A career as a web designer from scratch to…

P.S. Free advice for those who came looking for a video course – stop watching this kind of crap.

I often get asked – how to become a web designer if… and they write a lot of incredible reasons, which, in their opinion, prevent the disclosure of “creative potential”. All of this is pure bullshit that I try not to respond to at all.

Believe me, your age, financial situation and gender identity, by and large, are of no particular interest to anyone. But the absence of obvious mental deviations can even be recorded as a plus.

Higher education, in most cases, also will not be your true ally. Instead of wasting your own time, you should concentrate on more important things, such as getting good practical experience in interface development and teamwork.

About the internship

There are three basic stages of development of the average web designer. But some aspiring designers add another step to their career ladder – an internship.

In my opinion, an internship is a trivial insecurity that turns into a great opportunity for an employer to manipulate your potential income.

As a rule, the duties of an intern and a junior designer are not much different. But in terms of money the difference reaches more than 50%.

Junior designer

The career path of most designers begins with this position. With a meager portfolio, without much experience, you can’t count on anything else.

A junior (technical) designer is a person on the run. Fetch, serve, go to #u& do not interfere – these are his main tasks for the next year.

Therefore, it is extremely important for a junior designer to choose the right company where he/she can grow and develop in order to move to the next professional stage. There is no need to go into startups, large corporations, or worse, freelancing.


Mainly rendering minor interior pages, banners, icons, and cases.

Minimum Skills.

  • Demonstrated proficiency in Photoshop or Sketch 3
  • Basic understanding of web design basics (modular grid, color, fonts, etc.)
  • Basic knowledge of UX and desire to make user-friendly interfaces
  • Basic skill to search references
  • Ability to listen and most importantly hear
  • Not afraid to ask questions and seek answers yourself

How to get a position

Before you send tons of waste paper to the selected studios, you need to have a minimal, but high-quality portfolio. 3-5 works, 4 layouts for each, will be quite enough.

They can be either freelance, or made for a fictional company – it’s almost the same thing 🙂 You also need to remember that the main thing in the portfolio is not pretty pictures, but a voluminous and meaningful text. Describe in detail what were the challenges for each company, what problems arose during the development, how you were able to solve these problems and how you see the further development of your interface.

What to read

  • Steve Krug’s book, or “Don’t Make Me Think!”
  • Design Not for Designers, Robin Williams
  • The Art of Form, Johannes Itten

Many of the books are no longer on sale, but I think you can easily google the solution to this problem 🙂


An ordinary designer with ordinary experience, alternately riveting, then a masterpiece layout, and then outright crap.

At this stage, you need to pay close attention to personal and professional growth, because ambitions are far ahead, but in fact there is a strict mismatch between the declared and actual abilities.


In startups and large companies, a full cycle of rendering both primary and secondary pages. In the studio there will probably be no such lafa, if only on minor projects.

Minimum skills

  • Good teamwork skills
  • Advanced knowledge of UX and designing usable user interfaces
  • Understanding of the nature of your work
  • Ability to propose and implement your own ideas into interfaces
  • Good prototyping skills
  • Ability to defend own point of view and reject it
  • Good HTML/CSS layout skills
  • Ability to set and meet deadlines

How to get a position

If you’re comfortable working in a studio, the most obvious thing to do is talk to your direct supervisor. But jumping from 40 thousand to 80 thousand you are unlikely to succeed. Therefore, if the material issue is particularly acute – it is better to change the deployment.

Portfolio you already have. It remains to competently compose a resume and go through all stages of interviews.

What to Read

  • About Interface, Alan Cooper
  • Interface: new directions in computer systems design, Jeff Raskin
  • Turning Point. How small changes lead to global change, Malcolm Gladwell
  • 18 Minutes, Peter Bregman
  • How to build self-confidence and influence people by speaking in public, Dale Carnegie

Many of the books are no longer available, but I think you can easily Google the solution to this problem 🙂

Leading Designer

A professional who knows what he does, how he does it, and why he does it. Does not ask unnecessary questions or need strict supervision.


Designing and rendering thoughtful and complex interface solutions. Working closely with managers, developers, testers, analysts, and any other people responsible for a particular project.

Minimum Skills

  • Ability to express your thoughts correctly.
  • Ability to find several ways of solving a problem
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Good skills in developing complex interfaces
  • How to get a job
  • quit your previous job and get a new one 🙂

What to read

  • The Human Factor. Successful projects and teams, Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister
  • Deadline. A novel about project management, Tom DeMarco
  • Designing Web Interfaces, Bill Scott and Teresa Neil

Many of the books are no longer available, but I think you can easily google the solution to this problem 🙂

In conclusion

A career as a web designer is not built on nothing, but you don’t have to make titanic efforts either. The quality of your designs, and therefore the amount you pay, is not influenced by your natural talent, but by your experience and ability to find correct and elegant interface solutions.