to begin with. They don’t know how to plan a website. The other thing is you need to
understand how websites work. You need to understand that
websites require a domain name. When you go to a dot.com,
it’s a domain name and you get that from
a company like GoDaddy or Bluehost or 1&1, and
you don’t actually own it. You’re more or less leasing
it and you have to renew it every year and there’s a cost to that. It might be $5.99, it might
be $9.99, it might be $14.99, you know, it just depends
on what your deal is and what your arrangement
with your hosting company is. The other part of that is, the web hosting is where the content and
where your website sits. So you think of a web server as a house or an apartment that you’re renting, your files are the
furniture that fill it up. The files and the content,
they belong to you, just like your furniture. But you don’t own the web server. You don’t own the property, if you will. You’re just occupying it. So you have to pay that monthly fee and that’s what web hosting is. And again, that might be $2.99, it might be $1.99, it might $5.99, it might be $59.99 if you
have a dedicated server. So you need to think about
these things and you need to understand what the
aspects of a website are, what the technology that backs
it is, and you need to have a grasp of those before you
even think about touching a computer and trying to code
a website or use a program like Adobe Muse or Dreamweaver
or WordPress to build one. So, let’s talk about the software you need to operate, run, and manage a website. Now, we talked about HTML code. HTML code is how websites
are traditionally built. But there are other editors
called WYSIWYG editors, or what you see is what you get, and coders and programmers
hate these applications, because in their mind,
real web designers code. I firmly disagree with that. Coders code. Designers design. And you might be able to
code and build a website, but you might not be
able to design your way out of a paper bag, because
you might be able to make this great, robust,
functional website that is ugly as sin, that can’t
sell your client’s product and can’t accomplish
your employer’s goals, so that doesn’t make you a designer, that makes you someone
who built a website. And that’s not a dig at coders. Like I said, I’ve been coding
since I was 14 years old. I coded in Notepad. That’s why I know what I’m
talking about when I say that. There are people who style
themselves as web designers who can’t design. Now, there are designers who can design who don’t know any technical
things and can’t code, but at the end of the day,
people are more interested in how a website looks and
presents and whether it accomplishes getting someone
to want to buy the product, and then if it doesn’t work,
then they get frustrated. But they will never get
that far to figure out that the button they’re
clicking doesn’t work if they look at the
website, it’s ugly as sin, and they leave in under five seconds. And that’s kind of the conflict
between coders and designers sometimes if they’re not
someone like me who is both. And I think it’s important to be both. Is it difficult? Yes. Does it take more time and
energy and training? Yes. But at the end of the day, you
need to be able to accomplish well placed, aesthetic,
visually appealing design that can sell a product,
service, get people engaged, get people interested, and
then it actually needs to work under the hood and do
what it’s supposed to. And then on top of that, you
probably are gonna have to learn how to market and promote this thing because if no one sees it, then who cares. But that’s another
conversation and that goes into search engine optimization,
how to rank in Google, which I will cover in other videos. But circling back for a moment to tools. So, the tool that I prefer
to use for hand coding and visual coding in split
mode is Adobe Dreamweaver. I think Adobe Dreamweaver is great because it helps you organize your files, set up a test server environment,
if you know how to do that kind of thing, you can see the code, but you can also see what
it’s creating in real time, you can get a feel for
whether colors and fonts are working well and whether
you need to change them, you can do that with a client
sitting over your shoulder or a supervisor sitting over
your shoulder and make changes in real time without
having to upload anything, and I think it’s great
from that point of view. I also think that the
way it visually works with color coding and
some of the short cuts are just gonna be better
for productivity and speed. I love the CSS editor
for doing certain things. And I just think it’s faster. It’s a lot easier on my eyes
than a lot of the applications that hardcore programmers like to use. So, that’s what I prefer. Now, that’s if you’re doing hand coding or a little bit of WYSIWYG. If you wanna do straight
up WYSIWYG, what you see is what you get, no coding,
you can use something like Adobe Muse, and you can
actually visually draw out what a website looks like. And the thing I like about
this is, like I said, pen and paper first. So you could sketch the
layout of a website, just like you would if you
were doing a traditional print advertisement, and then can
create that in Adobe Muse, based on what you drew as a sketch. This is great when you’re
working at an ad agency, because a lot of agency types, creative directors and art directors, a lot of them are a bit
older and old school, and they don’t want some
complicated explanation as to why you can’t do something in code. For them, why can’t you
move it an inch to the left? Why can’t it be perfectly centered? Why can’t it be this, why can’t it– They want to design websites
and they want you to design websites they way
that they designed print ads using something like Adobe InDesign. So, Adobe Muse is the perfect for solution for the ad agency world
if you’re doing a website that’s under 20 pages and doesn’t require a blog or anything like that. So it’s the perfect solution for that. Now, if you’re gonna do
something more robust and you need a blog and
you need e-commerce, then I would suggest
something like WordPress, which is a content management system. If you’re doing e-commerce,
maybe use OpenCart, osCommerce, different things like that. I’ll have to do a whole ‘nother video on e-commerce platforms and what
the best solutions are there, so make sure you subscribe and stay tuned to get that video from me. So, again, those are
your three basic types of web building applications. You have HTML, hand coding editors, and hybrid editors that do both, you have WYSIWYG or visual
design applications, and then you have content
management systems, which function like WordPress and Joomla! and these are pretty simple
to use once their installed and updating and adding
pages is as simiple as updating a Facebook page. So that’s why a lot of
people enjoy that platform. For managing and uploading
things to a website, you wanna use an FTP program, which is called a file
transfer protocol program, and that’s just a
complicated way of saying that we take if off your
computer on your desktop and we put it onto the website. It is literally that simple. If you’re using a Mac, then you might be using
Fetch or Cyberduck. I prefer to use FileZilla
for both Windows and Mac. If you’re on Windows, I recommend WinSCP, it’s a great tool. There’s also browser-based
ones you can use like FireFTP. So those are some FTP programs that you should definitely look at using. Working on websites
often means working with graphics as well, and some
basic programs you can use for graphics for your website,
whether that’s banner ads and background images and so
on, are obviously Photoshop, which I prefer to use,
Photoshop Elements if you can’t afford that or don’t want to
go to the subscription model, you could also use Corel Photo Editor, you can use PaintShop Pro, you can use GIMP, which is free, you can use painter.net, there’s
just a lot of applications that you can use for that, and, again, links to all these things will
be in the description below, so make sure you’re checking that out. So let’s talk about how you can learn to become a web designer today. When I learned how to
become a web designer, we didn’t have Google, unfortunately, and we didn’t have YouTube. We had to use webmonkey.com and learn the basic principles there. I also learned by disassembling
existing websites, modifying things in the code,
and seeing what happened. And this was, again,
something I was having to do in a challenging way using
Notepad back in the day. Now we have a lot more
applications like I talked about, you have free editors, you have Composer, which is a good free editor
for HTML, and, again, you have things like Adobe Dreamweaver and so on to be able
to do this, Notepad++. So, again, you don’t have to use Notepad like I did way back when. Experimenting, disassembling
existing websites, using books and using
websites like webmonkey.com were really the only way that someone not going to school for
it, and it was still rarely being offered in college at the time, this is back in the
late 90’s, early 2000’s, that was the only way to
really learn web design. Today you have things like
Codeacademy, Khan Academy, Learning Tree, you have
Lynda, Udemy, YouTube, you have blogs like mine, you
have all these different ways that you can learn about
web design and HTML code, and I think that that’s great and I think you should
take advantage of that. Yes, you can go to college
to learn web design, but, again, the value of that
might be a mixed bag of nuts because, again, you’re seeing
the trouble that people are having with going to college,
taking out student loans, the job market being what it
is, a degree not being enough to get a job anymore,
so if you wanna to avoid some of those things and you
wanna get real world skills, you can do it on your own, you
just have to be disciplined enough to do it, and remember,
there are kids and teenagers doing this every day, and
even years ago as a teenager, I was able to do it and within
a summer I was at a point to where I was actually
starting to get paid for building websites for people locally. So, just keep in mind,
this is something you can teach yourself, you
don’t have to pay for it. But if you do wanna pay,
it’s cheaper to try to do it through something like
lynda.com or Udemy or Skillshare or any number of online
learning sites, to try it first at a lower price point than
paying hundreds of dollars for a college course, so
just try and give that a shot before you go to that traditional model. I’ll have some recommended
books in description below that you can use to try
and learn HTML coding and the principles of web design as well. So, some other things you need
to know if you’re gonna be a web designer in 2015,
aside from the tools that we talked about, learning
things like WordPress, as far as content management systems, you might wanna pick up things
like jQuery, JavaScript, and a little bit of PHP as well. Having these under your belt
will help you as a web designer because you’ll have more
flexibility, you’ll be able to do more complicated tasks, and
you won’t be restricted by the limitations of just doing
front end work, you’ll be able to do some more complex and
advanced things as well. I also think you should look at learning some visual design skills
in terms of typography, so that you can lay out
your websites in a way where the text is readable and pays
attention to visual hierarchy, I think you should learn
the gestalt principles of graphic design, which
I’ll cover in other videos, and I think you should
learn visual editing and photo retouching so
that you can make banner ads and make really impressive-looking
websites that don’t rely on basic colors, shapes, and text alone to be visually interesting
so you can draw people in and have an effective
website for your customers, your employers, your
clients, what have you. It goes without saying
today, you wanna learn about SCO search optimization, get
people to go to a website, and how to rank in Google. I’ll have other videos covering that. If you have questions,
you can leave them in the comment section below
and I’ll try and answer them, but, again, I’ll cover
that in other videos. Well, I hope you guys enjoyed this video on how you become a web designer in 2015. Again, I’ll answer any
questions you still have in the comment section below. Like this video if like it,
don’t forget to subscribe. Let me know what other
videos on web design you want me to cover. As always, you guys, thanks
so much for watching, and don’t forget, create
something awesome today.


100 thoughts on “How to Become a Web Designer in 2015 | Design Careers

  1. Hi Roberto, your channel help me a lot you're just amazing i just started learning some HTML & CSS on Udemy, i want realy to start Websites Creation !

  2. That was a great video. I'm just getting started. Started learning html and css code on Kahn Academy and purchased coffeecup software. I agree, knowing both code and design is really good.

  3. Hey Robert again! haha its amazing every time I watch and video I have a follow up question and low and behold there is a video for that to haha so thanks for that! my question is this.. Web design is design and structure of actual Web sites with pages and content and GRAPHIC DESIGN is designing logos,AD's, flyers, digital media,ect…is this correct?

  4. I had an interest in web design when I was a teen back when AOL was still around. I would also play around with the codes from existing pages. I'm thinking of giving it another try. I actually found a free training course on web design from the Alison website if anyone else is interested.

  5. King Roberto of Web Dev/Design, first of his name! 🙂
    Man, thank you so much, you made a lot of messy things in my head crystal clear now! 26 years old and looking to change the course of my career, you gave the best directions so far!
    Make some videos about your projects or methodology of your workflow, would help too.
    And yeah, should I mention- s u b s c r i b e d!

  6. Hey, Roberto. I am interested in website design, but I am not very talented in the visual arts (e.g., can't draw or paint well). However, I enjoy using software like photoshop and dreamweaver. Would my aspirations in web design be fruitless if I am not artistic? Please let me know your thoughts.

  7. actually HTML5 and CSS3 are required to became web integrator and web design
    no one will pay you to just make template with photoshop or illustrator
    and that's necessary in my country "Tunisia"
    I don't know why but here in tunisia employers demande to do both front end and back end
    photoshop, illustrator, html5, css3, javascrip, jquery, bootstrap, frameworks(symfony2, zend), php5 POO, and cms(wordpress, magento, prestashop), UML
    and all that in just one profile _"

  8. Hello Roberto ,
    I am a front web developer (beginner) , I have been told to get ready as a web designer with in next month as the job requirement is for a dual post of developer and designer… I have quite a good IDEA about development please let me know which tools i need to learn and what ever else i need to go through…email-: [email protected]
    thanks in advance

  9. Your channel is a blessing! I am learning to be a web designer and your channel is a good source for information. Thanks homie.

  10. I am trying to create a website for my business. Is it possible to have you do it for me? What will it take?

  11. You are an extraordinary individual.  Your philosophy is such a great example and you are a true inspiration. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Let’s Create Something Awesome!

  12. I like the introduction, you made me interested to follow you. I like it when you said that you need to be both

  13. An associate degree in web design from the Art Institute cost $140 k. and two years of classes. You're providing a service that is greatly appreciated.

  14. I feel like you aren't properly differentiating web designers and a web developers in this video.
    A web designer who can't really design but can proficiently code is a web developer. A web designer who can design well, but isn't good with code is just a web designer. Additionally, web developers nowadays are mainly divided into two groups – Front-End and Back-End, along with Full-stack developers. And web designers can also be UI designers, or UX designers.

    There's a major misconception that inexperienced people and clients have, where they think a web designer can build websites. In reality, the majority of web designers know absolutely nothing about code, and if you ask them to build you a website they are going to use a Square Space or a WordPress theme and hack together a clunky site that barely works, is slow and vulnerable. Every good website ever made will more than likely have been created with the collaboration of a web designer and a web developer, or teams of both.

  15. I enjoyed your video , (inspiring) I'm going to be 50yrs soon and I'm struggling with Dreamweaver CS6 discrepancies with regards to new cc layout . there are no css rule dialog boxes in new version of dreamweaver  I just want to move forward and I can't because of the discrepancies between versions.  Maybe someone has some advice for me  thankyou  my name is  Wendy

  16. I have a GED I have not stepped into a college & i am working as a Web Developer, anyone who wants some good places to learn, i recommend, udemy, tutsplus, and by far the one who has helped me alot has been lynda.com.

    Goodluck!

  17. Great video. We must be informed as designers what web design is really about and letting our clients know what is involved.

  18. Hi guys, this is nice. Anyone interested to become a web or graphics designer for commercial purposes, or needs someone to develop an App, design a custom website or graphics art is invited. Send me an email <<<>>> [email protected] or [email protected] you can send a message by following this link http://bluemarblegraphics.pw/contacts.html

  19. Good presenter.

    Well if what he says is true, then the tables have turned. And I was an idiot for leaving Web design years ago.
    But like go tell an employer that you don't know HTML, when starting out. And that your a designer and not a coder. I'm sure that will go down well. What WE (creative people) think and say should be two different things

    You only become a "designer" who does not do basic code only after many years of creating website, like he has.

    Well I guess the tables have turned. I know of so many programmers who were allowed to make ugly shit on a screen websites, and was allowed to do it because they knew heavy coding /programming.

  20. I just found your channel online, this is great!

    I am pursuing a degree in WD and I recently felt that it was taking way longer to learn everything. I have been seeing some of my peers that are following the same dreams and they are doing a lot more than I have; they're around my age and never went to college.

    So I started educating myself instead of relying on my professors and I have learned so much and accomplished a lot more than I have a few months ago. However, I feel that everything I learned is a bit scattered, so I'm going to follow your channel and try to learn everything in a more structured way (I don't know how else to explain it).

    So thanks for sharing all your wisdom, I appreciate it!

  21. I've never gone into the Web design business before and was looking to take it at my college and get my degree in it. I was wondering is it a hard field to go in for beginners ?

  22. I need help on everything I really want to be a web developer / designer but I don't know where to start and I don't have money to buy anything. can u please help me?

  23. So helpful to start to learn to be a web designer! very well organized idea! Thank you so much Roberto~~

  24. nice video, very informational, I love the info so I'll subcribe to that, just learned html and I think it's the best way to go for me , I'm already currently in school for website design, I have a plan set out for the next 10 years n it's to be coding my own websites instead of trying to find the money to pay a third party, it's already costly to run the site so I figure nock some cost down by coding and designing my own site and only going to the third party for hosting and domain purchases.

  25. You're incredible. Seriously I want to be a web developer and I'm learning about HTML and CSS3 but I still do not know how to start. I've just discover your page and I'm binge watching it. You're doing an incredible job providing us amazing advices. Greatings from a Venezuelan girl that don't know how to make this profitable at this early stage of knowledge but is excited about the possibility of working in this market.

  26. Hey! I'm interested inn starting a web designer career but i don't know anything about programing nor do i know how to use any programs for web design specifically, the closest ill' get is Adobe Indesign. I want to make a web site for a shop in my town, but my question is: What program should i start learning? Whats the best program to use for shopping specified web sites? Thanks for answering at advance. 🙂

  27. please you people help me to series of materials because i went to be a web designer like you i was kindly asking for good stuff of materials or tool in my lectures

  28. Can you learn your self how to code and/or design and how long will it take?
    btw, I am prepared to do whatever it takes

  29. Becoming a web designer is easier now days with soo many examples and tutorials online. There are soo many ways to get in overnight instantly!

  30. This was so helpful. I've been designing websites but thought it didn't count because I wasn't using code, my eyes are opened

  31. I am in High School and looking to either major in Web Design or Comp Sci in College. I am on the Advanced Web Design Team at my High School so I manage the school website. I have done multiple websites for teachers and other projects with the school through WordPress. I feel like I am not doing much that anyone else cant do. I just don't understand how I can make a living off being a web designer for what seems to me. Would love your input.

    Great video btw.

  32. Hey man I don't do much web design but this video gave me a lot of perspective 🙂 I would've liked a little tittle on-screen for what you're talking about at a given point because this way highly educational and would be nice to point to each lesson in the vid

  33. Thanks Robert! This is a great video. I highly recommend Team Treehouse for learning web design. Lynda is a good recourse, however I have found that Team Treehouse basically pampers you through everything from intro to the internet to advanced level programming. I have been providing web design for a while now as a freelancer starting back in high school and have since launched my site https://hawpmedia.com/

    I think alot of selling sites comes down to organization and a process. After only a few years of doing design, I just started creating a process that works for me. i feel comfortable selling sites now. Thanks for your video! Checkout https://hawpmedia.com and let me know what you think of my design.

  34. Thanks for the information i cant go to school right now until my finances get better but i do think employers want to see a degree however im self teaching myself atm by taking free online courses allison.com is a good one also watching videos like this helps.

  35. Hi, i am currently 16 years old and my future career ambition is to become a Web Designer. My speciality is graphics, and the visual part of the website, however i don't have a clear understanding to the coding prospect. Is there anything you can suggest to strengthen my understanding on coding, thanks Robert, great video.

  36. Still, applies to this day! Great stuff Robert! Perhaps you take a look at my website https://london-designs.com and give me your honest opinion!

  37. Hi, please I really need someone. I really do want to learn Web designing. What will I do? What first I need to learn? And 2nd? I need some good advice for this. Thanks for helping me in advance.

  38. if you want to master the art of website design and development, then join me on this free 2018 tutorial
    https://youtu.be/TyQMAY5Z6Fs

  39. Thanks for this video I’ll definitely be getting some UI Stencils to plan out my ideas for mobile apps and websites

  40. Informational Video as well, But here's the complete guide to become a web designer –> https://www.logoshines.com/blog/how-to-become-a-web-designer/ Read it Now

  41. Thank you for this great info, my engineering career has come to an abrupt end through serious injury and web design/developing after some deep thought and with retraining funds being granted is now my chosen career path. This video helps settle the mind for what I could only describe as a scary future not knowing how successful my abilities will allow me to progress towards. At least I have more insight of things I need to understand that overall will help me learn to do well. Thanks again✌

  42. I watched this before i started as a full stack web developer
    And today am here again.thanks for the advice and encouragement.

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