2020 has revolutionized the way designers work . For security reasons, there are more people working remotely than ever before. If you are a web designer (or aspiring web designer), much of the hands-on experience of remote working will continue to be useful for the foreseeable future.
But beyond the skills that allow designers to work from home, there are many others required to become an established web designer in 2021. Whether you’re looking for a good job or just looking to start building your career as a web designer, below is a list of what you need to be successful.
- 1. User Interface (UI) & Visual Design
- 2. Design principles
- 3. Basic HTML & CSS Skills
- 4. Knowledge of UX
- 5. Responsive design
- 6. Content management systems
- 7. Design software
- 8. Internet Marketing
- 9. Color theory
- 10. Typography
- 11. Project management
- 12. Time management
- 13. Creative thinking
- 14. Communication and collaboration
What does a web designer do?
First of all, what does the job of a web designer involve? The responsibilities of web designers include creating (and sometimes developing) various websites and web pages. Its main task is to define the overall visual appearance of a website by combining elements such as color, typography, composition, illustration, and visual hierarchy.
Web designers will often work with different clients and brands to build their online presence and communicate their desired ideas.
1. UI & Visual Design
The most basic skills of a successful web designer in 2021 are experience in creating effective user interface (UI) and visual design. While learning the basics of what makes a design “good” is important, you’ll learn most from practice, trial and error, and analyzing other design projects.
2. Design principles
Design principles are an essential key factor in creating a visually appealing design. Most often, it has proportion, balance, repetition, accents, grouping, contrast, proportion, rhythm and auxiliary space (although other sources may add additional principles or omit one or some of these).
Understanding how these principles interact and what impact they have on users is critical to creating designs that users will enjoy interacting with. They are also important because they can simplify and organize the design process by showing designers how to get started and how to group elements.
3. Basic HTML & CSS Skills
While not all designers will work directly with HTML and CSS, it is important to have a good understanding of how they function. If you know how to use HTML and CSS, you will understand their limits and be able to create a working web design that can be properly typeset for real use.
4. Knowledge of UX
User Experience (UX) is one of the most important parts of designing an exceptional and effective website. In large projects, a narrow UX specialist (or designer, or researcher) can work, in small projects, a web designer can also act as a UX designer.
5. Responsive design
With most people around the world now accessing the Internet from mobile devices, responsive design is more important than ever. Understanding how to design for different screen sizes is imperative. While creating separate desktop and mobile versions of the site is an option, responsive design makes it easier to cover the wide range of screen sizes in the market, from small smartphones to tablets, laptops and desktops.
6. Content management systems
Most modern websites are based on a Content Management System (CMS). Although WordPress is the most popular, there are hundreds of CMSs in the world. You don’t need to learn how to use all of them, but it’s a good idea to get started with the basics of how they work and what they do, and then master the most commonly used ones.
7. Design software
When it comes to design software, different designers and design teams have different preferences. Sketch, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or XD, Affinity Designer, and Figma are popular choices, although others exist.
While the way each program works varies, they all have similar functionality for creating and organizing items and layouts. Which one you choose to use depends on personal preference and potentially the requirements of the company you work for.
8. Internet Marketing
No, you don’t need to become an internet marketing expert to become a web designer. But understanding how it works and, more importantly, how different types of graphic data manifest themselves in different circumstances is important for any web designer.
Online marketers have a variety of visual needs, from social media design to supporting content, infographics, and images for online advertising. If you understand what images you might need and how to create ones that perform better than the competition, you will have an edge over other designers.
9. Color theory
Of all design elements, color potentially has the strongest impact on usability and user experience. To be successful web designers need to know at least the basics of color theory. This includes understanding the psychology of color , the process of creating a color palette, and concepts such as contrast.
It takes years of practice and training to become a true color theory expert, but the basics can be learned relatively quickly. Thus, you need to experiment and test color combinations in your designs.
Besides color theory, typography also has a strong impact on user experience and usability. Good typography makes text content pleasant to read, while bad typography can make information completely unreadable.
Typography principles include things like scale, contrast, legibility, readability, and font combinations. There are established principles and guidelines for each of them, but at the same time type design allows a lot of experimentation and creative expression.
11. Project management
Many web designers face dual responsibilities: managing the projects they create. This is typical for small design teams or small projects where there is no need for a dedicated project manager.
Ability to manage projects, deadlines and delegation is a key skill for web designers. You will need to master common project management techniques and applications to be most effective. Project management does not have to be difficult, but it is necessary that the design project is completed without problems and on time.
12. Time management
Similar to project management, designers also need to be experts in managing their time. Given how many designers currently work remotely (and will likely continue to do so in the near future), time management is more relevant than ever.
One of the keys to properly managing your time is knowing when you are most effective and creative. Working during these critical times can dramatically improve your productivity and productivity without the need for extra work.
You will also need to understand how to break down large projects into smaller tasks so that you can progress steadily by completing them instead of waiting until the last minute or trying to solve too many things in a very short amount of time.
13. Creative thinking
Creative thinking skills are essential for any designer. The ability to approach design problems in a creative way gives designers value and increases their relevance.
You can improve them in different ways. Although one of the best is just practice. Think of creativity as a muscle. If you don’t use it, it will atrophy and weaken. But by using it regularly, you can strengthen your ability to think creatively.
14. Communication and collaboration
With so many design teams working remotely, communication and collaboration skills have become even more important. When designers are not in the same office, they need to think more carefully about how they communicate and work together.
In addition to basic communication and collaboration skills, you will need to make sure that you are familiar with the applications, platforms, and technologies used by remote teams in order to organize these processes. They include applications like Slack in addition to things like version control of electronic content.
Skills Needed to Become a Professional Web Designer
Whether you’re working as a designer as an employee or freelancer, in the office or remotely, these skills will help you become more successful this year and into the future