“Which institute is best to learn web design in Kathmandu?”

None. Forget it. They will only teach you some of the tools of some of the apps.

Institutes are worse than schools. They teach outdated versions of apps and technologies that no one uses today. They are factories. They are selling the same products year after year, in mass volume. Quantity matters for them. More students, short classes, fancy certificates, money in.

I have in my 10 years of career never seen any company hiring an institute-trained designer.

There are few designers who became good designers from institutes. That is only because of one reason; their own passion. Not because they are taught well, but because they learned themselves well. And I tell you the truth, if you have such passion, you can learn without going the institutes and spending that amount.

So, how to start your web design career?

1. Learn yourself

If you have the passion and confidence that you can design, start learning yourself, you can. Find designers in your friends circle or other network and ask for suggestions on what software to use, which websites to check, where to start. Use internet to search beginners lessons on softwares, trends, and theories of web design. There are lots of tutorials and videos on internet. Learn hard, spend as much time as you can on practising.

2. Copy others

Get an idea of what’s trending. For that, visit websites that showcase latest trendy websites. Find some really good looking sites and start making their replica. Yes, start by copying, it’s just like learning a guitar by playing popular songs.

You don’t start learning a guitar by playing your own songs, right?

3. Make originals

Once you start improving your skill and getting the idea, start making original designs. Create imaginary companies and build websites. Make and compare to real websites. Design 10-20 different sites and select best 5 from them, dump the other 5. Repeat again and select another best 5. Now you have your 10 best original designs.

4. Get feedback

Post your works in design communities in Facebook, such as Graphic Designers’ Community Nepal. Ask for feedback. Listen to them. Take every positive and negative comments positively. Ask specific advices if needed.

Remember, only post the works that you think are best. Compare your designs to others first. Don’t post craps.

5. Build a portfolio

This step is important for the next point.

Build your design portfolio in popular sites like Bēhance, Dunked etc. Post your best works. Remember quality, not quantity.

Optional: It’s better if you build your own website too. Instead of spending money on institutes, spend that money on buying your personal domain name and web hosting.

6. Be an intern

There is no better way to learn web design other than at web design agencies, working on real projects.

Be ready for free internship for few months. You can learn and work at the same time. At least you don’t have to pay like in institutes.

Start from asking people you know, or friends if there are. Ask if any of them can refer you for an internship in any agency.

List out popular web design agencies, reach out to them, show your design works/portfolio, tell them your passion. Tell them you are ready for free internship and they can fire if they don’t like. Yes that might help too. Or even that actually happens, you are not looking for a stable job yet, getting a chance to learn and work in an agency itself will teach you a lot of things that will improve your skill and thinking level.

Once you enter any agency, your career starts, literally. Lessons and opportunities will be around, you have to keep preparing yourself. Just keep your eyes, ears and mind open. Be like an empty notebook and be written with new lessons every day.

Just like Steve Jobs said, “Stay hungry! Stay foolish!