7 skills every web designers should have

web design skills

Nowadays the term web designer is not blurry. However, some skills and topics should be part of the repertoire.

The distinction between web designers, graphic designers, and web developers has disappeared in the past few years. The basis for this article should, therefore, be the term “webdesign” itself. Because this is the two major components of the job: Web and Design, after which the necessary skills can be wonderfully broken down. Of course, it is not utopian that every web designer masters everything very well in all these areas. But that’s not what it’s all about, but rather about having sufficient knowledge always to be able to see the entire project in mind.

 

Web languages

The first part of the word already tells you what each web design. But there is also a framework which knowledge makes sense: All the technologies that are related to the web, so at least:

  • HTML 5
  • CSS 3
  • Javascript

These coding languages are the foundation for proper frontend development. Especially notable: Javascript is not just JQuery. Even if the library contains a lot of what is useful in your daily work, Javascript can do a lot more. At least all web designer should have an understanding of those coding languages, even if he/she may not even work on the final code itself. Having additional coding experience with backend development or certain libraries and frameworks, of course, do not hurt. Also crucial for larger projects are Git and accordingly Github or Gitlab, to which almost all companies rely on code and projects.

 

Usability

The large abbreviations UI and UX can now be found in almost every job advertisement. That’s no wonder because an application can still be so good – without a functioning user interface, it will not be very useful. The best-known example of this is undoubtedly Apple, which invented neither the first MP3 player, nor the first smartphone, but instead each of the devices on the market, which was the best to use.

Not every heuristic needs to be known to you, and Jacob Nielsen and Steve Krug are not the only authors on your bookshelf. But you should know the difference between user experience (UX, the experience of use) and user interface (UI, the interface the user interacts with) and also know how to score in both areas, rather than the users through strange design decisions to bounce. The accessibility in web design now plays an increasingly important role, especially in public websites.

 

SEO

Hopefully, you don’t have to deal with SEO, because there are now SEO specialist in most companies. But that does not mean that you do not have to deal with the topic at all. It is also essential for you to be able to classify yourself which elements of the website influence the Google ranking – and also what you should refrain from doing. This increases the success of the page and thus the satisfaction of your customer/employer, but also gives you an additional reading of how good your job is.

 

Analytic Tools

Well, how did your last project go? It is never wrong to know exactly how to perform an analysis, which tools are the most meaningful and to be able to go through these evaluations yourself. This shows you what works and what does not. This retrospective is critical to improving your skill further.

 

Digital design

It’s a basic requirement for a good web designer to have an eye for design, but also fun to look for new trends and work with them. Some basic principles should be taken into account when assessing new ideas. It’s about:

A pink website with green text will attract as few visitors as a page that works in each paragraph with a new font or wildly distributed content across the site. These three topics are the basis of every website and every design.

 

Software

There is no recommendation as to which specific software every web designer has to master. The Adobe Creative Suite is often named, but it is not always necessary, especially if there are graphic designers in the project. In any case, it makes sense to be able to implement at least photo editing and the composition of elements with a program. An IDE that you can handle very well and which is specially adapted to your needs is a must to make your work as efficient as possible. After all, tools for visualizing ideas and software for mockups and sketching are also worthwhile to discuss your ideas quickly without having to implement a whole website.

 

Soft skills

In professional life, even more, skills are needed. Those who are self-employed must have business sense and – less a soft skill – also sufficient knowledge in business administration to handle their own business. In any case, a pure appearance, negotiation skills, and the talent to outline an idea clearly and comprehensible, to understand the wishes of the client and to adjust in case of doubt appropriately.

Of course, there are also web designers who deliberately specialize in something or bring other skills on their own, and there is another difference between salaried and freelance web designers, especially regarding soft skills and the prerequisite software knowledge. Overall, however, this list should be a good starting point for everyone, which can be added as desired.

Tanvir Hasan

I am a tireless seeker of knowledge, occasional purveyor of wisdom and also, coincidentally designer, illustrator and front-end developer with a love for all things whimsical and a thirst for learning. I love to drink, read and travel far away.

Follow me at twitter: @thetanvirhasan

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