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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

5 Main Skills You Should Develop to Build a Great Web Design Career

If you want to be a web designer then develop these 5 key skills

With the world becoming ever more dependent on online environments it is becoming increasingly more important to have an online presence if you want to succeed in business. For this reason, quality web designers are becoming sought after. That is both a good and a bad thing.

Seeing that web designing is becoming such a popular profession, everyone wants a piece of the action, whether they are good or not. Therefore, you have to stay ahead of the masses and keep your skills up to date if you want to make it as a web designer. Here are the 5 main skills you need to develop to become a great web designer.



1. Know the whole process

Web design is a complex process, and it often overlaps with graphic design. It is therefore very important to be competent in graphic design and know the basic principles of design.

Color is the most basic skill you need to master in order to design eye-catching web pages. Apart from knowing what colors work well, you also need to know what color pallets are popular during a season. You can click here to explore colour theory.

Proportion and spacing are two more design principles that can make or break a web designer. Your customer and also the type of website you are designing will dictate whether you design a symmetrical or asymmetrical page.

You also don’t want to have the page feel cluttered, but you want to use the space available optimally. This will ultimately influence the flow of the page which is another design principle that you need to master.

With all this is mind,it is vital that you are fully familiar with the web design process and over time and with experience you can develop your own process as you discover what works best for you and for your web design clients.




2. HTML

One of the things that sets a part-time web designer apart from the rest is an in-depth knowledge of HTML. This is the foundational language on which all websites are built.

Although there are numerous WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors available which help anyone build a website, you will never have a proper grasp of how a website operates if you don’t know HTML. You’ll also have a much harder time figuring out what is wrong if your site doesn’t work the way you want it to.

WYSIWYG editors are limited in their functionality, and you will only have the available tools and formatting options of the specific editor to build your site. If you know HTML, your imagination and skill is your greatest asset. You have absolute freedom in terms of design and functionality when you are skilled at using HTML. If something doesn’t exist, you can create it.

Once you learn HTML you can progress to learn CSS and then JavaScript and then.... The more web related programming languages you know the more options you will have as a web designer and developer. HTML is always the starting point for learning web programming.



3. User Experience Research

Have you ever browsed a website and felt absolutely frustrated or discouraged? The chances are that the design of the page was not done properly. If you want to stand out as a web designer, you need to be an expert on user experience and design according to experience. This is by no means an easy task, and there are a number of routes you can take to ensure proper design.

When you look at an operating system like Windows for example. There is never only one single way in which something is done. The user decides which path works fro them and goes from there. The same applies to your websites.

You will need to create sitemaps and track user habits to determine which design will work best for the users. This is easier said than done and you will need to update a site from time to time as you gather more user data. Google analytics is a great way of gathering this type of data for free.

Once you have gathered and analysed the data use it to improve the user experience which in turn will make your websites more effective.



4. Mobile support

Gone are the days when being online meant that you were either sitting in front of your PC or browsing the web on your laptop. The smartphone and other mobile devices have changed the online landscape and so also the design world.

Anyone will be able to tell you that browsing a traditional website on a mobile phone sucks. More people gain access to the web via their mobile devices than stand-alone PCs or laptops.

Therefore, you need to be able to adjust your design to accommodate mobile browsing. The best way to test whether your site is mobile friendly is to browse your site on a mobile device or use an emulator like Screenfly

In truth you should ideally take a mobile first design approach. This means designing the mobile version of the website first and then scaling it up from there for larger devices such as tablets, laptops and desktop PC's. If you are designing this way you will need to learn about responsive web design and media queries.




5. Continue Learning

There are so many designers that fall into the trap of getting some sort of qualification and sticking with it without doing any further learning. It doesn’t matter how advanced or comprehensive your education is, the knowledge that you gained during your first year of studies will be outdated by the time you graduate.

The tech and online world is continually changing, and if you don’t commit to keeping with the times, you are going to quickly fall behind and become a second-tier designer. You need to stay abreast with new technology to keep your sites relevant. If you can’t deliver on your client's requests due to your lack of skills, they will get another designer.

Apart from tech skills, you also need to be aware of new design trends and be able to adjust your style from time to time. Sign up to our newsletter below and select the web design option to receive web related articles straight to your inbox.




Conclusion

Although you have all the skills in the world, there is one thing that skills won’t give you, and that is passion. You need to be inspired by what you do, or you won’t be able to harness all of your skills effectively. Passion and inspiration is the glue that combines all your skills and makes you a better designer.



About The Author

Howard Robson is an editor at educational portal AustralianEssays. He is interested in getting and sharing new knowledge about different topics, especially education, modern technologies. So, feel free to join him on Twitter and Facebook.

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