Web design naturally includes tasks that require programming skills and knowledge in site usability.
These “hard skills” must-have for any web designer.
HyperText Markup Language serves as the foundation for almost all websites and remains the most vital skill to learn for web design. Even if you use a content management system or a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor, understanding HTML allows you to control your workflow and work outside of these editors whenever necessary.
While HTML handles the structure of a business website, Cascading Style Sheets, which works alongside it, defines the visual appearance.
4. Content Management Systems:
Take WordPress for example, one of the most popular CMS options for both personal sites and businesses. It’s a free site framework that’s usable by anyone from the beginner to the experienced designer. It’s worth knowing how to use the “block editor” in WordPress and expand the functionality using plugins.
5. Other Design Applications:
Depending on the client’s needs, you might need experience in image processing programs such as Photoshop, Adobe After Effects, and Adobe Illustrator. There’s also an interactive wireframing tool called Mockplus that can help with prototyping pages.
6. Web Server Management:
No matter how robust a company’s servers may be, issues and downtime are inevitable. While the web designer likely won’t need to work on the back-end, knowing about the basic functions of a web server and web hosting could help you resolve issues more quickly.
7. Online Marketing:
Business sites are mostly about making sales, so they typically find web designers with some awareness of copywriting. Being able to get the message across in a succinct way will help to inform and engage potential clients.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) leads into this skill. It goes without saying that web design and SEO are heavily connected. To secure new leads in the vast ocean of Google search results, a web designer may have to use keywords, improve page load speeds, boost domain credibility, and provide regular page updates to rank the site highly.
8. Responsive Design:
Making a webpage responsive is all about accessibility. Many visitors will only stick around for a short time, so you want to make sure the menus, text, and buttons are clear and usable throughout the page.
The responsive design includes optimizing the website to run well. It’s incredibly common for a visitor to click off if the site takes too long to load.
Company sites must also be mobile-friendly, as many users browse on a smartphone or tablet nowadays. Web designers must accommodate their layouts to support a wide variety of screen sizes and resolutions.
9. User Experience (UX):
The user experience is everything today. According to Forrester, every $1 invested in UX can translate into $100 in ROI.
Web design involves fine-tuning the user experience. That is, you need to make the page enjoyable to use and navigate. Unclutter the layout and intuitively organize the page in a logical fashion. UX also requires you to tailor your design to a specific target audience.
10. User Interface (UI):
While UX focuses on the broad aspects of web page design, UI deals with the specific aspects of how users interact with the site. When one thinks of the UI, one usually considers the buttons and menus that make up the navigation.
These come together to form a consistent experience and a straightforward interface. Do not forget to add a prompt and an obvious call to action.
11. Graphic Design:
Graphic design is fundamentally a separate job from web design, but professionals in both fields often work with each other. Web designers handle the programming, while graphic designers generate visuals to communicate the right ideas.
12. Color Theory:
The way a page aesthetically looks greatly impacts how a visitor perceives the business. Even if a web designer does not specialize in graphic design, it’s still worth learning how to use complementary and contrasting colors effectively.
While technical skills are essential, the ideal web designer has a variety of soft skills to guarantee a successful project for the client company.
13. Setting Up Projects:
When web designers search for projects to take on, they usually research the business, ask about their goals, and figure out what they expect from the website. They typically look at the competition and find out what they can do to stand out.
14. Communication Skills:
Communication is a necessity for almost any business professional, but it’s incredibly important in web design. A designer must not only understand the goals of the business but also be able to convey their decisions to the client and explain why they contribute to the success of the website.
15. Interpersonal Skills:
Web design is almost never a single-person job. You might have to talk with people who aren’t designers themselves and explain your vision of the project in a layman’s terms.
Design often involves working alongside other departments in the business, like marketing or IT. For instance, you might talk with marketing to find out how to optimize the site for making conversions.
16. Critical Thinking Skills:
How will a visitor react to your design? What can you do to keep the users engaged and interested? Web design is a significant test of one’s decision making skills. Everything you have to consider, from the planning to the execution and marketing, involves making subtle yet important decisions regarding even the smallest elements of web design.
17. Project Management:
Professional sites take a long time to complete and often require regular revisions. You must understand how to start a project and keep yourself aligned with the goals of a business throughout the process.
18. Minimizing Distractions:
Whether the designer is hired or works freelance, keeping an eye on deadlines is another vital skill. Clearing distractions and making constructive use of company time ensures that costly last-minute rushes don’t happen.
From taking client feedback to making difficult decisions regarding interface design, web design will involve a lot of setbacks and potential frustration. Patience makes working with a web designer more constructive.
20. Taking Feedback:
Always find web designers who are willing to take outside opinions and commit changes that the company requests. Creating a website means making constant revisions to fine-tune all the components. The ideal designer knows how to implement feedback.
21. Acquiring References:
A business searching for web designers will almost always turn to the list of references before making a final decision.