10 Skills You Need to Design an Engaging Website in 2014 and Beyond
It’s no secret that graphic or web designers need skills that go beyond just knowing the software. In fact, technical skills that an employer looks for in a graphic designer are just the tip of the iceberg. In order to come up with good and engaging websites, designers today are required to possess many different skills and excel at them too.
Web designers are traditionally expected to be good at writing and communicating, and full of self-initiative. But this doesn’t suffice anymore. In this post we go beyond these common attributes and look at other skills that web designers should possess to create engaging websites and gain a competitive edge in their field.
1. Research and Analytical Skills
Website designing requires plenty of planning and research. It’s critically important for a web designer to be able to assess a situation accurately, seek multiple perspectives, gather more information if necessary, and identify key issues that need to be addressed.
Before designing a website, a web designer should:
- Research about the client’s company.
- Research and analyze competitors’ websites to find out what works and what does not.
- Keep a track of related industry trends.
This will help you ask probing questions to the client and extract out of them accurate information regarding their needs.
2. Great at Ideation
A web designer should be good at coming up with new and unique ideas. He should also be able to get those ideas on paper easily.
Thinking outside the box will help a web designer emerge with brilliant ideas as innovation happens when people use their imagination and creativity in tandem. You should not only be creative in your experiments, but also approach the design process with an open mind.
You should be able to buck the trend. Plenty of web design artists know coding and designing, but only those who are creative and unique stand out.
3. Able to Get Design Inspiration from Various Sources
A web designer can come up with original ideas by closely observing the environment he lives in or even by taking an interest in totally unrelated fields like photography, painting, sculpting, history, even biology. Reading and/or traveling will also help generate ideas. An open mind finds inspiration everywhere.
4. Attention to detail
Designers are often told the devil is in the details. A designer should thus be aware of the tiniest details of the clients’ requirements. When designing a website, it is imperative for designers to be able to come up with a basic drawing and then be able to follow through with all the minute details that their client is trying to express with words. To focus on details, he should also be a good listener while receiving the feedback about draft sites.
Knowing and paying attention to details will help you understand your client’s desires and thus get their approval easily. It is often the details in the design that make a website unique so this skill cannot be overlooked or even downplayed.
5. Great Man Management
A web design artist should be able to co-ordinate with others to achieve the desired goals. For designing a website, designers are required to communicate with their team members, like the web developers. You should be able to get along well and communicate effectively with the developers. People skills are important to ensure the smooth functioning of a web design process.
6. Self-Monitoring and Self-Evaluation
A web designer should be able to analyze and evaluate his work, look for solutions to problems and make necessary changes in the draft site before sending it over to the client. Though the final analysis will be done by the client, you must consider it your responsibility to evaluate the work first. This will help you fix any errors. Sending an error-free draft will leave a lasting impression on your client.
7. Organizational Skills
Organizational skills help designers effectively manage tasks and information. The ability to stay organized and prioritize well ensures improved work output. Setting a goal can move you to be organized in order to get to the finish line faster and with a better quality of work. Make a list or schedule of things to do and follow it.
Reducing clutter is another way to be organized: file your papers, dispose things you no longer need, throw away unnecessary papers, organize your files in the computer and do other things to make your work area free of clutter.
8. Presentation Skills
Though presentation skills are essential for a designer to succeed in selling his ideas, they are probably among the most underrated and seldom discussed skills. Tools and software will help you design a website, but when it comes to communicating your ideas to the clients you will need to do it effectively.
You may work hard to create a masterpiece but if you cannot sell it well, with passion and enthusiasm, your wonderful idea may not find any takers.
9. Flexibility and Adaptability
Designers are expected to be flexible with project demands. Even the most detailed draft site should have room for flexibility as things can change during any stage of the project, thus needing a completely different outlook from what was first anticipated. A great designer therefore must be flexible and work within constraints, guidelines or specifications, adapting his design to the situation.
As technology is ever-evolving, designers need to adapt to new ideas, environment and responsibilities according to the changes. Those who survive the longest are the ones most adaptable to these changes.
10. Time Management Skills
A web designer should be effective at managing time. You should try to complete your work before the deadline and then take feedback from the client for the draft site that you created and make changes as needed. Completing work before time will give you the chance to re-check everything and correct any errors.
Efficiently managing your time is the key to feeling confident in the quality, creativity, and effectiveness of your design projects. You can be successful at time management if your efforts are focused and well-planned and if you are good at multitasking. Delivering a project on time leaves a positive impression on your client.
A web designer should possess above mentioned essential skills to be considered great and to stand out from the competition.
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