31 Ways to Improve Your Web Design Skills

Web design is such a fun field to be in and there is always something to learn. That's why we're going to look at 31 ways you can continue to improve your learn web design skills overtime and how you can do so in a way that is both fun and productive. 

So without further ado, here we go... 

#1 Decide on your path

This is number one for a reason. Far too many web designers spend months and even years Learning as much as he possibly can. The problem is when you are not clear on what you want to do with my design and the type of clients you want to work with, you have no way  to decide what to learn and what to not worry about.

So you can literally spend months and months learning something you won't not end up needing can you role as a web designer. And before starting to learn different aspects of web design, first understand how it's going to help you accomplish your goals (and your client’s accomplish theirs) or you could spend next to forever trying to learn it all when you don’t need to learn it all. 

#2 Offer to work on a friend, family or colleagues website to learn as you go

Check in with your friends, family, colleagues or anyone else you know  and let them know you were working on improving your web design skills. See if anyone has a website that they need help with an offer to help out.  There is nothing better than actual live experience.

#3 Start a website

There is absolutely nothing better you can do to improve your web design skills then to practice on an actual website. Skip trying to ask friends, family for working for clients for free and start your own website. This could be around a hobby you have, something you are interested in or a need that you see.

This could even turn into something profitable for you down the road but your goal at the beginning is to Simply practice and improve your web design skills.

#4 Take a class online

There are so many great places to take online web design classes. Some classes will just discuss Theory all others will give you Hands-On practice assignment to improve your skills.

Here are some excellent web design courses to get you started:

#5 Play with a few of the top page builders to see if you prefer building websites without learning to code - and get really good at it

So many new web designers feel overwhelmed by starting because they believe that learning to code is essential to web design. Luckily there are so many amazing page builders that allow you to build professional and unique websites without ever learning to code.

Some of the most popular page builders are:

#6 If you determine you do want to learn to code, create a plan to learn your code of choice

Going back to our very first point here, you do want to learn to code that doesn't mean you need to learn all code. Just start with the code that you will most use which is going to be based on what you will be building in who you be working with.

Some of the most common coding languages you may consider are:

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • PHP
  • Javascript
  • jQuery

#7 Replicate websites

A really fun way to  improve your web design skills is to identify existing website that you would really like to learn how to build. Start investigating all these websites are built, what tools are even plugins are used and work to replicate the website as closely as possible. This will really test your skills and help you become a great troubleshooter.

#8 Get familiar with top tools and resources

There are so many great tools and resources that are available today that it can be hard to keep up. at a minimum you want to know where to find and access tools may need as you build websites. You can even reserve a little bit of time each week to review these and become more familiar with how they work. 

#9 Redesign an existing website

Another fun option, which doesn't tend to be as complex as replicating website, is to find an existing website and redesign it. This is a great way to put together some before and after shots even if you don't have clients.

If you’re up for it, reach out to the owner of the website and show them what you have done.

#10 Look at a lot of websites

Spend time looking at other websites. When you come across websites that you like, dig a little deeper into What specifically you like. This will help you pick out specific elements of a website that stand out to you that may help Inspire your future designs.

To take it a step further, ask yourself what about the website makes it effective meaning what elements of the website help it to reach its desired result (more email subscribers, phone calls, form fills, purchases, donations, etc.)

Some great places for inspiration include:

#11 Study conversion rate optimization

Why? Well, conversion is the entire purpose of web design. Every website has a purpose and your job is to help the website reach its purpose. Common goals / purpose are to:

  • Gain email subscribers
  • Receive more phone calls
  • More ‘get a quote’ form completions
  • More products purchased
  • More appointments booked

Conversion rate optimization looks at how to get more site visitors to take the desired action.

#12 Understand screen sizes

As a mobile responsiveness is no doubt the norm these days, it's important to understand how to design a website for various sizes. 

Many page builders give web designers easy ways to view the website they are creating on tablet and phones, however, it is still helpful to understand these design fundamentals

#13 Create wireframes

Creating wireframes will help you make sure to focus on core elements and what will help website owners achieve their goals and not just a pretty website. It's easy to create wireframes with:

Looking for More Wireframe & Other Web Design Tools? Check This Ultimate List

#14 Understand the basics of SEO

Taking the time to understand at least basic search engine optimization can be very valuable for the websites you work on.  Even if you do not perform SEO, this ensures that you are setting up the website to be SEO-friendly and will make the job of the SEO a lot easier.  Understanding basic scl and also help separate you from the other web designers out there.

READ NOW: 23 SEO Tips All Web Designers Should Know

#15 Join a community of web designers

One of the greatest parts of web design is that you can do the work from anywhere in the world. At the same time, one of the hardest parts of web design is that it can be very lonely.

There is nothing better than being able to connect with a group, community or even a mentor to work with or alongside of. So if you’ve been doing web design alone, reach out and start connecting with others in the community.

#16 Listen to web design podcasts

Most people who are learning web design are doing so well working another job or serving a lot of clients and it can be hard to find the time to improve your web design skills.

A great way to do this is to listen to web design podcast while you are on the go.  This allows you to consume great information while you are commuting, on a walk, at the gym or otherwise out and about.

#17 Watch YouTube channels for web designers

Alternatively, you can follow some great web design YouTube channels that will help you to improve your skills. If you're short on time, you can watch a video while exercising, on a walk, preparing dinner or doing something low-key that allows you to watch a video at the same time.

#18 Learn to love fonts

If you're not already into fonts, Understanding fonts and how they go together on a website is a very helpful skill as a web designer. Don't forget you can always use Google fonts to help you. 

This website is also helpful for pairing funds together quickly.

#19 Work on a website with another web designer

It can take a bit of time to build up your confidence as a web designer. As I've mentioned it can get a little lonely working on web design by yourself so a good way to build up some confidence I'm staying in touch with others is to work on a website with another aspiring or even experienced web designer.

There's something about knowing if there are any problems that come up, you'll be able to tackle them with another person, that can offer a bit of comfort.

#20 Ask others for constructive feedback

Always ask others for constructive feedback on your work. Notice I didn't say feedback but rather constructive feedback. This is the difference between receiving feedback like “ it looks great,” or “ nice job” and “ overall the layout flows very nicely and my eyes are drawn to click on the green button. I do find this image distracting and I'm not sure why my eyes being called there.”

So in order to receive constructive feedback there are two rules:

#1 Don't ask your mom for feedback

#2  don't just say what do you think? Ask for specific feedback

#21 Learn how to optimize images

Large, unoptimized images can really slow down the speed of a website. Learning how to correctly size and optimize images using simple tools or websites like Compress JPEG will really help. 

Take some extra time as well to learn about the different types of images  so you will know when to use what type of image.  So for example, a JPEG image is better to use than a PNG image on a website when possible.

#22 Understand the meaning of different colors

Every color and color combination have different meanings. As a web designer it is important to understand what type of feeling the website should have when a site visitor comes to the site. This should come from the overall goals of the website. 

#23 Learn how to transfer a website

At  the end of every web design project you will be transferring the website files and database to make it live. It is really helpful to know how to do this on your own so you do not need to rely on a developer to do it for you.

As an even better option, you can use Flywheel so you never have to worry about transferring files.

#24 Learn how to write good copy

The copy of a website is extremely important. It's the coffee that increases website conversion. It's the copy that converts website visitors into leads and sales.

#25 Learn how to set-up a staging website

Has a web designer you will often be working to redesign an existing website or evening changing design elements on a live website. It's never a good idea to work on a live website which is why it's a good idea to understand how to set up a staging site so that you can work on the website without affecting the live version.

This helps you work out any issues before the new updates go live. Many web hosting packages will make this available to you while others do not so it's a good idea to see if your web host has this ability already.

#26 Follow web design blogs

Do what you're doing now and follow great web design blog that focus not only on web design itself but improving your skills and business.

#27 Read books

There are so many great web design books available to read. Now more than ever you have well-written books that give you real examples to help explain what you need to know. Web Design with HTML, CSS, JavaScript & jQuery Set by Jon Duckett is a great one to start with. 

#28 Communication

Communication is an unbelievably important skill every web designer really needs to have. From clients to developers to SEOs and others, you'll need to be able to communicate effectively with a number of different people to keep a project running smoothly.

Well most web designers look at design specific skills, this is one of the most important skills you can develop.

#29 Collaboration

While it can feel like you are working on your own, web desighon doesn't often work in isolation. It's important to learn to collaborate with others such as web developers for example.

While it can seem as simple as just talking to someone, the more you collaborate with others in different fields, the more you will learn about what questions to ask them, what they will need from you, how to make their job easier and so on. Again, this is one of those skills that will help keep projects running as efficiently (and as profitably) as possible. 

#30 Understand Website User Behavior

Seeing how website visitors use a website is extremely helpful in strategically designing a website. Using a tool like Hotjar will allow you to view website heatmaps to see where most visitors are focusing on any given webpage. You’ll be able to collect and analyze feedback which will help you design a website that turns more visitors into leads and customers.

#31 A/B split testing

While we all think we have the greatest designs there are, it's the designs that help a business meet its goals that are the best. this is why it is such a great reason to always be testing your designs and optimizing them for maximum performance.

For instance if you are using Thrive Themes, you are able to test your designs from within your WordPress dashboard. 

Focused Learning

With so much information out there, Make sure to focus on what is actually going to help you improve the skill area you are most focused on learning. That assigned specific time on your calendar where you will be able to do nothing but learn.

As you go through the week and find resources that you'd like to look at, simply note them down and you can revisit them during your scheduled learning time. This way you don't waste any time during the week burning when you can't take action on it.

Remember most of learning comes from actually doing, not just reading. So spend at least 70% of your time practicing your skills and building websites, and the other 30% reading and acquiring information.

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