Becoming a Web designer

When I started designing for the beautiful web, I didn’t know where to start. Because in my country (India) you won’t find great designers, especially web designers. Luckily I got in touch with Klaus Komenda — a yahoo employee — who guided me on how to start learning web design. Here is what he wrote to me:

Hi Amrinder,

First, let me say I feel quite honored that you ask me for advice. I can give you the following tips:

Todays web design and web developing goes beyond using FrontPage or Dreamweaver. If you would like to learn how to code web pages, do it by hand. With that, I mean use a text editor (UltraEdit, Komodo Edit etc.) and your browser (preferably Firefox). That is all you will need to get started. Do not use FrontPage, cause it produces too much unnecessary markup.

I tend to learn much from going through examples, mostly from books. Here are some titles that I can recommend (you would need to look them up on Amazon to get them):

These books (there are more, but it is a good starting point) will start from a basic level telling you what todays webdesign is about and how websites should be coded these days.

Follow websites/blogs from leaders in the industry, like:

A very important point is to do projects on your own, even if they might not be well paid. This gives you practice and the chance to further develop your skills. So if your degree course does not offer such things, try to do a web project on the side, maybe for a friend or a social organization – just to do some practice and get a feeling what it takes to make a proper site.

Hope this helps,


He gave me the most valuable advice one can give to someone new to web design. He mentioned great designers’ books and blogs (I’ve read all these books and read these blogs daily).

I worked hard for 6 months on learning HTML, CSS, Javascript, Photoshop and looked out for more web designers, books and blogs I can learn from. I found Andy Clarke, Jason Santa Maria, Shaun Inman, Khoi Vinh, Mark Boulton, Tim Van Damme, Jon Tan, Elliot Jay Stocks and Dave Shea.

These guys are best in industry and inspire huge number of designers. Thanks to Klaus, I’m on track now and confident about producing some great work in coming years.

Note: I have published above email by Klaus as reference for web design newbies so that they can get started in right direction. Best of luck.


Add your comment

  • # sin
    says on October 23

    thanks, i need to get some confidence of doing things i do. i thought of asking the person i respect more, to give me an advice in starting web producing process. now i definately will. =)

  • # Sanchit Thakur
    says on October 24

    Good to know that you got advices.

    Oh & by the way, there are some good web agencies in India 😉

    For ex. our>>

  • # Amrinder
    says on October 24


    Let me know if you want some help in learning web design.

    Nice website but require more attention to details. Lenghty title, flash, big background image, etc. need to be looked after.

    Let me know if there are any other good design studios in India.

  • # Lily
    says on October 26

    You have a mistake in link Mark Boulton. In the address jf link missing a letter “l”. Maybe need

  • # Amrinder
    says on October 26

    Thanks Lily. Link Corrected.

  • # anish
    says on October 29

    hi, Amrinder

    i am so proud to appreciate you because you are a world class web designer. as you said “Because in my country (India) you won’t find great designers, especially web designers. ” this is very true. i am a web designer Indian) too. i think Indian designers doesn’t know how to use the typography properly. this is on of the the main problem that causes their design looks unprofessional.

  • # Amrinder
    says on October 30


    Thanks for appreciation.

    The problem with web designers in India is that they don’t want to learn. They want to earn before they learn. However I think opposite, and prefer to spend few years learning.

    I would say 99.9% of Indian websites are outdated. I never found any Indian site yet which I can say, Wow!

    Nobody cares about usability, user-experience. Designers are of the opinion that designing is all about using colors, illustrations, background images etc. However there is lot more to explore and learn about web designing.

  • # Prashant
    says on January 29

    Thanks for posting this.

  • # Atulesh Kumar
    says on March 05

    I don’t completely agree with the fact that Indians are not good designers. There are always a personal view of judging things. Maybe you are not looking at the cream designers. Also there is an important fact in India is that we designers often don’t get highlighted because of our work. We work for others (clients) and we can’t show our creativity in public due to copyright and policy issues. That’s why we don’t shine like others do.

    And yes, I agree that most of the Indian designers run behind the money by hampering their own skills, learning capabilities and quality. But this case is everywhere.

    The most important things is to get in fame. We don’t even think of getting ourselves in world rankings. And that’s why we miss to get judged by our own people.

    I hope I had made things clear from my point of view. I am a designer in a firm and work as a freelancer too. But I do freelancing just because I want to explore and extend myself. Money is not the prime thing for me.

    Now I can say that you had got a ENTHUSIASTIC Graphic/Web designer in your bag ;).


  • # Amrinder
    says on March 06

    @Atulesh: I wrote, “…in my country (India) you won’t find great designers, especially web designers.” I’ve no doubt that there are many good designers but none of them inspires me. I’ve listed some names which are inspirational figures in Web design industry these days.

    If you know anyone in India parallel to them, I’ll be glad to look at their work and get inspired from them.

    Glad to know you thoughts though.