Web design is one of the hottest career paths today. Flying solo or working in a team, freelancing or landing a job at a web agency, creating websites for international powerhouses or small family businesses. Your possibilities as a web designer are virtually endless. However, you must have the essential skills required to obtain a job in the market.
However, the competition in the web design industry is stiff. There are plenty of talented, creative, and hard-working designers out there looking for their big breakthroughs. How do you stand out from the crowd?
In this article, we'll discuss the six essential skills aspiring web designers need to become successful.
Holding a design/art degree doesn't guarantee a flourishing web design career. In fact, many successful designers are self-taught and have built a name in the industry without possessing any formal design education.
Still, even the most outstanding natural talents need guidance. For wannabe web designers, learning design theory will undoubtedly provide it.
Learning the key design principles such as scaling, balancing, contrast, composition, and negative space will help refine your designs and get you a step closer to the world of design professionals.
Figma, Sketch, Adobe XD, Photoshop, Illustrator, and FlowMapp are only some of the leading design tools loved and used by web designers across the globe.
Of course, your favorites will crystalize over time. Different projects and clients may require utilizing various tools, though, and it's wise to keep your options open.
Moreover, expanding your skillset with the knowledge of diverse tools will enrich your design process. You won't have to rely on others for image processing, drawing logos, or creating site wireframes.
Even though web design completely relies on software and digital tools, which truly do make the design process swift and easy, it's easy to forget the importance of engaging your hands to express creative ideas.
Research has indicated that drawing (even simple doodling) helps increase our focus and ability to grasp new concepts. Portraits, particularly, allow for freedom in their composition. Unlike architecture and landscapes, you can adjust your subject to a certain degree.
So, whether you decide to polish up your skills by drawing head angles or begin a web design project by drawing a rough layout sketch on paper, practicing your drawing will prove beneficial for your web artistry.
Although we'd like to think web design is all about aesthetics, creativity, and uniqueness, the truth is far from that. In reality, businesses need to rank high in search, and there are strict rules that affect sites' rankings.
Most of these relate to a site's appearance across different screen sizes, accessibility for visually impaired users, and the quality of user experience. Few rules are explicit, though, and most of the time, designers simply have to rely on their own judgment.
Thus, to create a site that caters to search engines and users alike, successful web designers must practice their web design analysis skills. Dedicate your time to gathering and comparing information about the web to improve your designs' quality and identify problem areas.
Collaborating with teammates and clients isn't always a cinch. But, refining your soft skills may be helpful in ameliorating problems and misunderstandings that will eventually arise.
Some of the soft skills a successful web designer needs are communication, teamwork, problem-solving, time management, critical thinking, decision-making, and organizational skills. Each of these is essential for improving your ability to work with – and for – others.
Naturally, perfecting your soft skills is essential to advancing your career. For example, good communication skills can help you convey your ideas to stakeholders and nail a major web project.
Teamwork is crucial for large-scale projects with development and marketing teams. Working in an efficient organization ensures you meet deadlines.
Responsive design is used to set websites apart from their competition in search ranking. Nowadays, it's the bare minimum for any site that wants to appear anywhere on Google.
The web industry's technologies and trends change so fast that it poses a true challenge to keep up with all the innovations.
For example, responsive design was the only standard a few years back. However, now, there are several alternatives, such as fluid design, adaptive design, and mobile-first design.
Knowing the basics of coding will help you focus on the creative aspects rather than the technicalities. Thus, helping you design better websites.