Web design is where technical knowledge meets genuine artistry. A designer decides on the look, design and interactive-ness of a website. Such a person needs to have sound knowledge of HTML, CSS, Photoshop and several other tools.
However, there are certain additional skills that web designers require but which are not taught by most web design tutorials. These skills cannot be learnt overnight but are honed over a gradual period of time.
These are some of the most important designing skills that will allow the best of designers to stand out from the crowd.
Colour is the most important visual element of a website. It is the heart and soul of every design and yet doesn’t feature on most PHP tutorials. Therefore, it becomes incredibly important to have a sound understanding of colour theory and visual aesthetics.
The website’s overall design needs to have the right amount of balance to achieve the right effect on a visitor. Colour plays a significant role in getting that balance right. One must always strive to learn as much as possible about colour in terms of visual aesthetics.
Flow & spacing:
Flow in web design refers to the movement of a visitor’s eye and interest. A designer must always try to control this movement and lead the visitor towards the desired points on the website.
Spacing is the basic distance of separation between neighbouring elements. These elements could include text, image, animation or even a border. Every visual detail on a webpage constitutes as an element. Having the right amount of spacing goes a long way in ensuring the perfect look for a webpage.
Customer service skills:
Irrespective of whether one is a freelancer or working as part of a team, a designer needs to master customer service skills. This comes especially handy when one needs to present his/her design ideas to other people.
Working on one’s customer service skills will bring a lot of customers back to them for future business. Sometimes, it’s these soft skills more than the technical knowledge that determines long-term success in a job.
Knowledge of copyrighting:
Web designers also need to be efficient copyrighters on plenty of occasions. In fact, this is a very common scenario in web development offices which lack able copyrighters. Good writing skills will also help a designer work out the designs in perfect harmony with the written material.
This will also improve one’s all-around marketing skills. Designers who can write great copy are an asset to every firm and attractive prospects for clients.
Most designers either start out as freelancers or end up freelancing at some stage of their career. Therefore it makes sense to acquire key business skills and strategies so as to maximise one’s profits.
Gathering business knowledge also allows designers understand the expectations of clients and work accordingly. As a freelancer, one must make sure that they are aware of the market rates in order to know what a good price is. All creative professionals need to have practical knowledge of business to thrive in the industry.
Ace listening skills:
Forget web design tutorials, listening skills are hardly ever taught as part of any structured education course.
As a designer, not only is it important to present one’s ideas coherently but also to listen to others. Listening skills come in handy when understanding the design requirements and various deliverables of a project. Who likes to work hard on completing a design and then finding out they missed a key detail? No one does.
Another reason to be a good listener is to be able to accept feedback and incorporate it in one’s designs.
Project management is an absolute asset of a skill. It looks great on every CV and shows potential recruiters that one has the ability to work with fellow professionals.
Having project management expertise also keeps one in the reckoning for high ranking management level positions in a company.
These are some of the additional skills that designers ought to have, but most web design tutorials never teach. Sure a lot of these skills require years of experience, but one must consciously start honing them at the earliest.0