In this article, we provide an overview of tips and skills that every web designer should master in order to advance in her career.
Last update December 14, 2020 by Lorenzo Ermigiotti
Table Of Contents
- Web Designers: which skills should you hone?
- Soft Skills for web designers
- Basic designing tools
- What web designer careers are there?
- How do I choose my career path as a designer?
- What is the best career in digital design?
- What kind of web designer makes the most money?
- What kind of digital designers are most in-demand?
Developing websites requires several skills. Most of these skills can be taught in a classroom setting or self-taught through online learning. A web designer should be able to deliver a website that satisfies the needs of the user. In this article, we will offer tips on the key areas, and necessary tools web designers need to develop and be conversant with to advance in their career.
Web Designers: which skills should you hone?
Web designers need to be equipped with comprehensive foundational skills to be able to deliver visually appealing websites. Web designers are required to create user personas, layout pages and content using a site map and figure out the path users take on your site in user flows. You need to understand what users are looking in your website and ensure you build wireframes to sketch out the critical parts of the webpage. To achieve this, there are skills needed, and web designers should work to be proficient in them.
Visual design focus on digital products that determine how a website looks and feels. The design principles ranging from typography, web fonts and colour palettes applied also play a role.
Using Design software
Every web designer needs to know how to use the right tool in their work. They need to be familiar with the different design software such as Adobe Photoshop, Sketch and Illustrator. Having skills in the design software will help you design a site that meets the industry standard and satisfy the needs of the user. They assist in helping you create mockups, design logos and images and modify images. Some design directly in a web browser, but being able to use these tools helps you to be miles ahead in the quality of your design.
A web designer is also supposed to know how to code. He must be proficient with HyperText Markup Language to be able to put content on a web page and give it a structure. As a web designer, you should be able to put headlines, footers, paragraphs and graphics in a website. Therefore, having skills in HTML will go a long way in helping you complete your projects.
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is the code that informs browsers how to style or format HTML for a web page. CSS enhances the look of the website and help you adjust colours, change fonts and background of the web page. It enables you to implement the creativity you have into the site you are designing.
Soft Skills for web designers
In a developer career, web designers need the following soft skills to excel in their work.
Time management skills
Web developers are required to have excellent time management skills and be able to meet deadlines. Web designers work in a fast-paced environment, and they need to schedule their work well to meet the objectives of their clients. Besides, having excellent time management skills enables you to stay on top of your schedule and complete your projects on time. You also need to have a production schedule and have tools that help you in prioritising and tracking your work to succeed.
Being able to communicate clearly and get in touch with others is essential. You should be able to keep others updated on the progress of what is ongoing and clarify any issues that may arise. Communicating helps you to convey any information, whether technical or not in a way that is easily understood. Being able to communicate helps your design to be recognised by other team members who are a significant boost to your work.
Web designers should possess functional problem-solving skills to enable them to create flawless sites.
Teamwork and research skills
Web designers work collaboratively as a team to accomplish their tasks. Web designers looking to advance in the developer career should be able to work in a team to complete projects successfully. They should also be skilled in carrying out research and coming up with useful findings.
Attention to detail
Web designers should have a keen eye on details and be able to offer solutions to clients challenges.
Also, a career in web design requires you to be skilled in technical expertise such as
- Digital marketing
- Graphics and design
- Coding and Scripting
- Multimedia production
- Web application
- User experience design
Basic designing tools
As a designer, you need to be conversant with necessary tools such as Adobe Illustrator, and Photoshop to help you navigate through the designing canvas.
UX/UI and visual design
To be a good web designer, you need to master the craft of enhancing user experience (UX) and user interface (UI). You need to learn how to use colour psychology, grid systems, and web fonts to design websites that are visually appealing and which are responsive to all kinds of devices.
Web server management
It is a critical web designer skill, and it helps you to solve problems effectively. Also, it helps you to understand web server functions.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
All web designers should be able to perform search engine optimisation effectively. You need to sharpen your skills in making sure the structure, speed, layout and performance of the website is SEO-friendly. Also, being able to gain familiarity with how search engines operate will ensure that they design websites that achieve the desired results.
Content management system (CMS)
Being familiar with the CMS software helps you design active websites. The software application integrates digital assets management of embedded graphics, web designs, video-audio files and programming codes.
Web designers need to know how to do digital marketing and the various strategies employed. It helps you to know the latest market trends and enable you to test your website then identify areas that need improvement. It also lets you design a website with the latest working design.
What web designer careers are there?
There is a variety of careers in the web design industry, which include:
- UX designer
- Applications developer
- Multimedia programmer
- Web content manager
- Multimedia specialist
- SEO specialist
- UX researcher
- Web designer
- Web developer
What new digital designer careers I should consider?
New careers for digital designers include:
- Technical author
- Software engineer
- Information systems manager
- Database administrator
- IT sales professional
- Software tester
- Systems analyst
How do I choose my career path as a designer?
To set the ball rolling in your career path as a designer, you need to start by knowing the necessary skills of web design. You can learn practical courses in web design and coding. It will equip you with essential skills on how to create a web from start to finish, wireframing, iterating through the sitemap until the final stage.
You also need to have a background of mathematics and coding to help you effectively handle a web development project. Though you can start from scratch, having such knowledge puts you above the rest. Research by Robert Half Technology has shown that people with a bachelor’s degree in computer science or related subject excel in web design and advance quickly in their career.
You also need to sharpen your technical skills.
You also need to have excellent coding skills, and practising using platforms such as GitHub can help you excel in your web design career path. Coding enables you to develop functional problem-solving skills related to programming and how to manage a complex site.
You also need to be online and have a portfolio showcasing your skills where employers can see you. Having a portfolio helps you test new technologies and demonstrate your coding capabilities.
What is the best career in digital design?
A UX/UI designer is the best career in digital design. It combines creative skills and technical capabilities to bring animations, graphic and visual effects into reality. Through UX/UI design, you can create the special effects seen in movies and video games as well as mobile applications that are user-friendly.
What kind of web designer makes the most money?
UX designer makes the most money in the digital career industry. They even end up to be CTO of the company. It is a lucrative career in digital design with an average salary of $96, 500. UX designers are also in high demand in many industries, and therefore they need always to improve their skills to remain relevant. They develop user personas, conducts usability testing, creates prototypes, and sketch wireframes. They create everything that impacts how the user interacts and feels when using the product. User Experience (UX) designers are in charge of customer satisfaction, and therefore they have to meet customer needs. He/she ensures that any product, whether it is an app or website, it is user-friendly.
UX designers incorporate elements of visual design, interaction design, and user research and information architecture in developing their apps or websites. It requires him/her to have a diverse skillset.
What kind of digital designers are most in-demand?
Need for digital designers is growing exponentially, and here is a list of the in-demand digital designers.
Animation has become a critical skillset in the developer career, and therefore professionals skilled in this area are in-demand. Motion designers are highly skilled in animation and are needed in various sectors. Motion design is applied in almost all types of designs ranging from UI animations, web interactions and branding.
Nowadays, illustration is done digitally. This has led to the growth of illustration in product design and branding. Many businesses now understand the importance of value custom illustration brings to their business. They have now embraced art in their brands which is influencing the way people perceive their products.
UX designers are in demand and have become very competitive. They ensure the customer experience is at the top, and the product is easy to use. They are at the heart of customer satisfaction and their work either brings more business or reduces it. Therefore many organisations are investing in UX designers with the right skills and treating them as part of their assets.
Graphic designers are in high demand, and therefore developers are needed to have Adobe Photoshop know-how and strong visual communication skills. Graphic design skills are applied in social media, print media and brand identity, and many organisations continue to look up for this talent.
Many businesses today are looking forward to establishing their products as a unique brand, and this requires the skills of a product designer. Every product design has to be creative and powerfully resonate with the type of business.
Many product designers work in-house with other teams in every stage of production to ensure that the final product meets the set objectives. Product designers are required to have an eye for details, problem-solving skills and advanced communication skills.
Multimedia artists are skilled in graphics technology and computer animation. They create designs and effects used in digital media and come up with illustrations used in videos. They are mainly in demand in the entertainment industry, and developers looking to grow in their career can consider this field. They have a background in design-related subjects and computer technologies.
DevOps engineers collaborate with other engineers in the organisation to come up with software or an application. Together with the CTO, they oversee the creation of codes and identify where the software developed is inefficient and come with solutions on how it can run efficiently. They perform their tasks through monitoring, troubleshooting, configuring and editing what needs to be done.