So you want to be a web designer but don’t have a degree in web design. Can you still make it in this competitive field? The short answer is: yes, you can become a web designer without a degree.

There are many ways to get into web design without spending years and thousands of dollars on formal education. This guide will tackle the steps you need to take to become a web designer without a degree. It’s hard work but definitely worth it.

Web designers discussing project in How To Become a Web Designer Without a Degree

Understand What A Web Designer Is

A web designer’s job is to create visually appealing and effective layouts for web pages. This may involve designing the site’s overall look, as well as individual elements such as icons, banners, and other visual media.

A successful web designer has a strong understanding of layout principles, color theory, and typography. They must also be able to use various software programs to create their designs.

Most importantly, a web designer must understand their client’s needs and produce a design that meets those needs.

Web Designers VS Web Developers In How To Become a Web Designer Without a Degree

Difference Between Web Designers And Web Developers

There’s often a lot of confusion between web designers and web developers. People often think they’re the same thing, but there are quite a few differences between them.

Web Designer;

  • focused on the visual aspect of a website
  • concerned with things like layout, color schemes, and typography

Web Developer;

  • focused on the actual code that makes a website work
  • write the code that makes a website function
  • they’re responsible for things like security and performance

So, as you can see, we developers focus on the web development aspect. In contrast, web designers put all their attention on the visual elements. However, it does make a great portfolio if you have the skills to do both.

Conduct Research On The Role Of Web Designers

Anyone considering a career as a web designer should do their research before taking the plunge. It’s not enough to be familiar with HTML and CSS. A successful web designer needs to have a deep understanding of the latest trends and technologies. They must also know how to translate their vision into a functional and stylish website. 

You also need to have an understanding of both web design and computer programming. To be a successful web designer, staying up to date with the latest industry trends is essential. There are always new technologies and software being developed, so it is vital to be able to adapt to change.

The web design industry is increasing, so there are a lot of opportunities for those willing to do the work.

Code in How To Become a Web Designer Without a Degree

Learn HTML And CSS

Many think web designers only need to know how to use visual design tools like Photoshop and Illustrator. While it is true that these tools are essential for creating attractive web designs, they are not the only skills that web designers need.

In fact, learning HTML and CSS is necessary for anyone who wants to work in web design. Coding bootcamps have become increasingly popular in recent years as a way for people to learn the required programming languages.

However, even talented web designers who have attended these boot camps cannot create genuinely stunning websites without a good understanding of visual design principles. In other words, while HTML and CSS are essential for web designers, they are not the only skills needed.

There are a few free resources online that can help you, but they’ll only work if you have a learning mindset;

Master Web Designer Software

To become a web designer, you need more than just a basic understanding of design software. While it’s true that you will need to be proficient in web design tools, there is much more to the job than that.

A good web designer needs to know both web design’s technical and creative aspects. They must be able to create beautiful designs and ensure that those designs are compatible with the various browsers and devices that people use to access the internet. 

There are many different web design tools available. In fact, many web designers use these;

  • Adobe Photoshop – This is software that is used for creating visual designs.
  • Adobe Illustrator– This vector graphics editor creates logos, illustrations, and infographics.
  • Adobe XD– This is a user experience design tool used to prototype websites and apps.
  • Sketch– This vector drawing and animation software is used for designing user interfaces, icons, and illustrations.
  • InVision Studio– This screen design tool is used to prototype websites, apps, and animated graphics.
  • Figma– This vector graphics editor and animation software are used for designing user interfaces, icons, and illustrations.
  • GIMP – This cross-platform image editor is used for photo retouching, image composition, and logo design.
Talking Business In How To Become a Web Designer Without a Degree

Learn The Business Of Design

Graphic design, like all creative professions, operates within a business environment. That implies you may have abilities that lie outside the theoretical or practical teachings of a degree program that could help with your career.

Business development proposals, client negotiations, designing to briefs, and learning how design work is priced are just a few skills you will have to learn.

Talk With Other Web Designers

Most web designers have been through the same journey as you. They already know how hard it is to find clients, manage expectations, and get paid fairly for their work.

As a result, they’re often more than happy to share their experiences and advice with other designers. Talking with other web designers is a great way to learn more about the business of design.

You can get insights into pricing, client management, and freelancing that you might not find elsewhere. In addition, you can develop relationships with other designers that could lead to future collaborations or referral business.

So don’t be shy – reach out to other web designers and start learning from their experiences.

Talk To A Graphic Designer

A graphic designer helps you take your web design to the next level. By offering tips and tricks, a Graphic Designer can help you improve your overall design. For example, they may suggest adding more whitespace to your design to make it more user-friendly.

Or, they may recommend using a different typeface to make your text more readable. In addition, a Graphic Designer can also offer advice on how to use color and imagery more effectively. You can create a more professional and impactful web presence by leveraging their expertise.

Learn How To Copywrite

This may seem off-topic, yet a designer’s work extends beyond simply caring for the photos and creating items that appear aesthetically appealing. A fantastic designer knows how to write good copy and understands that excellent design is about connecting images, colors, and language.

Many online blogs and traditional design manuals are dedicated to writing for design, so learn the fundamentals and experiment. You can start by replacing that “Lorem Ipsum” text in future design drafts.

Color Theory in How To Become a Web Designer Without a Degree

Study Theory

As a web designer, it’s essential to have a solid understanding of color and design theories. 

Color Theory

By understanding the basics of color theory, you’ll be able to create more effective and visually appealing websites. The color wheel, the foundation of color theory, can assist you with this.

Color theory can help you to create harmonious color schemes for your websites. It can also help you avoid clashing colors that can be visually jarring for users.

Design Theory

If you want to improve your web design skills, it’s essential to learn about design theory. Design theory studies how design elements are used to create specific effects.

You’ll be able to create more effective and appealing designs. 

Graphic of user experience in How To Become a Web Designer Without a Degree

Be Aware Of The Importance Of User Experience

The goal of user experience design (often referred to as UX) is to create usable and pleasurable products. As a result, it incorporates aspects of branding and design wherever feasible.

You don’t have to become a UX designer. But this is an essential topic for designers to grasp since they will frequently work with web designers or application builders. They may expect designs to convey critical ideas such as designing for screens, eliciting emotional responses, and ease of use.

Web Designers working In How To Become a Web Designer Without a Degree

Take Time To Specialise

There are different web designers, each specializing in a separate area. For example, some web designers focus on creating the visual design of a website. In contrast, others may specialize in coding or programming.

Still, others may focus on user experience or user interface design. While it’s feasible to be a jack of all trades regarding web design, specializing in one area may be more beneficial. There are many types of web designers:

Front-End Designers

These designers focus on the look and feel of a website. They are responsible for a website’s design, layout, color scheme, and typography. Front-end designers use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to code their designs.

Back-End Designers

These designers focus on the functionality of a website. They are responsible for a website’s database, server, and security. Back-end designers use PHP, MySQL, and Apache to code their designs.

Full-Stack Designers

Full-Stack designers use HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, MySQL, and Apache to code their designs. They also work with both the front-end and back-end of a website. 

User Experience (UX) Designers

Web designers who focus on the entire website experience are known as “UX” (or user experience) design professionals. They’re responsible for a website’s layout, structure, and navigation. UX designers use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to construct their designs.

User Interface (UI) Designers

Website designers are in charge of the visual design of a site. They’re in order of color choice, typeface, and overall graphic design for a website. UI designers program their plans using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Interaction Designers

These designers focus on the way users interact with a website. They are responsible for the user flow, micro-interactions, and overall experience of a website. Interaction designers use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to code their designs.

An image of a portfolio in How To Become a Web Designer Without a Degree

Create A Portfolio

A portfolio website is a site that explicitly features your design work, acting as an online portfolio. If you talk to a professional web designer, the first thing they’ll tell you to do is build your own website.

As a freelance web designer, the best way to showcase your work and attract potential clients is to have a portfolio website. Most freelance web designers do this, which helps bring more freelance work.

Benefits of A Web Designer Portfolio

  • you can show off your structure creation
  • display your own projects
  • provides freelance opportunities
  • helps you to advance in your new career path
  • show potential clients your design process
  • attract other professionals
  • talk about your web design journey and progressGuy googling on tablet in How To Become a Web Designer Without a Degree

Essential Resources For Potential Web Designers

Anyone interested in web design should be prepared to take the time and effort to learn the necessary skills. However, the learning process can be much less daunting with the right resources.

Here are some critical resources and free online courses for potential web designers:

Another awesome resource for web designers is our other article, How to Unblock Websites: 5 Best Website Unblocker for Students and Businesses.

With the passion and drive to learn all of these things, there’s no reason why you can’t become a web designer. It won’t be easy, but you can make your dreams a reality with hard work and determination. So, are you ready to get started?

Questions and Answers

How to know if you have the potential to be a web designer even if you don’t have a degree?

It’s not about having a design degree or taking a course in web design. It’s more about having the ability to look at something and figure out how it works, and then being able to recreate that on your computer.

Most people have the potential to be web designers if they put their mind to it.

What are some of the most common mistakes people make when starting out in web design?

The most common mistakes people make when starting out in web development are not starting with the basics, not planning ahead, and not doing further research.

Should you get a degree in web design or can I learn on my own?

It really depends on what you want to get out of a web design degree. If you want to learn the basics and some advanced techniques, then you can definitely learn on your own. However, if you want to be able to design and build complete websites from scratch, then a degree is definitely worth it.