With the world increasingly moving online, it’s no surprise that many people want to learn how to build exciting and engaging websites. According to the Office for National Statistics roughly 20% of all retail sales in the United Kingdom are online transactions, and this sales trend is only going to continue increasing as time moves forward. With that information in hand, it’s undeniable that learning web design is a prudent decision; however, for the vast majority of people, it’s a struggle to even know where to begin learning how to design websites. We at Gorilla Marketing, a web design agency based in Manchester, want to help make this process easier and have compiled a list of actions and resources you can take advantage of when beginning to learn web design.
1: Begin your own Website
One thing you’ll hear time and time again when it comes down to learning anything, is that practice makes perfect. That adage is definitely true when it comes to learning web design, and that’s why it’s important that when you begin your web design adventure, you have somewhere to put into practice what you are learning. Although starting a website without knowing anything about web design sounds like a scary prospect, you have to take those first tentative steps to start making any progress.
You don’t have to start a gigantic e-commerce website, or anything similarly crazy, you can start simply with a small blog. What you really want is a space online that’s yours to play with and implement what you are learning. We at Gorilla Marketing would suggest that you become familiar with inspecting the website’s code, you don’t have to initially learn any code as such, but becoming familiar with how your website functions under the bonnet is never going to be anything but a good thing.
2: Study the Websites you enjoy using
Picasso apparently said that “good artists copy, great artists steal.” Now we’re not advising you to go out there and completely rip off somebody else’s work, but you can draw inspiration from websites you enjoy visiting, especially if they are in a similar niche or industry as you. These websites clearly have something that makes them exciting and enjoyable to use, and you should be able to quickly determine what differentiates a site you enjoy using from a site you detest. You want to pay attention to attributes such as:
- Website typography: Are the fonts pleasant to look at? Are they easy to read and comprehend?
- Website Navigation: How do the menus work? Do you ever get lost on the website? How do the key pages of their website interrelate?
- Website Imagery and Colour: Is there a clear style or brand utilised on the website? How does the use of images and colour affect your experience as a user?
- Website Form Design: If you have to input personal data is it an easy process? Do you trust it? Does the design of the form affect your willingness to use it?
- Website Animations and Effects – Are there any particular features to the website you enjoy? Does the top bar or menu follow your presence on the page? Are there interesting banners or calls to action?
3: Utilize a Wireframe
Essentially all a Wireframe is, is a sketch of what the website will look like and how it will function. When we work with our clients in the north west and throughout the rest of the UK, we like to involve them in the production of wireframes for their website; we tend to produce several example frames and then work with our client’s feedback to refine and clarify what they specifically want from their website.
We suggest you begin to use this technique yourself when it comes to learning web design. The more wireframes you can create, the more you can clarify your own visions within your head and this helps solidify the website’s design, focus and functionality.
4: Be your own teacher
As an industry, web design is also constantly evolving alongside the websites and content management systems we utilize. Accordingly, it’s important to realize that whatever you might read one day, may be less relevant in the future. That doesn’t mean that the whole endeavour of learning web design is pointless, it merely means that learning web design should be a continuous process and not something you can have complete knowledge on.
It’s therefore important to consider and spend time learning web design from a broad number of sources, that way you’re more likely to begin to see consensuses form around best practices in the world of web design. In regards to learning resources, there are plenty of resources available when it comes to learning how to design websites. These can range from blogs and articles to books and video tutorials, all of which are considerably helpful when beginning the process of learning web design.
5: But don’t be afraid to find local classes and workshops
Although a lot of your studies will be independent, and you should become comfortable with motivating yourself to study independently, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take advantage of local classes and workshops when they’re available.
In Manchester, and the North West, there are numerous Web Design courses available at colleges in and around the region. Many of these colleges offer evening classes for those of you who are unable to attend day classes. There are also regular web design tutorials and seminars available, these are often presented by Web Design Agencies in Manchester. Gorilla Marketing have done a number of these web design seminars, and they offer a fantastic insight into specific areas of focus within the Web Design industry.
However, regardless of where you are in the world, a quick online search will no-doubt produce a long list of possible local classes and workshops you can attend to aid your learning process.
6: Don’t be uncomfortable asking for feedback
The only way you’re going to know if your learning trajectory is moving in the right direction is by asking for legitimate feedback on the website, or websites, you’re currently working on. The best way of getting legitimate feedback is by asking your network of friends and family to give you an honest run down of their user experience when exploring your website. It can be hard to take onboard criticism, but realistically it’s the only way you will know what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong.
When asking people to give you feedback on your website, you’ll want to ask them questions similar to the ones you’ve considered yourself about websites you’ve enjoyed. You’ll want to know what they think about the visual style of the website, its functionality, whether or not it’s enjoyable to navigate and if they understand your web design decisions in relation to the objective of the website.
Once you have this feedback, you’ll know whether or not your learning efforts are heading in the right direction. You’ll also have a greater understanding of your strengths and weaknesses as a web designer, and therefore know where to focus your study efforts.
Web Design at Gorilla Marketing
However, Gorilla Marketing understands that learning web design is an enormous time commitment, and that many people out there don’t have the free-time in their schedule to devote the necessary time. That’s why Gorilla Marketing is renowned in Manchester and the northwest for providing a broadly encompassing and affordable Web Design package. So, if learning web design gets a bit too much, don’t hesitate to get in contact with the Gorilla Marketing team.