Web design is slowly taking over as one of the more profitable professions in the modern internet landscape, and so naturally a lot of people are trying to get into the field. A lot of new students are intimidated by the idea of getting started, though. Web design often requires learning new programs, and this can prove difficult for some. This article hopes to clarify what two years as a web design student usually looks like, and point out some useful programs you might pick up along the way.
What Should I Know by the End of My Program?
Most web design programs don’t start with a single program at all, at least not in the traditional sense. While web design tools like Adobe Dreamweaver are useful for experienced web developers, they do not effectively teach Web Design. Most programs will start you off with at least a year of learning web design the old-fashioned way.
HTML and CSS are the backbone markup and formatting languages for modern web design, with scripting languages like jQuery and PHP providing the interactive edge many new developers need to make their sites stand out. The first year of a web design program is typically designed to teach the basics of HTML and CSS, alongside scripting for user interactivity. Before you work with complex programs that handle a lot of the busywork for you, it’s important you understand how to do it yourself. Because of this, the first programs you’re likely to work with aren’t web design programs at all.
Every great web designer needs a text editor that is programming-friendly. For many Windows users, this winds up meaning a program like Notepad++, or other similar text editor.
Server emulation tools like XAMPP are also great choices for new students, allowing users to create virtual “web sites” without spending any money on domain names or web hosts. Most of these tools handle script processing and databasing, making them powerful for students and web developers looking to test their sites before they go live. A great program will introduce students to the tools they’ll actually need.
Streamlining the Process For Year Two
Once you understand the basics, it’s great to learn how to use tools like Dreamweaver to streamline web development. While some colleges pay for licenses with professional-grade software, many leave choice of program up to developers, and for good reason: you should pick the tools you’re most comfortable with. It’s commonly believed that getting into web design can be expensive because of the software, but there are many solutions that can help get work done for free.
Year two of a web design program is about working towards efficiency and learning the design process. Most new tools you pick up will reflect this desire to work towards the ultimate goal of creating content as fast as possible, while integrating scripts that make mobile development, user interaction, and functionality robust and fun.
There are a wide variety of tools out there, and because of that, there’s no definite answer as to what programs you’ll learn in an Associate’s Web Design Degree. That being said, rest assured that in any great program, you’ll pick up great tools that make web design as fast, simple, and approachable as possible. With the right programs backing you up, web design isn’t just easy, it’s fun.