What I learned from Online Design Courses, Other than Design

A months ago, I found some time in my chained routine and thought of brushing up my design skills. As English is my preferred language and there were no design training opportunities in the small German town where I live, I decided to opt for an online design course.

It was my first experience of distant learning so I took a deep look into famous online tutoring platforms like Coursera, Linda and Udemy etc. and chose one which suited me the most. I paid their fee and started taking lessons.

However, with the passage of time there were certain things that I realized about the process of learning through online courses. I will share some vital points with you in the following.

Be easy on your pocket


Image source: Freepik

Although online tutoring and distance learning is becoming quite common these days and thousands of students around the world take part in such course. However, there are still a lot of people who do not have the aptitude for learning through online resources. Therefore, one has to first check whether he has the tendency to learn through online courses or not.

From beginner’s level to advance ones, there are different online design courses available on the internet with different price ranges. I personally think that before taking a detailed expensive course either try to take a free course or anything with trivial fee. So if at the middle of the course you realize that distance learning is not working for you, then you won’t regret spending a bunch on it.

Have something to work with

It is my personal experience that if you are onto learning a soft skill, you need to have a small task or project at hand to apply your skills on. Most online design courses do solve this problem by teaching you through a whole project with a fixed focus. Even so, having additional task can help you use your skills in a variety of ways.

Sleep over it

Psychologists in the field of learning abilities always advocate the importance of taking breaks during a certain learning process, and I totally agree with it. Taking breaks helps you keep remember what is learnt and when you come back to work after a break, you come with a fresh mind.

Also, when you finish a small milestone, leave it there and take a good night’s sleep. The next day when you’ll come back your mind will be filled with ideas and questions regarding the subject and you’ll be able to grasp the concept more firmly.

Work up a combination


Image source: Freepik

In any learning process, one medium hardly works. In college time, it is your professor plus the books or in professional life its mentor plus the experience. Similarly, in learning through online design courses, you have to do a mix and match of different sources and mediums.

If you are stuck at some point during your online learning process, take help from books or ask an expert around. Depending solely on the teachings is never a wise strategy.

It is mentoring, not magic

The last point I want to highlight is regarding the expectations of the learners. If you expect that spending some money on a certain course and completing it may charge you up and you’ll become a pro overnight, then that is not going to happen.

One has to keep in mind that mentoring is not magic, and even after you conduct all the aforementioned strategies successfully even then it will take some time and lots of practice to be fluent with a skill.


Distant learning and online design courses are the newest and quite effective way of learning the skill of graphic design these days. The internet is inundated with online courses of different price ranges and variety of subjects. However to make the most of an online learning experience one has to take care of a number of things, some of which are mentioned above. I hope these tips will help our readers.

Article written by:

Arfa Mirza is a writer and a bumped-into-photoshop designer. She is a regular contributor at Hongkiat from last three years. CreatiWittyBlog is her own blog through which she gives her offerings to the goddess of creativity. And when she is not doing any of that, she is baking the most heavenly cakes in the world.

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