Web designers marry creativity and technology together to create beautiful designs on webpages. There are essential skills that every web designer you should know and understand to ensure that they are producing great work. Not only are technical skills important being able to understand collaboration methods and having strong communication skills matter. Designing for clients means conversing with them to understand their needs and their vision for their site. Developing these ten skills will help you grow as a web designer and develop stronger visuals and content.
1. Understanding Design Principles
Without understanding design principles, it will be difficult to build and create unique and beautiful websites. Learning these fundamental skills of visual design can enhance your abilities and offer important foundations for web and graphic knowledge.
Principles like emergence help us focus on the website as a whole rather than honing in on individual parts. Emergence helps us process an arrangement of visual elements and helps us digest what they mean altogether.
Using reification strips back complexities and helps us recognise the essential parts of something that allow us to recognise it. This helps designers work out what is necessary for a website and what can be laid out for a user that still conveys meaning.
Another important principle is the invariance. Invariance ensures that an object stands out in your design. This teaches how to highlight particular parts that you want to encourage a user to see.
2. User Experience or UX
User experience is, in essence, how someone responds or reacts to your design. This is based on how easy the site is to use, the interactive elements that are incorporated into the design that make it a dynamic piece for users to enjoy. UX is an important skill to learn as it helps users navigate through sites in an enjoyable way.
Creating organised content spaces that are uncluttered and have negative space is usually a good starting point for any website. Designing a site with empathy rather than focussing on the technical aspects can also attract users to remain on sites. Understanding what the user needs and providing it in the design is also an important part of the UX.
3. User Interface or UI
If UX focuses on the user, UI is specifically for the site. User interface hones in on things like menus, web pages, and buttons. This is everything that allows a user to navigate through a website without there being any obstructions.
UI encompasses repeatable actions that users can learn and follow when navigating through a design, calls to action that guides users to your desired actions in less time, and interfaces that are pleasing to use as well as being high functioning.
Typography is the art of arranging letters and text and should be a skill in every great web designer’s arsenal. Typography helps shape what we believe about text and how we perceive it. Great designers understand what fonts should be inserted in places and what font is for show.
Fonts like Arial, Verdana, and Georgia all look well in body copy exaggerated serifs should be used sparingly.
5. Using Software in Design
Having a breadth of knowledge surrounding software can make every web designer’s life easier. Knowing programming languages can help but having a base knowledge of things like Figma and Webflow can help you build sites faster and easier.
Understanding basic photo editing is important as, a lot of the time, web designers work with vector-based graphics. Knowing Adobe programs like Illustrator, Photoshop, Lightroom, and InDesign can help you enhance your skillset.
6. Understanding Composition
Composition is the unity of text and design to create pleasing visuals for the user. Understanding what makes up a space that educated but is eye-catching. This harmony of text, visuals, and other elements affects how a user interacts with content, so it is important to understand how it works and how it can be improved.
To fully understand composition, a layout must incorporate a balance between contract, proportioned elements, and even negative space. Find good examples of composition in film, art, and adverts that you can draw inspiration from and utilise in your own designing efforts.
7. Mastering Content Management Systems
As a designer, you will be expected to know a variety of management systems and how to best develop a design in them. Understanding how to customise templates or add new visuals to blog spaces and static pages will help you create beautiful websites.
Using a CMS helps streamline your design process, allowing you to build on something that has already been coded, giving you the opportunity to create powerful design options.
8. Graphic Design
To be a successful web designer, knowledge of graphic design is crucial. Graphic design is based on creating visuals with longevity. Designing branding for websites that incorporates logos and vector graphics requires skills, so deepening your knowledge of graphics is critical if you want to become a successful designer.
Creating custom illustrations and graphics and hand-drawn typography are just some of the ways that you can grow in graphic design, and become an accomplished web designer.
9. Responsive Design
By honing your skillset here, you will ensure that your website delivers consistent content, translates to different devices like mobile without their being issues with the design, and creating strong layouts.
10. Colour Theory
Having a basic grasp of colour theory is integral for good web design. You should be familiar with the colour wheel and how complementary and contrasting colours work. This will interact with your text, buttons, calls to action, and even headers. It allows the user to absorb content in a more pleasing fashion and helps prevent bounce rate.