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Web designers design and create websites. While this may sound relatively simple, there is actually more to a website than the way it looks. Web designers may create the template, layout and "look" of a site. In addition, they are also generally responsible for behind-the-scenes elements of the site, such as the way the site performs or the amount of traffic it can handle.

Previously, web designers knew their sites would be read on desktop or laptop computers. Often times now there may be more than one version of the same website in order to ensure compatibility with platforms like smartphones and tablets. Beyond the technical proficiencies, however, web designers must be creative thinkers to create websites that are attractive and intuitive to navigate.

Online web design course structure

Since web designers likely spend a considerable amount of time on the internet already, taking web design coursework online may be a natural fit for students on the web design route. Students enrolled in these technical training programs can expect to take a wide variety of coursework as part of the standard curriculum, including:

  • Programming and markup languages like HTML5, XHTML, CSS, JavaScript, Ajax, multimedia, HTTP
  • Principles of visual and information design
  • Graphics editing applications like Adobe Photoshop
  • Information technology and database management
  • Web analytics, marketing and search engine optimization (SEO)

Information and examples about relevant web design concepts may be given. According to a review of the curricula for several web design classes, students typically apply that knowledge by creating websites and other projects during the course. They may work independently or in teams to complete projects.

Types of online web design courses

The software tools used by web designers do come with instructions, and many online resources exist for those interested in these topics. Additionally, courses may also be available from online learning services like Coursera or even YouTube videos. Even experienced web designers may refer to such resources when they have a specific question or issue to resolve

Online courses offered by traditional universities, however, are likely to cover the core concepts and skills most likely to be used by web designers. Such courses are also likely to use each lesson or project as the basis for the next, walking students through the entire process from start to finish. Beginners who want to learn web design may appreciate this step-by-step approach to this complex and constantly evolving topic.

Sources

"Web Technologies Certificate," Harvard Extension School, 7/28/2014, http://www.extension.harvard.edu/professional-certificates/web-technologies-certificate

"Certificate in Web Design," University of Washington Professional & Continuing Education, 7/28/2014, http://www.pce.uw.edu/certificates/web-design.html

"SMU Website Design Certificate Program Details," SMU Continuing and Professional Education, 7/28/2014,http://www.smu.edu/CAPE/ProfessionalDevelopment/CertificatePrograms/WebDesign/ProgramDetails

"Web Design and Development," UNM Continuing Education, 7/28/2014,[http://ce.unm.edu/professional/digital-arts/web-design.php

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