Five Essential Skills You Need As A Web Designer
Being a web designer is no easy feat.
Beyond the technical aspects, a good web designer should also possess soft skills that are usually not taught in design schools.
Skills like patience, communication, and perseverance also go a long way in making you a better designer. Learning to keep your cool while managing negative client feedback or efficiently explaining your ideas to your client are all important aspects of being a good designer.
This article will look at a few skills to help you in your career as a web designer.
Brush up on graphic design
Graphic and website design are similar because they both involve crafting visuals. One thing that sets them apart is that web design is continually undergoing changes and regular updates are part of the process. But in graphic design, visuals are created with longevity in mind. They are, however, both aspects of branding.
As a web designer, you may not have to acquire all the graphic design skills, but understanding the fundamentals is advantageous. Knowing how to create custom illustrations, hand-drawn typography, and other creative flourishes will go a long way in enhancing your web design work.
Composition and colour theory
A web designer should have a grasp on creating visual compositions and combining colour palettes.
Visual compositions or the arrangement of visuals, text, and other elements have both practical and artistic purposes. A well-composed layout creates visual harmony and is considered one of the most important features of a website.
To hone this skill, pay attention to movie scenes, paintings and even other websites. Study examples of good composition in other artworks and find ways to apply the principles in your own work.
Additionally, colours play an essential role in design. Any designer should familiarise themselves with the primary colours and use them to create complementary colour palettes.
For example, using contrasting colours can help elements stand out in any design. However, there should be a balance between contrasts so that the layout is not rendered unreadable or ugly.
As a web designer, you should ensure that the colours on your website work well together.
Know your software
If you are a web designer, familiarise yourself with software programmes like XD, Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and Webflow. However, make sure you use the right tool for the right job.
For example, Photoshop is excellent for processing images, but if you’re looking at graphic design, opt for Adobe Illustrator.
Acquainting yourself with such aspects will help you enhance your design process.
It is essential that web designers also understand the fundamentals of photo-editing and the skill to tweak graphics.
The internet has several free photo-editing programmes such as Gimp and Inkscape that allow you to do your work without burning a hole in your pocket. And, as you learn the tricks and trade of web design, animation software such as After Effects or Motion can prove to be handy if you want to add motion to your designs.
Responsive design and user experience
Another critical component of web design and development is responsive design. All experts will tell you that design elements like text, menus, and buttons should be visible and usable. Some researchers also say that 75% of users base your credibility on the website’s look and feel.
Responsive design is vital because it ensures that content delivery is consistent. It has a master layout that automatically fits your site on the screen it is loaded on— your designs are accessible to a more extensive range of devices without compromising user experience or UX.
UX is the web user’s emotional response to design. The concept of UX is to shape the experience that people have while engaging with the website. And as a web designer, your job is to integrate dynamic and interactive elements to make the website an enjoyable experience for users.
Patience and learn to compromise
Whether you’re stuck figuring out a colour palette or can’t decide where to place the CTA button, have patience.
Patience is an essential skill in any career under the sun. Practising this virtue will help you deal with clients and make you a better person.
Remember, clients, are not designers. You will often find yourself explaining things over and over before they understand what you mean. Some days, you might want to tear your hair out but remind yourself to have patience. An ill-tempered person is no fun to work with.
Compromises are tough.
You may have a brilliant design, but if your client wants to make changes, you may have to compromise. Don’t let it get to you.
It would help if you didn’t make too much of an emotional investment in your work. At the end of the day, the client decides what they want for themselves, and you should not take that personally.
That, of course, does not mean you give in to every demand they make. But choose your battles wisely. Just make sure you clearly explain why you think the design element should stay.
To make it big in any profession, you should keep upgrading your skills and building your portfolio.
But you should also know your own limitations—the adage of ‘faking it till you make it,’ does not always hold true. While it is tempting to accept every project you come across, don’t set yourself up for potential failure. Be authentic.
Like we mentioned earlier, people skills are as critical as technical skills. Practice how to explain your vision for the project in ways that a non-designer can understand.
While designing is mostly a solitary pursuit, get outside your creative space, listen and communicate with your client. They will appreciate it.