Schools Training

What You Learn in Good Web Design Courses

19 DEC 2012
Career Path : Computers and Technology

Good websites mean more than learning the ins and outs of HTML, CSS and web design software. Good web design courses will also teach you graphic design fundamentals, principals of usability, search engine optimization (SEO) know-how and other skills to make your websites come alive.


Graphic Design

The graphic in graphic design does not just refer to image files, but also developing an eye for layout, colour theory and type face. A program of web design courses will usually include at least an introduction to these subjects, key to avoiding some of the more lamentable design decisions of the early web, but as the web develops these become increasingly essential.  What you see is what you get (WYSIWYG) editors have become a standard part of your toolkit, requiring less emphasis on code placement and putting the focus increasingly on look and less on fiddling around with code.



It’s not enough for a website to look good; it must also have a logical flow and structure and allow users to rapidly find the content they are looking for. Though the trend for superfluous animations has past, web designers still make the mistake of trying to cram everything they learned in their computer courses, for excessive features, or neglect intuitive, well labelled interfaces. Essential features should be easy to find for a user skimming the page rapidly, and content should sit at a balance between too much, blinding users with walls of text, or two little, requiring excessive click throughs.


Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

This set of buzzwords are often repeated but seldom properly understood, not helped by the changing face of web search. Major browser search engines allow for certain decisions in page design to contribute or detract from page rank on a search engine’s displayed results. For example having both a static home page and an internal URL splits the ranking gains between two locations. Web design courses now teach correct use and placement of keywords, tags and the right kind of content.


Keeping up With Web Trends

Blink and you will see a complete sea change. Social media, participatory web use, also known as web 2.0, and so on, are the user visible side of things, but at the back end, a good web design program at a career or computer college will also teach you how to use the latest in software and language trends. For example blogging engines, once simply a means for delivering the expected posts from a blogger, are now quietly serving as the easy to edit, easy to update scaffold that lets users who aren’t necessarily fully trained web experts make simple page changes. There’s always been a need to keep up with the latest browsers while keeping up with backwards compatibility, but web designers must wrangle a half dozen browsers and now, as smartphones become the norm, new ground is being broken on the mobile web.



Visit Oulton College for more information on computer courses.