As a novice web designer, you’re building your portfolio and looking for ways to attract clients and opportunities. You need web design project ideas that will give you the real-world experience you need and showcase your skills.

These ideas should not only help you become a better web designer, but they should also help you become a better programmer. After all, your work is more than website design — you’re also helping brands create apps and online tools that improve the customer experience. 

This article explains the prerequisites for completing web design projects, how to get them, and eight website project ideas that will help you improve your skills and build your portfolio.

(Looking for resources to simplify your project planning process? Look no further — learn how Teamwork has you covered.)

Why are web design projects important?

Web design projects help you (and other novice web designers) get the practical knowledge you need to make responsive and user-friendly websites and web applications. As a web design beginner, you’ll improve your understanding of how web design is applied in real-life scenarios. You’ll learn how to:

  • Determine the scope of a project.

  • Better manage their web design workflows and website projects. (Pro tip: Use templates to make the process easier! Try Teamwork’s website project plan template here.)

  • Create wireframes and sitemaps.

  • Present web design mockups to clients using tools such as Figma.

  • Perform effective front-end web development so websites showcase the right content and are visually appealing.

  • Perform back-end web development that helps address technical SEO issues and creates the best possible user experience.

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Programming languages and skills that all web designers should know 

Full-stack web development involves both back-end and front-end programming languages. Here are a few you should know to enhance your web design skills. 

HTML

Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is the building block of all websites. It’s the first thing search engines will look at when visiting a website, thus making it important for you to know how to use HTML to build a website’s structure. HTML is what makes a website visible to end users. 

Tips for gaining proficiency in HTML

  • Complete a course that includes practical ways to learn HTML, as well as other relevant programming languages. The Web Developer Bootcamp 2022 is a course you could consider. It has over 830,000 students and a 4.7-star rating across over 240,000 reviews. 

  • Attend an HTML Bootcamp. Berkely offers a coding Bootcamp each year where you can learn the basics of HTML and get practical experience. 

  • Get HTML certification. A good certification to pursue is CanCanIt’s HTML5 certification. It proves you have basic knowledge of HTMLfunctions, structure, tagging processes, and media integration. 

CSS

Cascading Styling Sheets (CSS) is a programming language that focuses on the style and design of a webpage. It works alongside HTML to add colors, backgrounds, layouts, font sizes, and other design elements to websites.

Tips for gaining proficiency in CSS

  • Play an online CSS game. Each game helps players master a different aspect of CSS. You can check out a fun list of CSS games in this article

  • Access free beginner courses on YouTube. The Free Code Camp has a video that’s a little over five hours long that you can check out. It covers how to build and deploy your first website and various web design projects that will help you apply what you’ve learned. 

  • Get a Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certification in HTML and CSS. 

JavaScript

Java is a popular programming language used to develop website content, games, apps, and software. It’s mainly used in front-end development and is platform independent. 

Tips for gaining proficiency in Java

User interface/experience design (UI/UX design)

UI design relates to all the visual elements you interact with when using a website, app, or electronic device. UX includes UI design but takes a more holistic approach by looking at a customer’s entire experience with a digital product. UI and UX design focus on how customers experience and feel about a digital product or website. 

Tips for gaining proficiency in UI/UX design

  • Use interactive courses that allow you to test and measure your design skills. Uxcel has a great UX design course.

  • Become familiar with the most popular UI design tools. You can check out nine of the best tools here.

  • Learn from leading UX experts on social media, such as Kim Goodwin, Dan Saffer, and Lizzie Dyson.

  • Learn how to create responsive designs that adapt to a user’s screen size, platform, and screen orientation (horizontal or vertical). 

Visual design

Have you ever seen a dull, uninteresting website and immediately bounced? You aren’t alone. Research from Adobe finds that “when pressed for time, 59% of global consumers crave beautiful design over simplicity.” Beautiful web designs are created using UI and visual design techniques (such as color psychology, spacing typography, and type hierarchy) to enhance the look and feel of a website. 

Tips for gaining proficiency in visual design

  • Understand Gestalt Psychology and how it applies to design. Look for ways to apply these principles to your web design and web development projects. 

  • Learn more about emotional marketing so you can be more aware of the emotions you’re appealing to with your designs. 

  • Try recreating an existing design. Replicate a website or web application you admire using your preferred design tools. 

  • Create your own design challenge by creating a design prompt for a fictional company. For example, you could create a web app for a magazine geared towards minorities. 

8 awesome web design projects for beginners

These web design projects will help you better grasp previously mentioned programming languages. They will also help you master the skills you need to be a great web designer. As you grow, you’ll be able to manage projects better and improve client communication, just like the web development agency, DotSee. Learn more in the case study.

1) Create a landing page using HTML and CSS

Landing pages help businesses hit their website conversion targets. That’s why there’s a great demand for landing page designs, thus making it important for you to develop your skills in landing page design and optimization. 

Many landing page builders exist. But learning how to build a landing page from scratch using HTML and CSS will make it easier for you to customize whatever landing page builder or website hosting platform your clients use. 

There are several landing page project tutorials online that you can use as guides. Here’s one from The Free Code Camp that breaks down the process step-by-step. You can also get inspiration to create your own landing page design project from Behance. Use different designs to practice so that your landing page design skills are well-rounded. 

2) Design a useful, interactive blog

Blog posts are content marketing teams' second most successful content formats. And while improving the quality of content is a top priority, there is also a need for user-friendly blog pages that make helpful blog content accessible to readers. 

That’s why you should work on your blog design skills. Your blog web design project should focus on creating a blog page where new blog posts can be added and edited. Users should also be able to view other blog posts published on the platform. 

3) Build a login authenticator

There are five main types of login authentication processes:

  • Password authentication: This is the most common form of authentication you’ll see on a login page. 

  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA): Two or more independent methods must be used to authenticate a user. Codes generated by an authentication app and Captcha tests are the most popular forms of MFA.

  • Certificate-based authentication: Digital certificates are used to authenticate users. When presented at sign-in, the server uses cryptography to confirm the user has the correct private key for the digital certificate.

  • Biometric authentication: Unique biological characteristics of an individual are used for login.

The easiest way to build a login authenticator is to use identity and user management API services, such as Okta. 

Data privacy is a key consideration when building login authenticators. That’s why you should use these web design projects to learn how to keep user data secure while designing the best possible user login journey. 

4) Utilize HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and UX design to create a to-do list

A to-do list app will help you learn four fundamental aspects of the user experience — creating, reading items on the screen, editing, and deleting — and will help you improve your web development skills. 

Dribbble has some great to-do list app sample designs you can draw inspiration from. But remember that the app doesn’t only need to look good; it also needs to function effectively. Here are some tips that can help you create a functional to-do list app users will enjoy:

  • Make tasks the pathways to accomplishing goals.

  • Allow users to easily mark tasks as complete, leave comments, and add task fields.

  • Use simple keyword phrases.

  • Include subtasks and/or checklists. 

This video by Tyler Potts acts as a good guide for understanding the basics of using programming languages and your UX skills to create a to-do list. 

5) Create an Amazon homepage lookalike

Creating an Amazon homepage lookalike will help you master designing some of the most sought-after elements of an e-commerce website — one-click ordering, personalized recommendations, and advanced search filters. It’s a project that gives you room to learn how to build an e-commerce website from scratch. 

HTML and CSS are crucial for this web design project. Extensive coding must be done on the front and back ends, so prepare to spend hours (maybe even days) putting everything together. The beauty of the process is that you will learn a marketable skill that will help you regularly attract new clients.

AccioJob has a step-by-step tutorial for beginners that will help you use HTML and CSS to make an Amazon lookalike page.

6) Make a business portfolio website

Start by creating a business portfolio website for your web design business. Experiencing the process as a business owner will help you understand what some of your clients go through and why they need you. 

Here’s a four-step process that can help you build a portfolio website from scratch:

  1. Purchase a domain name.

  2. Use GitHub Pages to build the website from scratch using HTML and CSS. Alternatively, you can use Heroku if you need to host the site with a back-end server and use PHP. Knowing how to do both will help you master full-stack developer skills. You can also use a website builder, such as WordPress, as your base and then add coding to personalize it to suit your needs. 

  3. Deploy your website using the code you’ve created. 

  4. Ensure the portfolio design matches what you want your brand to portray.

7) Create a functional calculator

Web calculators can be designed to do anything from basic math to pricing calculations and financial projections. Creating a web calculator will help you get more experience coding mathematical algorithms without compromising design and UX. 

There are 46 web calculator design examples on Dribbble that you can use for inspiration. There are calculators for mortgage calculations, basic mathematical calculations, weight-loss journey calculations, and many other types of calculations. These examples show that you can create functional calculators to match your brand's value proposition. 

Here’s an example of one such calculator created by Milan Opsenica.

Although Cruncher is a fictional company, it’s clear that Milan designed this tool based on his vision of the tool being helpful to people who are monitoring their diets. This calculator helps users of this fictional Cruncher app calculate their ideal macronutrient ratio based on their genders, weight goals, age, height, current weight, and activity level. 

8) Launch an internet meme generator project

A meme generator project will help you practice your HTML, CSS, and Java skills. You’re designing an app that allows people to upload images, insert text on the image, and export the completed file. These three steps form the basis of many apps and web programs, thus making it crucial for you to learn them. 

There are many tutorials available that can help with your internet meme generator project. Some popular options are:

Organize your web design projects with Teamwork

Managing multiple web design projects can become time-consuming and overwhelming. You could use a spreadsheet and multiple Google Doc files to keep track of everything. Or you could use a project management tool built with web developers in mind. 

Teamwork is here to help you organize and manage your projects as you grow. Sign up for an account today and find out how we can help you succeed!