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Beginner’s Guide to Web Design

Take a moment to think of some of your favorite websites to visit. The content they contain probably varies widely, but the reasons you enjoy them likely overlap.

 They’re likely visually appealing and have an intuitive layout that makes it easy to interact and browse throughout the site. All of these components are there thanks to a skillful web designer. Here, we’ll break down the three components of web design: coding, user experience, and user interface (UI) design. 

The field of web design offers a broad range of careers that can take you down many different paths depending on your level of experience and preferences. The good news is that experience in web design generally leads to a high level of job security; having an appealing online presence is a crucial element to the success of any business in today’s digital world. 


The ultimate goal of a web designer’s work is to create an appealing, accessible, and intuitive website. But there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes to make this happen. Designing a web page starts with knowing how to code. You can think of coding as the way we communicate with computers to get them to do what we want. There are a lot of different programming languages out there that are used for web design. Here are a few of the most common, along with what makes them useful in web design:

  • JavaScript: JavaScript is the most commonly used programming language worldwide. It is a versatile language with the capability to program the server and the client ends of web pages. It is also fairly easy to learn. Because it is so popular, it is updated regularly to maximize its potential and the strong community of users allows for easy access to support when troubleshooting is needed. On the other hand, many programmers struggle with JavaScript for larger projects because the code can become unwieldy.

  • Python: Similar to JavaScript, Python is popular for web design because of its versatility and ease of use. This allows it to work well when embedded into other programming languages. Python also contains a huge set of libraries that can be used to build a tremendous variety of websites, mobile applications, and games. One of the primary limitations of Python is its comparatively slow execution speed; the code is executed line by line, which takes more time than other languages.

  • HTML: This language is common in web design because it is supported by every major web browser (Safari, Edge, Chrome, Firefox, and more). If you want to build a website, you’re going to need HTML. However, using HTML alone doesn’t make for a very appealing website; it has to be used alongside other languages to create interactive pages. 


This seemingly random group of letters appears frequently when discussing web design, but what do they mean? They stand for User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI). While both positions contribute to the overall look and feel of a finished website, they describe two vastly different aspects of web design. 

UX describes how people relate to the products they use. UX design aims to improve the user experience by creating products and websites that people will want to use again and again. Successful UX design is done by conducting a great deal of research to discover what consumers are looking for and understand why certain things haven’t worked well in the past. Great UX displays important information in a concise way that is easily understood. For example, the process of booking an Airbnb is considered good UX design; it displays available properties along with their prices on a map so you can easily see where the spots in your budget are located. 

UI is more concerned with how a digital design looks. It requires knowledge in areas like typography, color theory, and layout/composition. The best interface experiences will be intuitive and consistent across all pages of a website. Perhaps Joel Spolsky, the creator of Trello, said it best: “A user interface is well-designed when the program behaves exactly how the user thought it would.” These concepts can sometimes be difficult to explain, but you probably can recognize successful UI when you see it. For instance, the meditation website Headspace is highly customizable to ensure it is accessible to everybody who visits the page. Users can change things like the size of the text and the color of the icons depending on their individual needs. 

Learn Web Design with Career Centers

If you’re curious about becoming a web designer, getting a few classes under your belt is a great way to start. Noble Desktop, a partner program of Career Centers, offers several web design courses. To encourage each student to reach their maximum potential, this school is committed to small class sizes whether you choose to learn in-person or online. Noble also offers free course retakes within one year to further ensure that the information you learn is retained. 

Noble Desktop has shorter courses available that cover specific aspects of web design. For example, there is a Web Development with HTML & CSS class to help beginners learn to code basic web pages. There is also an Adobe XD Bootcamp and a Sketch Bootcamp to learn to create appealing visual designs for your site. Noble Desktop also has some more intensive certification programs available. They offer a UX & UI Design Certificate and a Web Design Certificate. Both courses help students create robust portfolios of their work to help them in their job search. 

Learn more in these courses

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