Web Design Courses to Prep for the Tech Revolution

If your day is anything like mine, you’re pretty much glued to a screen from before sun up until after lights out. If someone were to track my day, it would likely translate into an absurd amount of time spent conducting random Google searches, reading Slate.com and clicking refresh on Facebook every 15 minutes. And that’s just the stuff I do when I’m not updating the HOW Design University website, writing content marketing copy or assaulting our followers with tweets about cool design-related products.

This is all to say that it’s easy to get caught up in the technomania. But since it’s not going away, we might as well embrace it. In fact, we should probably be doing more to use it to our advantage. Some times that means joining the conversation on Twitter. Other times it means making sure our business website isn’t giving potential clients a headache. It also might mean learning enough basic code to ensure your latest interactive design project doesn’t fall flat when it enters the development phase.

Coding image from Shutterstock

photo from Shutterstock

If you’re reading this with a “Nope!” thought bubble above your head, you’re not alone. Admittedly, I’ve also been resistant to learning new interactive skills. Even though I know it would make my job a whole lot easier, I’ve been fairly resistant to tackling the unknown. It’s embarrassing how long it took me to learn the basics of Twitter, and don’t even get me started on Google+.

But here’s the thing: It’s time. It’s time to get over the intimidation factor. It’s time to stop clinging to print as the only medium worth experimenting with. Luckily, once you make the decision to start learning how to code, how to create a striking WordPress site, how to manage your company’s next interactive endeavor … it stops being scary.

WordPress powers tons of high-profile websites. You can make this platform work for you and your clients if you take one of the WordPress courses from HOW U.

WordPress powers tons of high-profile websites. You can make this platform work for you and your clients if you take one of the WordPress courses from HOW U.

HOW Design University has a number of web design courses that set you up for success. Here are a few examples of courses that begin April 28 (you can sign up until May 5) that might pique your fancy:

For those who want to master WordPress, Jesse Friedman is your guy. In addition to his popular 28 Days to Your First WordPress Site (which runs again at the end of June), he’s teaching Building Responsive Websites with WordPress and Advanced WordPress. Both of these courses teach designers the basics of how to get pre-made WordPress themes to work for you and your clients. If you work your way through Friedman’s classes, you’ll be able to take a popular web platform and customize it with your designer eye and creative talents.

Google is a great tool for finding information, but it can work against you if you don't create an optimized website.

Google is a great tool for finding information, but it can work against you if you don’t create an optimized website. That’s where HOW U’s web design courses come into play.

Why is it that project management seems to get so much more complex when you factor in the web element? Dave Holston breaks down the art of developing a web strategy and using all the online marketing tools at your disposal in his Managing a Web Design Project From Start to Finish course. Stop allowing your website to get lost in a sea of Google searches by increasing engagement and converting visitors into paying clients. Holston shows you how.

While WordPress and project management are all fine and good, the real challenge with the print to digital transition is the dreaded code. If lines of code make your head spin, it’s time to take a different approach. Instructor Patrick McNeil makes it easy by breaking down even the basic combinations of HTML and CSS. The first step is to take his Principles of HTML, CSS and Javascript course (next class begins May 5). After that, Coding for Designers: HTML and CSS is an intuitive follow-up course. If you’ve already mastered the small stuff, Wireframes and Prototypes for Interactive Design on May 26 will help you optimize user experience on your websites. No matter how much you know (or don’t know), McNeil is a teacher at heart, and you can count on him to help you get through the toughest parts of these courses and become a better designer in the process.

Basic CSS doesn't look so basic if you haven't worked your way through one of Patrick McNeil's courses.

Basic CSS doesn’t look so basic if you haven’t worked your way through one of Patrick McNeil’s web design courses.

Are you ready to embrace the Tech Revolution? I hope so. After all, it’s always better to be more knowledgeable rather than less. As a designer, your best assets have always been your ability to be agile, creative and curious. And that’s still the case when you apply your skill set to the web.