Web and graphic design are a form of Art and Science. It has now become a large part of people’s daily life. You can’t image Internet without multimedia, animation, music or fancy typography. Total number of websites on the internet is increasing day by day and so does the need of talented web designers.
However, the web or graphic designing process is not easy as it sounds. You need months or even years of study and experience to reach new heights.
In order to become a professional designer there are a variety of skills you need to have to handle clients and employer task efficiently. While half of the job is based on designing & programming, the other half is based on having instinctive sense of what looks good, what makes sense and what doesn’t.
We are highlighting some essential skills that all good graphic and web designers should have to reach sublime levels.
Table of Contents
Know the Entire Designing Process
First thing first, you need to learn is each and every basic element that together makes a quality website. This includes:
Color & Background: Colors help to establish a theme and motif of any effective design. Different colors leave a different physiological impact on your readers. In some cases, they represent the brand, like Pinterest is red, Facebook is blue.
Spacing: Spacing refers to how far elements have been placed from each other. All websites with a great user experience are well-spaced, not only on desktop, but also on mobile and tablets.
Typography: Characters come in many different shapes, forms and colors, and this is what gives graphic design its favorable and unique personality. Typography is one of the most underrated skills today, however, in truth, it differentiates a good and excellent designer. This is the key that top advertising firms review in a design portfolio.
Balance and Flow: Balance means stability and flow refers to the readers’ visual movements as he explores the website. It includes proper page depth, hierarchy, layout and shapes. Also, make sure that users can navigate from any nth page to home page within 2 steps.
Know How to Code
Some designers think that it’s OK not to know how to code as there are already thousands of tools available that allows you to make websites within few steps. But one thing that none of these tools can deliver – Extreme customization. The ultimate customization option is available for you, if and only if you know how to write HTML and CSS code.
HTML & CSS are not programming language, they just allow you to build web layout and modify its look. If you are serious about being a web designer, you have to learn this. Professional designers don’t bind their limits around CMS or any automated generator tools.
We recommend you to learn HTML, CSS and jQuery to gain complete control on your front-end design.
Recommended: Useful HTML and CSS Frameworks For Web Designers
You are your own business and you are selling your talent. You need to understand what role design can bring advantages to you and your customer. You should be able to make decisions related to taking on projects and clients. Business skills will help you utilize your practical talent to make money and keep making more of it as you grow in career.
Social Media Marketing: Don’t underestimate the power of social media. These days, social marketing skills are essential to any individual who needs to promote his product or service. Learn how to properly use popular social platform to build relationship with audience as well as brand recognition. Also, this is the only way to promote yourself to the world for free.
Be a Good Listener
Being a great listener is a life skill that you can use almost in all areas. In the business sense, you will never be successful if you either fail to listen to your customer or refuse to listen to them.
Often, they’ll ask you to tweak design in the middle stage of the process. But don’t get frustrated or come across as unprofessional. It’s a part of your job. Listen to them what they want, consider it and then suggest your own methods. Respect and implement their choice and show how attentive you are to your customer’s needs.
Keep in mind: Sometimes people really don’t know what they want. You need to show them.
Crisp Communication and Effective Storytelling
The language of design is quite different from the language of business. You should be able to effectively communicate across the disciplines in order to influence an organization.
The second thing is how you put your ideas into your customers mind? Your customer won’t be able to transcript technical conversation. You need to effectively fold and translate your thoughts into the priorities of your organization or clients.
Sometimes creating an exact replica of other can earn you a lot of money. As a web designer, you will be asked to create a website copy. That’s obviously more than doing designs because building the same structure is not an easy task. There are thousands of clients out there who are ready to pay for clone scripts of some popular website.
In the online world, a designer with exceptional copywriting skills can attract more clients and can charge much more. Don’t just think of your clients, effective copywriting skill is also a powerful asset when it comes to marketing your services as a designer in the first place.
This is the ever changing department, where you can’t settle down. Your job is not only to satisfy your clients, but impress them with your knowledge, creativity and skills.
New treads are always emerging in web design and you have to keep yourself updated with the latest trends. This is a fact, you can compare yourself: Web design trends 2014 vs 2015. As you can see 2014 trends won’t help you anymore. The same story will continue over the upcoming decades, the new design will override the old ones and there is only one thing you can do: Keep changing.
Recommended: 15 Terrible Web Design Trends You Must Avoid
Knowledge of project management fundamentals can help you in large projects. A web designer that can manage the design part has an edge over another who needs to be told what to do, when to do it.
Leadership is the strongest point when it comes to managing a giant project. Ensure you have the proper authority in hand before you take new responsibilities. Also, as a leader, you should be flexible enough to realize when plans need to be changed. Don’t stop the planning the moment you realize you have figured out the solution. Bad and vague planning lead to poor implementation and chaotic outputs.
This is a key that differentiates between those who will make the impact and all the others. Reaching the sky height of your profession is what you should be aiming for. It will not come overnight or month, or even in a couple of years, but you will eventually get there with self-improvement and constant determination.
In today’s world, it’s all about competition. Never get discouraged when things do not go exactly as expected. To prove yourself better than others you need to adapt a ‘never giving up’ attitude. The more you work, the more you become a much better web designer.
Remember: to achieve something incredible, you need to go beyond the comfort zone and keep challenging yourself.