Web design encompasses a variety of disciplines and skills in the creation and maintenance of online websites. The various disciplines of web design comprise website graphic design; web user interface design; writer, including standardized code and proprietary application; content writer; and graphic design. Web development, which includes application programming interfaces, or API, and browser compatibility testing, or bug-fixing technologies, is another discipline of web design. Information architecture encompasses processes for arranging information in a way that it is usable by users and supporting systems such as databases and other networks.
Aesthetics are important components of good web design & development. This is because websites should be attractive enough to make users want to visit them. Web pages should not only be appealing, but they should also be functional, intuitive, and user-friendly. When web designers and developers work together, the result is a website that is attractive, easy to navigate, and functional at all times.
In order to prepare students for a career in web design & development, they need to have the basic knowledge and skills needed to construct web pages. In Grade 9, students should already have at least completed their first year of high school, depending on their hometown and local education system. They should already have taken a basic computer science curriculum, at least up to the compulsory part of the curriculum, and be familiar with reading, writing, listening, and coordinating. At this point, students can choose among computer science, chemistry, math, and biology elective courses. If one of these subjects was not included in the student’s compulsory curriculum, they may still choose other electives to fulfill their requirements.
Students need to complete their first year of high school, regardless of where they live, in order to meet the CANE Credit Certificate for Web Design and Development. The CANE Credit Certificate allows teachers to assess the skills of students to create quality websites, without the need to include computer science and math skills standards in their curriculum. The skills standards for the course curriculum, along with the core computer science curriculum, are available in most schools.
After completing their first year of high school, students will need to complete an approved state-approved training program that is recognized by the American Academy of Computer Engineers (AAC Engineers). These programs are offered in a variety of formats, such as CD-ROMs or DVD discs, interactive software, or online seminars. Most training courses take six months, with the final exam lasting a full year. After the training course, students will be required to take a test that demonstrates their passing level of understanding the subject matter. The final certification is given by the National Association for Business Education (NABE) and will allow them to display their web design and development skills on the web pages they create.
In order to earn their associate degree, Web Design and Development students must complete a minimum of two years of college coursework, at an accredited institution of higher learning. Courses include math, computer science, business, psychology, information technology, graphic design, and marketing. The required text books include textbooks on web design, web page layout, website development, e-business software, database driven website design, and web server administration. Students must also complete a internship or placement in their chosen industry upon graduation. Students who successfully complete all requirements will receive their associates degree in computer science and then pursue work as professional website designers or freelance developers.
Although many colleges offer comprehensive courses in web design and development, there are many colleges that only offer a standard curriculum. Students interested in completing a program from a smaller institute may wish to consider attending a local community organization that offers courses in this area of expertise. For example, the Georgia Technical Institute offers four different computer courses from beginner to advanced programming skills that are taught in the comfort of an interactive learning environment. Students can complete their core curriculum in a one-week schedule that allows them to work around their busy lives.