7 Important Skills you need to Hit it Big as a Web Designer

by Kamilla Sterling-Parker

Web design is a field that is always changing. Those of us who have been in the business for a long time (at least six months) have witnessed more product launches, the establishment of more concepts, and the promise of more growth than most sectors experience in a lifetime.

While the tools we use, the language we use, and the goals we strive for change all the time, basic abilities are transferrable and long-lasting, ensuring you not just survive but succeed in the business.

1. Decision Making

From which pair of socks to wear to which cryptocurrency to save your life savings in, life is a series of decisions. Each of us has a limited amount of decision-making fuel throughout the day; the more decisions you make, the more likely you are to experience decision fatigue.

The majority of individuals waste their decision-making fuel by second-guessing themselves; they make a choice and then recreate it when uncertainty comes in.

The capacity to make and stick to a choice distinguishes individuals who have the energy to make strategic judgments beyond business hours from others who can’t determine what to eat for dinner.

2. Purpose Clarity

Brushing up on design principles is always a good idea. These basic abilities, which range from colour theory to typography to user interface and layout, are not only useful to your design work, but also help you think about design at a higher level.

Designers frequently miss the forest for the trees, focused on the job at hand rather than the big picture. The bigger picture refers to the entire history, culture, and design context, not just your portfolio.

Design basics, despite their name, aren’t universal; they’re unique to you. Should you choose a script with a serif, for example? Because you’re an amazing designer, your response is probably “it depends,” but my answer is “no,” because it is a design basic for me.

Design basics might be restrictive, but by giving default answers to frequent problems, they enable you to think about bigger issues about what you’re doing and why, resulting in greater clarity of purpose.

Many artists can perform a variety of styles, but they prefer to specialise on one instrument; they made a basic decision that allowed them to go deeper into music.

3. The Holy Trinity

HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are the holy trinity of web design. Find out what they are and what they can do for you.

You must have a thorough understanding of them in order to have an informed boardroom discussion about them. You don’t need to know how to code them, yet I’ve never encountered someone who knew enough about their responsibilities to have a strategic discourse without also knowing how to code them from the ground up.

I’m not referring about frameworks, libraries, or the most up-to-date build tools. Those are merely macros for programmers. I’m talking about knowing the components of a website so that if someone questions whether the business logo in the site footer is truly necessary, you can respond with facts.

4. Simple Presentation

You’ll have to convey your ideas to someone who doesn’t share your understanding no matter what sector of design you’re in. Presenting your ideas is the greatest method to be heard, whether you’re describing the essentials to a customer or explaining your decision-making to a coworker.

A compelling presentation frequently employs the “less is more” strategy. A pitch is most effective when all superfluous detail is removed, just as a design is finalised when all unnecessary detail is removed.

Metaphor is frequently beneficial, especially if you have a passing understanding of the individual’s field of expertise, because it converts an idea into a format that the person knows and is comfortable with.

The phrase “we should…because it will enhance [a measure] by roughly… percent” is frequently used. If the person to whom you’re selling your choice requires more information — and they presumably don’t; that’s why they’ve hired you — they may enquire.

5. Strategic SEO

For the two individuals on the planet who don’t know what SEO is, it’s a huge field with as many sub-disciplines as there are UX job titles.

There are several aspects of SEO that a website must consider. Technical SEO is what programmers do; if you’re not a programmer, you may ignore it. Marketers perform content SEO; if you’re not a marketing, you may ignore it. Strategic SEO is a macro-view of a site’s plans; strategic SEO should be understood by everyone on every project.

Landing pages, single-page sites, if a blog is essential, and how, if at all, social media is used are all subjects covered in strategic SEO. All other areas of SEO are fed by strategic SEO. It is so important that it influences the very first judgments made regarding a site. Learn more about strategic SEO if you want to do more than just make things seem nice.

6. Learning a Second Language

You’ve probably observed that the internet reaches far beyond your locality. It’s a worldwide force, which involves billions of individuals speaking different languages.

It’s a no-brainer to learn a little English if you’re not a natural English speaker. You don’t have to be fluent, and you definitely don’t have to be lyrical, but the great bulk of manuals, GUIs, blog posts, forums, conferences, and the Web itself are all written in English, and translation code can only get you so far.

If you’re a native English speaker, focus on learning anything about your area or the sector you work in. It doesn’t matter what you study; learning a language and culture broadens your horizons as a person. And, assuming you don’t select anything unusual, you’ll have access to millions, if not billions, of users you wouldn’t have had access to before.

7. Saying “No”.

Everyone struggles to say “no,” whether they’re a freelancer looking for extra cash to pay the rent or a seasoned in-house designer with deadlines to meet.

The concern is that if we say no to a project or a feature request, we won’t be asked again, and gradually we’ll be passed over for all projects until we’re out of options.

The issue is that there are only so many hours in a day. There must be boundaries because if we do too much, we will do it badly. Every time you say “yes,” you’re raising the likelihood that you’ll have to say “no” to a wonderful future opportunity.

By all means, politely decline. Do things in a courteous manner. Kindness is important. Make an offer to recommend the client to someone else. But it’s preferable to say “no” to the ideal project than to have to say “no” to the perfect project because you’re overworked.

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