Here’s a question for you: what’s highly informative, probably numbers more than 1 billion, and something you would most probably look at every day if you use the internet? Here’s a hint: if you’re reading this article, the answer’s literally right in front of you!
Stop the timer! Did we hear someone say “websites”? Because if you did, you’re absolutely right (no prizes for guessing, though; that was a very obvious one!). Sir Tim Berners-Lee introduced the world to the World Wide Web in 1989 and there’s just been no looking back ever since! Websites have played host to a whole range of things creepy, funny, good and bad, from the dark web to viral cat videos.
Luckily, online learning platforms are one of the best things to come off the internet. Conceptualized in the last decade, these websites provided users a chance to study any subject they wanted by offering mostly free quality courses. All anyone needed, apart from a thirst to learn, was a good internet connection. These courses, called MOOCs (massive open online courses) evolved over the years to the extent of being recognized as qualifications by potential employers and even being equivalent to traditional college degrees.
But wait, why all this discussion about the internet and websites, you may wonder. Well, if you haven’t read the title of our article, allow us to reiterate. We’re giving you the 411 on the best online courses for web design. Whether you want to enter this highly lucrative field as a professional or are just curious about web design, you’re sure to find a course here.
Apart from being as common as the common cold (sorry, not sorry), websites serve important purposes the world over, especially to businesses and entrepreneurs, regardless of whether they’re big, small, established or newbies in the market. Websites define your online presence because it’s what potential customers are going to judge you based on. And first impressions, best impressions, right?
Websites also help in other ways, such as going a long way in helping your SEO strategy and ensuring your online visibility. It also shows your customers how much you value them and helps you gain their trust. A well-designed website will also give you a competitive edge in the market like nothing else!
If you’re wondering what’s in it for the designer, the web design industry is expected to grow 6% in 2019 alone, generating an income of $38 billion. This means nearly 144,000 new requirements for web designers as well as a possibility of earning up to $78,000 a year for web-designing services. Got your attention, yet?
Now that we’ve given you an idea of why web design is important, let’s talk courses. Here are some of the best online courses for web design.
Top 4 Best Online Web Design Courses
These are the best online courses for web design, all thoroughly reviewed to ensure that you find the perfect one for your needs and skill level. Let’s take a look!
Web Design for Everybody (Basics of Web Development and Coding) Specialization – University of Michigan
The course, which takes around 3 months for completion, provides the following courses:
- Introduction to HTML5
- Introduction to CSS3
- Advanced Styling with Responsive Design
- “Web Design for Everybody” Capstone
Offered by the University of Michigan, the course is taught by lecturers of the university’s School of Information: Colleen van Lent and Charles Russell Severance. Being a Specialization course, users need to pay a monthly subscription (between $39 to $89) to access the course materials, though a 7-day free trial is also provided during which users can preview the course material. However, the individual courses in the Specialization itself are free of cost. Users can either opt to do the Specialization sequentially or choose one on their own to start.
Web Design: Strategy and Information Architecture – California Institute of the Arts
The “Web Design: Strategy and Information Architecture” course is the third course of four offered in the UI/UX Specialization that Coursera offers. Focused on teaching students about the challenges of UX research in the initial stages, planning and setting goals, understanding the target audience and catering to them through their web design, this course is aimed at intermediate-level students who already have a basic knowledge of UI/UX and some amount of experience in back and front-end web development. Post completion of this course, students should be able to develop their own interactive media, such as games and mobile applications.
Since this course picks up from where the previous one stops, students should consider doing the previous two courses of the Specialization for maximum benefit, as well as the course that follows this one. The free course, which takes approximately 28 hours to complete, uses the following syllabus through its 4-week duration:
- Week 1: Course Overview and The User Experience Process
- Week 2: Asking Good Questions: Determining Strategy
- Week 3: What Is in and What Is Out: Outlining Scope
- Week 4: Getting your Ducks in a Row: The Sitemap
The course, by the California Institute of the Arts, is taught by their visiting faculty Roman Jaster.
Web Design: Wireframes to Prototypes – California Institute of the Arts
This course follows the previous one and is thus, the 4th course in Coursera’s UI/UX Specialization program. It focuses on applying research to creating user interfaces. Again an offering for the same audience as the “Web Design: Strategy and Information Architecture” course, students looking to earn a certificate must complete both courses in order to do so.
Offering skill-based and practical instruction to students, this course requires at least 35 hours to complete. The free course (chargeable if you want a verified certificate, just like all other free courses on Coursera) provides the following modules in its 4-week structure:
- Week 1: Course Overview and Not Getting Caught Up in the Details: Wireframes (2 different lessons)
- Week 2: Finally, Make It Beautiful: The Mockup Phase
- Week 3: An Excursion to Codelandia
- Week 4: Putting It All Together: Final Presentation
This course is also taught by Roman Jaster.
Responsive Web Design – University of London
The penultimate course on our list is the second course of the “Responsive Website Development and Design Specialization” offered by Coursera. In this course, students will learn and apply principles of interaction design and human-computer interaction to build a website, including adding navigation, elements of design and responsive grid layouts. The course requires students to complete assignments in website design and programming and take their 4 quizzes to successfully complete the course and earn a certificate.
The 4-week 17-hour course provides the following modules to students:
- Week 1: Responsive Web Design: Course Overview and Web Design Principles (2 different lessons)
- Week 2: Realising Design Principles in Code
- Week 3: Adding Content to Websites
- Week 4: Building a Full Gallery App
Offered by the University of London, the course has 4 different instructors: Dr. Matthew Yee-King, Dr. Kate Devlin, Dr. Marco Gillies, and Dr. Mick Grierson.
And there you have it! The best online web design courses the internet has to offer. You may have noticed that all these courses are Coursera offerings; considering the scale of Coursera’s operations, this coincidence shouldn’t come as a surprise! After all, Coursera does have the largest number of courses, partners and pathways to learning. Additionally, apart from Specializations, Coursera’s courses are free. Specializations require a monthly subscription, as mentioned earlier; however, you can also choose to pay the entire amount in one go and purchase the course. Coursera also offers financial aid, 7-day free trials on all its Specializations and a 14-day money-back guarantee. Honestly, it’s a platform you can’t go wrong with.
Either way, we’ve told you why web design is important and where you can learn some A1-quality web designing. Give these courses a look-see and choose the one that best suits your needs. Who knows? With one of these courses in your arsenal, you could very well be the next Sara Souidan or Ethan Marcotte!
If you want to discover more learning opportunities, then be sure to take a look at our list of the best online courses. Thanks for reading and as always, have a great day!