1. Start a Website
You don’t have to start with a massive website or crazy design; start small. Play with the website, figure out what makes things work. (And make sure to inspect the code, so you can start getting familiar with what’s making your website work.)
Want to get started quickly? A website builder like Wix can help to give you a head start with a stylish website design, as you begin to learn the concepts and building blocks of what goes into a website.
2. Read Everything You Can
Start reading. Because you are on this blog, you’re probably used to keeping track of what’s happening in the world of design. Keep reading.
Read everything you can about website design, and trends, and techniques, and best practices. Follow designers you admire on social media.
Cast a wide net for your website design reading as well. Read about the basics to learn some code, read about design theory and read tutorials and current articles.
3. Be An Effective Communicator
If you aren’t the most articulate person, brush up on those skills. A big part of website design is communication.
Website designers have to communicate with clients regularly to figure out what problem the design needs to solve; they have to communicate those solutions and implement them as well.
4. Subscribe to Tuts+ & Envato Elements
Consider a subscription to Envato Elements, which also gets you access to the excellent Tuts+ learning resource.
Tuts+ publish regular courses on graphic and web design, from basic techniques, through to the latest advanced approaches and developments. It’s completely self-paced, taught by expert instructors. You’ll also get access to Envato Elements, which is a great resource for finding graphics, templates, and more to plug into your web design work.
5. Think in HTML
HTML, or hypertext markup language, is a cornerstone of website design. HTML is the skeleton that helps create the structure of a website and once you can read the language, the world of website design will make a lot more sense.
W3Schools has a great HTML starter tutorial with hundreds of HTML examples that you can play with on the screen to see what happens and exactly how it works. (You might find it more intuitive than you imagined.)
6. Play with Code at Codeacademy
While HTML is a good start, you can learn almost any programming language from Codeacademy. The free set of tools teaches you to code using interactive activities and games.
You can pick up a Codeacademy course where and when you need it and start and stop as needed. Pick a subject to learn – web development, programming, data science – or language to focus on – HTML & CSS (a great place to start), Python, Java, SQL, Ruby, and more.
7. Learn to Understand CSS
CSS, or cascading style sheets, define the presentation of a document written in HTML, or XML and SVG.
Mozilla also has a great collection of CSS resources to get started, with a solid introduction of how CSS works, including selectors and properties, writing CSS rules, applying CSS to HTML, how to specify length, color, and other units in CSS, cascade and inheritance, box model basics, and debugging CSS. Then modules move on to explain styling text and boxes.
8. Apply Your Design Skills to the Web
If you are already working in a creative or graphic design field, think about the things you already know that you can apply to website design as well. The principles that make something visually appealing don’t change based on medium and all that design theory will come in handy in the digital space as well.
While elements such as learning code might not feel natural, having a design background is a huge bonus. What good is a beautifully coded website if not one wants to interact with it?