A level results are out and a lot of you are about to start the next chapter of your lives, venturing off to University or Internships at the beginning of September. Many of us here at Thunderbolt Digital were once students in a similar position, and thought this would be a good time to pass down some advice to up-and-coming web design students. So we put our heads together in our office here in Farnham, Surrey and came up with our Top 10 Tips Every Web Design Student Needs to Know, to help prepare you for the next 3-4 years of your life.
1. Name your Layers
As you progress with your studies, your designs will start becoming more complex (in line with your ever-growing creative flair). A resulting factor of this will be an abundance of layers in your psd and ai files. So now is the time to start naming each layer, which will make edits quick and easy and help you stay more organised.
2. Use Groups
Following on from our previous tip, utilising the groups function in Photoshop and Illustrator will also help you stay organised. Separating each layer into groups for each section of your web design, and giving them appropriate names such as “image slider” and “navigation” will help you stay on top of your designs, making them easy to manage and edit.
3. Think Like A Developer
Although it may be hard at first, to able to succeed in web design, being able to think like a web developer is a must. Coming up with inspirational and innovative web designs is obviously crucial too, but understanding whether or not it can be implemented and built onto a site is what separates good web designers from great web designers. Learning basic HTML and CSS can go long way, and you’ll soon find that you’ll begin to flourish, progressing as a web designer.
There will be times where it will feel like you have lost all your inspiration. However, the Internet is a brilliant tool to combat this, providing you with a tremendous back catalogue of web design examples. With websites and blogs scattered across the web, finding inspiration is only a click away. This leads us onto our next tip.
5. Keep Up With The Latest Trends
Although the Internet has commercially been around for over 20 years, web design and web development are still in their early stages. With new styles and techniques being introduced every day, it is important to keep up with all the latest design trends. Subscribing to blogs, following people on Twitter, liking Facebook pages, and joining Facebook groups will ensure that you don’t miss a thing, and help keep your inspiration afloat. A tool like Buzzsumo is brilliant for this, letting you search the entire web for the latest news and the top influencers.
6. Back Up Your Work
Being a digital agency, our team is filled with tech lovers, however it can be a pain sometimes with units overheating or crashing unexpectedly. That’s why it is always important to back up your work, so you are always safe. Cloud services such as DropBox and Google Drive are amazing for this, letting you access your web designs anywhere, on any device, and makes misplacing a USB the thing of the past.
7. Use Post It Notes
You will come to realise that post it notes are your best friends. Even today, with the huge amount of tech devices and apps at our fingertips, one trip round our office and you’ll see post it notes scattered across our teams’ Macs and desks. By writing down page sizes, hex codes, fonts etc., you’ll be able to manage, remember and stay on top of your web designs.
Although it is important to conform to different modes of web design, developing your own style is a must. Being able to design a website in different styles is imperative, but being able to add your own unique creative flair is what will separate you from others; and whether you start working for an agency or decide to go freelance, you will be able to stand out from the crowd.
As the old saying goes, practice makes perfect. To be not just a good web designer, but also a brilliant one, you will need to practise. Whether it’s through each course project or in your own time, practising your craft will ensure that you ultimately succeed in web design. Knowing the specifics of each piece of software, different techniques, styles, and formats will help you to become a superb web designer.
10. Less Is More
Our last tip is to remember that less is more. Some of the best, most unique websites out there employ some of the simplest designs. Designing a website which not only looks great but also provides a good user experience is your main goal. So making sure your web designs are practical and aesthetically pleasing can help you thrive in this industry.
We hope you have found our list of Top 10 Tips Every Web Design Student Needs To Know fun and interesting. From everyone here at Thunderbolt, we wish you all the best in the next chapter of your life.
P.S. You’re going to love it.
Thunderbolt Digital is a fully functioning digital agency based in Farnham, offering top-tier web design and online marketing services for business located in Surrey, Hampshire, and Berkshire. If you are interested in a web design, digital marketing, a logo design, or an online video please drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us on 01252 413757 – we’d love to discuss your digital needs over a cup of coffee or tea.
Stock Images downloaded from Pixabay