As the internet continues to grow and become the primary source of commerce and communication, web designers are increasingly in demand. But with increasing demand comes increasing competition. Therefore, web designers must take steps to stay above the competitive edge. How do they do that? By improving their skills and keeping up with changing trends.
Put together by a Savannah web design firm, take a look at 20 essential skills for web designers that can help you stay ahead of the competition.
- Know the Fundamentals of Design – You don’t have to be Picasso in order to be a great artist. Similarly, you don’t have to know everything there is to know about web design in order to build a great career. But knowing the fundamentals of web design can make the difference between recreating ideas and designing your own unique ideas.
- Learn about Typography – Typography is an important part of web design. The font style, weight, and geometry all go together to build your message and meaning. A good web designer knows when it’s best to use simple styles, and when it’s best to use more ornamentation.
- Composition Skills – A good web designer knows how to compose a website. The arrangement of visuals, text, and other elements are both utilitarian and artistic in purpose. The composition of the site should be harmonious and should engage the audience. Sites should be organized well and have a hierarchy of ideas. Great composition includes elements like negative space, contrast, and visual cues.
- Color Theory – As a web designer, you should be familiar with color theory. You should know how to use a color wheel to make complementary and contrast colors work together in your favor. Conflicting colors can be hard on the eye, and can detract from the overall tone of the site you are designing. Using complementary and appropriate contrasting colors can help you build a site that truly stands out.
- Software – Software skills are incredibly important as a web designer. You should know how the most popular software programs work, and how to use it for your design projects. The most popular software programs for web design include:
- Adobe Illustrator
- Content Management – Content management systems (CMS) are a great way to manage content in a straight forward and organized way. With a CMS, you can identify sites or blog posts that need regular updating, as well as prioritizing individual projects. Programs like ClickUp and Webflow are examples of good CMS.
- User Experience – Speaking of user experience, one of the most important aspects of effective web design is making sure that the user has a positive experience on the website. A good user experience is one that elicits an emotional response and makes the user want to engage with the site. Best practices for building a positive user experience include:
- Use an uncluttered layout and clear organization.
- Use a design that focuses on the human element, rather than the mechanical element.
- Use an audience-specific design with information that meets target audience needs.
- User Interface – Closely related to the user experience is user interface. As a web designer, you should know how to design a user interface that is smooth, free from obstructions, and easy to navigate. That means designing the site – and especially the call to action (CTA) – in a way that users can follow the site and convert in the least amount of steps possible.
- Graphic Design – A lot of what web designers do falls into the realm of graphic design. Graphic design is the artistic element of web design. That includes creating the color scheme, logos, and other visuals. Web designers should have at least a basic knowledge of graphic design.
Web Design: More than Just Websites
As you can see, there are a variety of skills that can give a web designer an edge over the competition. By utilizing these skills, you can take your web design career to the next level.