How to become a Web Designer- The best skill you should know
"If your business is not on the internet, then your business will be out of business."- More than two decades ago, Bill Gates uttered those historical words. As per a recent report produced by NetCraft, more than 644 million websites are floating across the internet. So naturally, this makes web designers a crucial part of any company's marketing strategy, putting these professionals in unbelievably high demand!
However, as an amateur in web designing, it may look quite challenging to comprehend where to start and what skills you need to become a successful web designer. This post unveils all the secrets involved.
- Web designers - Defining the job role
- Difference between Web developers and Web designers
- Becoming a Web designer - The best hacks
Web designers - Defining the job role
In a one-liner, a website designer shoulders the responsibility of creating the design and layout of a website or web pages. The working area includes a website to be developed or the one that already exists.
Difference between Web developers and Web designers
Though the job roles of a web developer and a web designer look similar, they differ significantly. Web developers are the specialists who turn web designs into reality by writing code that dictates how different parts of the website can fit together. In contrast, the job role of a web designer is limited to creating eye-catching site designs and layouts. Nevertheless, the crossover between the two positions is implementable spending on the acquired skill sets. The following are some of the inevitable job responsibilities of web designers.
Responsibilities of the web designing job
- Creating website designs
- Producing sample sites
- Aligning client meets to discuss the project demand and progress
- Presenting draft sites and receiving feedback on the work done.
- Acquiring enough information to remain updated with the new trends of technological advancements.
- Creating user-friendly, efficient, and visually appealing web pages.
- Editing Images and executing the digital retouching jobs.
- Being an active team player who works hand-in-hand with the developers and digital marketers.
- Taking up challenges like working for extended hours or adhering to the deadline.
Employers who always look for quality Web designers
- IT Organizations
- Large Scale corporates
- Software companies
- Companies who work exclusively on website developing & designing
Mentioned are the employment areas for web designers. However, it's always preferable to join a web design course that offers certification to get quality web design jobs with reputed employers. However, if you don't have a degree or diploma in website designing, you can also get quality web design jobs by creating appealing portfolios.
- The ability to visualize and imagination
- Attention to detail
- Ability to analyze
- Brilliant Communication
- Tech-savvy approach
- Outstanding IT skills
- Expertise in SEO
- Knowledge of handling Designing Tools
So, now that you know the nitty-gritty of the job roles of web designers, it's time to check out the best hacks that can help you achieve success as a web designer.
Becoming a Web designer - The best hacks
Let's delve deeper and find out how to become a triumphant website designer.
Understanding the theory of Website designing is essential
If it's about learning a new discipline, it's more than essential to understand its foundational principles. Well-designed and fully functional websites adhere to the strict rules of UX design. They must hold good usability and pleasing aesthetic appeal.
An attractive UX design induces the will to spend a little time on your site and revisit it in the future, while a bad one forces them to leave your site in seconds. Therefore, before getting your hands dirty with the creation game, it's imperative to learn the rules of organizing websites. The journey of acquiring quality knowledge starts with knowing the know-how of creating clear and robust information architecture. There are many authentic sources to learn this; all you need to do is take an hour or two from your busy daily schedule to grab the essentials.
Gaining some coding knowledge makes your job easy
If you want to pursue your career as a successful web designer, it's wise to start gaining some ideas about the trending programming languages. Undoubtedly, these days, anyone can go ahead and create websites using custom builders like Wix, Squarespace, and so on; however, by doing so, you won't be able to achieve that versatility and experience that a real website designer holds. But, on the other hand, even if you manage to earn the beginner's level coding knowledge, it will help you develop an accurate concept of technically feasible designs.
So, put your life jacket on and jump into the ocean of coding! Learn as much as you can about CMS and HTML. HTML is liable for the structure and content of the web page, and CSS regulates the styling alternatives.
Keep yourself up-to-date with basic SEO rules
Are you aspiring to establish yourself as an in-demand web designer? Well, you have to go far beyond designing then! Modern-day websites are next to useless if they cannot catch the attention of search engine bots and serve marketing purposes. It's said that the best place to hide a dead body is the second page of Google!
So, to create designs that generate value, it's paramount to be well-versed with the concept of Search Engine Optimization to improve the visibility of the website you design and make it ideal for online marketing. Naturally, it creates room for putting the adequate focus on organic promotional or marketing efforts by bettering the site's performance and optimizing it for various platforms.
Be a part of the Web design community
There is no better alternative for learning than learning from the best! So, never give it a second thought when someone suggests you join a web design community like Sitepoint or Uxmastery. However, remember, just joining is not going to help; you need to be an active player there.
Apart from that, following the social media profiles of web design celebs like Sara Soueidan, Brad Frost, and Jesse James Garrett will also turn out advantageous.
Testing can help you perform better
Web designs work on the evaluation-centric methodology. When you run an analysis of your last done work, it helps you to ensure that the page load speed is optimal and the site design is responsive. These days, with Google Pagespeed Insights, you can perform the task of checking the said parameters effortlessly.
Learning to iterate and seeking critique can help you achieve perfection
Like any other vertices of designing, web designing is also quite a subjective matter. Due to this reason, designers across the globe prefer to collect feedback for the job done. The feedback-gathering session can help you identify the areas of improvement. Eventually, this results in better designs.
Additionally, avoiding the curse of creative perfectionism is equally important. Things may look drastically complex if you try to make things picture-perfect right from the first attempt of designing. Perfectionism is the destination of your journey as a web designer, and the thirst to reach there too early may hurt your confidence, and you may lack motivation.
Hence, it's better to go slow and focus on creating tangible designs that allow you to earn experience. In addition, never miss working on the feedback you receive and put your best efforts to better your designing skills.
Keep the best tools handy
A dynamic industry like web design demands the right implementation of skills associated with using the right tools. Without keeping the industry-standard tools handy, it's almost next to impossible to contend with the latest design trends.
Concerning the broadness of the discipline, web designers are required to gather some experience in using different designing aspects and related tools. Here are some of the most vital ones among them:
- Graphic Design: Technically, graphic design is a different niche; however, if you work as a web designer, you often need to tour graphic design aspects to clear up specific design-related issues. So, there's no harm in earning some experience in using graphic designing tools like Adobe Photoshop. It helps you to resize and crop images, compressing pictures, and much more.
- Prototyping: One of the cornerstones of web design is prototyping. When you manage to gain a robust prototyping skill, you don't need to wait to validate assumptions related to the final design. Instead, it will help you in validating the designs in fractions of seconds. One of the best and trendiest prototyping tools is Mockplus. Apart from the said tools, as a web designer, you should also know how to handle Content Management Systems. This software makes managing content exceptionally convenient for website owners. When talking about the most popular CMS of recent time, WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla deserve mention.
Fulfilling the dream of becoming a website designer is not as hard as it may look. However, it won't help if you lose hope, patience, and determination. Do you remember that old saying - "Rome Wasn't built in a day? So, keep practicing, sharpen your skills and enrich yourself with intense knowledge and experience- success will kiss your feet!
About the author
Dennis Hoinkis has been working as a web developer and in online marketing since 1998. After building up a marketing agency and the exit in 2013, he consulted international groups as a freelance consultant. Since 2022, he and his team now offer staffing services in this field.
Dennis Hoinkis CEO, GLOMASTCO Ltd.