Five Best Paths For Learning Web Design (Part 1)

Posted on October 8, 2012 by
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The web development education has exploded from a minor niche in early 1990’s to a very powerful force. Web design is a major part of the industry and countless people want to learn how to design visually attractive websites. The increased competition in the web design industry is advantageous for web designers who look for employment as firms are hiring for more staff. When learning for anything new concerning web technologies, there are now more options than ever. This article will go ever five of different approaches being used to learn web design.

The trickiest part in the education process is to find the most effective learning process; this is also the case with web design. A quick search through popular search engines show that the Internet is bursting with free information about web design and development. The problem is not longer scarcity, instead overabundance. With so much information available to us, it is often difficult to even know where to begin. Before addressing this problem though, it is critically important to define which learning style is the most effective, which allows you to manage your resources better. If you have tried to learn something and failed, then this fact may ring true. When picking up new skills there are often a barrier between us and success.

Odds are, each individual personally have more success using specific approaches than others. This may boil down to your methodology. Professionals in the education industry long ago found that each student has unique learning styles. Some can only get a feel for something after they dig in with direct experiments, others absorb through reading while some are visual learners.

These are five different paths you may need to choose when learning web design.

1. School
Although many successful amateurs tend to focus on informal resources, such as the web and courses, they shouldn’t discount the real values of formal education. For starters, a community college and university degree can give web designers the needed boost to land a decent job. Degrees on web development are becoming more ubiquitous. If you live in a larger city, there’s a good chance that a major educational institution offer something related in this field. Every college or university worth its salt usually list web design degree in its official website, so it should be your first stop. Obviously a degree is typically the most expensive path available, but it can also be the most rewarding.

Choosing this educational path is obviously simple for those who recently graduated from high schools, but not so for others: If you have been working in the industry for some time and you are no longer a young adult anymore, it is often difficult to decide whether you need to get a degree. Will the difficult sacrifices pay off in the end? Often they do, but sometimes they don’t. If you currently don’t have a formal degree on web development or design, it is recommended that you get one. Potential clients and employers could appreciate the fact that you are willing to get through university without giving up.

If you have a degree, but not in web design, then you still have plenty of opportunity learning on your own; because web design industry values ability and experience over formal education. The easier way for you is to jump immediately into learning on your own and take a few low budget projects to kick off your new career. If you go this regularly enough, you would slowly move your way up the freelancing ladder. If you seriously think that the lack of proper degree is holding you back, you may need to get one. Otherwise, your time, resource and effort should be directed on real world experience. Picking up a few classes still allow you to get most educational material taught in college.

Whether you are going with a standard or an online degree, your learning method may incorporate a number of different styles. It is an unfortunate truth that self-guided learning process can be very difficult. Things can be far easier if people are pushing you to do it. You can get the unique advantage of school-based education when you’re in a real classroom with fellow students and an instructor present. School effectively leverages the stress factor to induce learning process. In fact, the trick works really well that contemporary education system is based on this premise. With schools, we have structured schedule, term projects, deadlines and homework. People either keep up or quickly drop out. In proper settings, you could learn plenty of stuff in a very short period of time. For many web designers, there’s no better way to do this than sticking to a formal class. Further, direct and in-person instructions is a very rich learning process that gives everyone the unique ability get assistance where they need it, often in form of short one-on-one conversations. In the real world, this could be something that’s nearly impossible and extremely difficult to get for free.

If your budget allows, school is recommended to learn in a structured way, which allows you to obtain face-to-face instruction and perform under pressure.

2. Reading
Under most forms of education, written instructions are sparks that lit the fire of curiosity. Many web design blogs started off with humble beginning and now they have risen to impressive heights. They are built on the success of an ancient information method for information dissemination: writings. Just a few decades ago, people had a trip to the bookstore or library when they want to learn about something. No matter what fancy technologies that will come along, reading will never go out of style. Most societies are now highly literate and consequently, many are choosing self-guided instruction through writing material. Reading may not be the most exciting or interactive way to go learn about web design, but for some reasons, it is still the most effective.

From an efficiency perspective, written learning instructions are hard to beat. Our average reading speed is usually much faster than our speaking speed. This way, we can grasp more information in a shorter time span than with verbal instructions. Also, written instructions usually go far deeper than other approaches. Web design books are often massive tomes that cover every aspect of the field and they are also fairly exhaustive.

Even if many web designers don’t want to read all-inclusive books, reading is still an unbeatable method. Web development blogs offer bite-sized learning opportunities that help web designers through every step of their career and keep their skill sets stay relevant and fresh. Unfortunately, if you are the type of people who regularly favor multimedia presentation, reading can be really boring. Deeper level of comprehension can be an even larger hurdle. If this is your problem, you shouldn’t be embarrassed though, the simple truth is that many people can’t grasp and retain information well through regular reading sessions. If you often find yourself dozing off when turning the pages of a web design book then reading might not be for you.

Web designers with a high level of retention and comprehension usually find written instructions appropriate. This learning option can fall on both extremes; reading is the quickest, shortest way possible to get the deepest, longest learning sessions. Written instructions on web design are also hand down the best way to get free education. Freelancers with almost non-existent budget often find web design blogs and other online resources very helpful. Although reading is the best learning method for the masses, you shouldn’t immediately think that there’s something wrong with it. If thick books bore or intimidate you, don’t waste your time in the library. Instead, look for richer learning methods that can help you move forward steadily.

Author :

  • Adam Scott