How to practice your web design skills - Six practical and useful ways

Master the art of Web Design: 6 steps to practice web design skills like a pro. Explore YouTube tutorials, online courses, critiques, volunteering, and more.

Hone your web design skills in 6 practical ways.

Starting a journey in web design can be challenging when you lack a portfolio of websites to refine your skills. Cultivating your web design abilities is crucial, especially if you're pursuing a career in the field. Before taking on real-world clients and projects, you must hone your craft. Here are six beginner-friendly ways to enhance your web design process:

Tip #1 - Watch Youtube videos and learn from experts

YouTube is an excellent resource for rapid web design knowledge acquisition. Experts share years of experience, teaching best practices and cautioning against pitfalls. Visual learners benefit from video tutorials, and subscribing to web design channels ensures you stay updated on the latest trends and technologies. Explore diverse channels, including mine, to broaden your expertise.

Here are some that I recommend:

  • Flux Academy - Ran Segall and the team are great in explaining web design fundamentals, visual hierarchy and key elements in your design process.
  • Payton Clark Smith is a great tutor who breaks down web design skills

Tip #2 - Consider Online Courses

While not mandatory, online courses can expedite skill development. They often come at a cost and may require scheduled commitments. If you seek programming skills, platforms like Codecademy offer self-paced courses. Coding is essential for certain web design branches. For structured education, consider YouTube for free lectures and lessons. I also recommend courses on Udemy that are absolutely great and come with an affordable pricing!

Tip #3 - Offer Constructive Design Critiques

Even if you consider yourself inexperienced, you can contribute positively to web design by providing feedback on others' work. A fresh perspective from a non-designer often yields less biased insights. Platforms like Reddit are ideal for giving and receiving feedback. Participate in weekly threads where designers share their work for constructive criticism, and you'll collectively enhance your design skills.

Also, if you join a Flux Academy course, you will be given access to a community that really helps you hone your design skills.

Tip #4 - Volunteer for Non-Profits

Benefit from giving back by offering your web design services to non-profits. Many organizations recognize the value of an effective website, providing a perfect opportunity for you to contribute while improving your skills. Websites like Catchafire, Charity Village (Canada) and Volunteer Match (US) feature requests from non-profits seeking volunteers. Regularly check these boards to secure a project that aligns with your portfolio.

Tip #5 - Delve into web design articles

The NN Group, renowned for its research-based expertise in User Experience (UX), offers a wealth of knowledge on web design. Focusing on user-centric design backed by research, they dive into critical aspects of web design. Learn how elements like sliders and carousels impact UX, and why proper form input design is essential for users. Explore topics like navigation, layout, fonts, and more. The insights you gain will empower you to create data-backed designs. I would also recommend Medium and Smashing Magazine.

Tip #6 - Craft Your Websites

Creating your websites is invaluable when practicing web design. To embark on a career in web design, you need a portfolio that showcases your abilities. Beyond showcasing past projects, your portfolio should tell your unique story, highlighting your skills, passions, and personality. Consider crafting websites for fictitious companies to expand your portfolio. Aim for at least six well-executed websites to present to potential employers or clients.

Read about how to construct a High-converting landing page for your online course or product here.

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