How to Get Into Web Design and Development

A flare for the creative is a good foundation to pursue a career in web development, the first step to a career in online marketing. Here are some tips to help get started:

Education

A college diploma is a must have to enter into web development. Courses should cover the following:

  • Web site development
  • Administration
  • Design
  • Web site design techniques
  • Web site management
  • Theoretical concepts
  • Practical applications
  • Web scripting languages such as HTML, XML, and JvaScript, PHP, ASP and AJAX
  • Photoshop
  • Flash
  • Fireworks
  • Dreamweaver

Appreciation of Design

Understanding the basics of the creative process and having a knowledge of leaders in design will enhance the appeal of potential web designers. Here is a list of recommended reading:

  • Universal Principles of Design by William Lidwell
  • The Design of Everyday Things by Donald A. Norman
  • Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug
  • 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People by Susan M. Weinschenk
  • HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites by Jon Duckett
  • The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst
  • The Grid – A Modular System for the Design and Production of Newspapers, Magazines, and Books by Allen Hurlbut
  • The Laws of Simplicity by John Maeda

Try it Out

There are many online opportunities to try explore design. A great start is blogger.com. This allows for practice posting blogs, using their design tools to get a feel for the creative process and see how it feels to be in the developers seat. Some other free sites to try:

Free Programs

There are also come great resources to download and sample some online programs. The first link below is a popular option and the second offers a list of the top 10 to try:

Taking the time to investigate some of the above options will help potential web designers become more familiar with the world of web development, get a feel for the design process and spend some time designing to see if it still feels like a good fit.