Aug 28

10 Important Things Web Designers Need to Understand

Tue, 08/28/2012 - 00:00 — julie

Web designers – everyone needs them, but great ones are hard to find. When you want to work as a web designer, talent in designing and laying out webpages is an obvious must. However, there are also several more skills and talents you need to know in order to be able to do your job effectively and brilliantly. Here are ten important things that you need to know in order to be a great web designer.

1. Search Engine Optimization Basics

While you don’t have to be an Search Engine Optimization (SEO) guru, you have to know the basics of SEO if you’re going to design web pages like a pro. You want to make your client’s sites as search engine-friendly as possible, providing more traffic, more exposure, and ultimately, more work.

Knowing about SEO is key. Web sites that have strong connections to search engines have the most success surviving and thriving on the web. When you can launch a company into top spots, you’ll be able to get your client’s sites feedback, exposure, and success.

2. HTML and XTML 

What is HTML? HTML (and similarly XTML) is basically a way to describe web pages, through coding and design language. If you plan on working for a web company of any kind, you need to know how to layout a page and use the proper tags in the HTML so that your sites can be easily indexed by the search engines. This applies across all web page programs. Coding, programming, and web editing companies all need stellar employees who know this. To start learning, check out top 10 responsive web design tutorials.

3. Coding

Coding goes hand in hand with HTML. It’s one of those skills that no one can simply start, but one that really requires patience, practice, and knowledge. Fortunately, it’s not as difficult to learn as you might think. Maybe web designers have simply taught themselves through trial and error, and looking up great start up ways to learn. You don’t need in-depth classes to be great at coding. Start now, and sharpen your skills over time.

4. Hosting Options

When designing websites, you’re also going to have to know a little bit about the different hosting options out there. If a client doesn’t know the first thing about setting up a website, you’ll probably have to set everything up for them. You may need to start reading some web hosting reviews so that you’ll have an idea of who the best companies are to work with.

5. Aesthetics 

Sometimes it’s not too difficult to know when certain webpages could use some touching up. Even professional pages with outstanding content, relevant information, and reliable sources will be skipped over in seconds of the page doesn’t look professional. That’s where great web designing can make or break companies.

Things like balance, color, graphics, typography, and grid are hardly natural skills, but learned disciplines to memorize and practice. You need to be an real artist in some senses to know how to make a page look not decent, not good, but really great. With the multitude of average and typical pages out there, great web designers can really be the pioneers of a company’s entire launch.

6. Social Media Optimization

In many cases, you have to know the basics of how to optimize a social media campaign as well. Besides search engine optimization, promoting with social media is one of the most effective strategies that businesses use.

Utilize everything – blogs, personal pages, connections to big websites, reviews, thoughts, etc. People like reading interesting, funny, and relevant content, and it’s a great way to connect them to that in through social media mediums. As a web designer, you need to know the most current and relevant social media sites, and how too utilize them in a great website.

7. People Skills

When your clients want you to set up a social media campaign for them, you should have a basic understanding of how to do it, what to look for, what to avoid, and how to get them started managing it. But in order to do this, you need a skill that is surprisingly uncommon in the workplace today – people skills.

Always, be cordial, professional, and above all, trustworthy. A far more talented web designer will almost always be looked over if he’s not a trustworthy character, for a person who might not be as talented but a far better worker with people. In this profession, it’s easy to think all your interactions will be behind a screen, but you need to know how to communicate with bosses and coworkers to excel. Without this behavior, they may want to work with a different designer with a better attitude.

8. Degrees Aren’t as Necessary as You Think

Companies are far more interested in the quality of your work than any degrees you may have. Undoubtedly, studying a degree and earning a diploma in a web design field will give you an upper hand in many areas of web design, but just because you don’t have one doesn’t mean you should give up and assume companies won’t accept your application. Focus instead on creating the best web content, and companies won’t care you don’t have a degree to show. Production is most important.

9. Proper Programs

Unfortunately, some of the best hardware and software for designing the best web pages might cost you some cash. However, you should consider buying excellent design programs as an investment into your business, just like any business expense. You need the top programs to make the top work, so attempting to become the most competitive web designer without the proper tools borders an exercise in futility. Considering Dreamweaver? Check out my post on 10 good and bad things about Dreamweaver.

10. Natural Skills Need Hard Work

Finally, you need to work hard! It may seem obvious, but the best web designers aren’t the fictional “geniuses” you might have seen in a movie that seem to just know how to write outstayed coding, create brilliant ideas, and make a site the next big thing. No, the next generation of stellar of superb web designers will be the ones who always keep up with the newest trends of web designing and technological advancements in the field, always practicing, always learning.

Overall, there are a lot of different pieces of information that you could try to learn as a Web designer, some easy, some more difficult. If you want to be the most competitive and desires as a web designer in the online world today, try and learn a bit of everything. Combine it all to make your personal web design brand, and hopefully, a career to boot.

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