Typically, when learning web design people often pay attention to professional skills such as Photoshop or jQuery. However, that is not enough because it can only make you a web designer on a regular basis. To be a successful web designer, you need to have more elements.
This job is not as simple as you think. To really master it, you need to pay attention to managing the workflow. After you have created a beautiful and engaging website, you have to combine it with the next steps in your plan such as how to communicate, how to advertise …
However, in the process of working, the web designers have summarized and shared the key elements so that those who are eager to become a successful designer can rely on it and learn. These elements you cannot learn through school cannot learn through books. That would be the skill that you need to train it day by day. In my opinion, this is really a very valuable advice.
In today’s article, I have chosen very carefully and I will share with you the 12 most important elements of a successful web designer.
1. Message transmission skills
This is a very important skill, which made me put it in the first place of this article. This is really a factor that determines the success or failure of your product.
Once you have completed your work, there should be messages in bold or make it stand out to let your customers see “what is the subject of this product”, “the purpose of product “,” why I create this product”. Messages convey the fact that you are present and talking to your customers. Therefore, if they are clear, meaningful and truly beautiful in the eyes of customers then surely that customer will be yours.
2. Sell Yourself
This is a very significant word in the web design industry. Web design is a battlefield in which you will face many other opponents. Because customers will have a lot of choices, make sure they will only select the skilled degigners and meet their requirements.
You can be a calm, quiet and humble person. However, if you want to become a famous designer then you need to express yourself and not be silent. There are many ways to PR yourself. For example, using the media, using information cards, or your customers will tell each other about you… What I want to say here is the value of yourself. Let tell people that who you are and what you are good at. If you are just a person who likes to sit at the desk, design your product and wait for the customer to come to you, you are really having problems. Take the initiative!
3. Have a detailed plan before designing
Nowadays, I realize that many people carry their thoughts “waiting for inspiration” before they can embark on designing their products. But when does that inspiration come to you?
In fact, this will come faster when you have a clear and detailed plan before you figure out the direction to design the product. Take the following 3 factors to complete your own plan:
Find out all the information about your customers that you can find.
Understand the desire of the customer.
Learn about trends related to customer requirements, you can see what your competitors have done with those trends.
Make a paper draft, listing what you can think of. Then slowly synthesize them, put them into groups and you will see what you need to do in the plan.
You can read more about “design planning” here.
4. Seriously see the reviews on your product
Be serious when looking at other people’s reviews of your product. That may be compliments or criticisms. However, what I want to say here is about customer criticism.
You must truly accept them as mistakes in your work, from which you will have experiences for yourself. At the same time you have to fix your mistake, try to fix it, this is a very important factor.
Successful web designers always pay much attention to other people’s comments about their product and they see it as a measure to improve their skills further. Keep in mind for me that having someone else checks and gives feedback on your mistakes is always a motive for you to go on the “design” road, that will get you growing up in this job. You can read more about the importance of feedback in Brandon’s article on the subject.
5. Distinguish between web design and graphic design
It was a surprise when I surveyed and realized that most designers were confused by the two concepts. Although the same designer, but these two factors are completely different. You need to clearly distinguish these two concepts in order to create quality products.
Graphic design is to create a product that you can use to print on paper or serve a clear, simple purpose. It is a job to serve the evident needs of the customer. In contrast, web design requires more than that. Because you also have to pay attention to factors such as product PR, customer purpose…
6. Always update the new technology of the world
The internet industry is growing very fast and there are always new technologies available everydays with high efficiency. Therefore you need to update to keep up with it. Create a work schedule and choose a fixed time every day to keep up to date on new technologies, find out what’s new, design trends, new technology
I will provide you with an overview of what I do in the field of design. Look in Envato Market, see which products are sold the most. Based on that, you will see the trends and desires of customers, and also see how other designers meet these needs….
7. “Soft skills” in Web design
In addition to the core design skills, you also need to focus on the softt skills in Web design. Because they will bring comfort and satisfaction to your customers and enhance the professionalism in the product that you create.
8. Experience from day to day
In the web designer industry, experience sometimes helps us out more than skills. Experience also contributes significantly to the success of a web designer. Customers are also very concerned about this, they always want to know how long you have experienced in this field and they always choose reputable long-standing web designer.
My advice for you in this eighth element is “get started as soon as possible”. If you are still in school, look for customers who have a simple request to embark on your future career right now. Do not pay attention to money at this time, because what you get will be more than that. Believe me, you will soon recognize it in 2 or 3 years.
9. Organize the work system clearly
This is a “soft skill” of myself that I want to share with you. It is very useful!
At work, any work you do, there are times when you will overload or there are times when things happen to you and that inadvertently affects your ability to work, which makes you unable to focus on the job at all. Web design is also, even it is very influential because the nature of work you do should be accurate, meet the requirements and details.
I usually have the habit of categorizing files, images with the same subject, the same video, audio files … into folders on my PC. This helps me quickly find what I need and reduce the pressure of work. Besides, I also have a notebook to keep track of what I need to do to master my work schedule.
10. Professional business sense
Try to maintain business thinking at all times. Businesses view this as selling products to users, evaluating product values, and calculating costs. In web design there is also business thinking. After completing the product for the customer, you should provide or suggest to them strategies or solutions to promote their products to achieve higher efficiency. Besides that you should learn about the needs and desires of the viewer when they click on your web site. From here you will be able to give feedback to your customers so they can do business better.
To do this will take a bit of time, but it will be your advantage over other competitors, even if they are big design companies.
This is a factor not only web designer but most other industries also pay attention. Working with others and clearly separating what you should do, your colleagues should do to make the work more efficient as well as the work process will be faster.
You may be working as a freelance web designer, or maybe you are working for a company or a studio, working with a team is inevitable. The key here is, you have to understand your role in the team, the positions that are linked together. Moreover, you can learn from your colleagues.
If you have difficult requirements to do it yourself, you can go to Envato Studio to find other web designers to collaborate with.
12. Updated Portfolio
This is a very important element and it is essential for any web designer. You need to have a catalog to store what you have done, even if it is a product that you have completed long time ago.
This is the best way to demonstrate your ability to reach out to your customers, and it will really give your customers confidence. They will see how your workflow changes, and most importantly, what level you are at right now.
Store all the categories you have from content files, fonts, color adjustments, techniques you’ve put into the product, and why you use them. This will give you a clear basis for talking about cost with your customers.
Web design is a creative but extremely competitive field. A successful web designer needs patience, ceaseless learning and bravery to deal with any situation. Because the worst thing about web design is “give up”.
You may not be good at this field at this time. No problem, keep going and grow slowly. And with these 12 tips, I hope I helped you a little to become a professional and successful web designer.