The web design and development industry is a growing professional that is attractive for a number of reasons. With so many companies and organizations depending on their online presence these days, the people who design, develop, and manage their websites are in high demand – a trend that is unlikely to change anytime soon.
Whether you are just starting out as a web designer or web developer or are looking to change careers and become a web professional, there are some key skills that you need if you hope to be successful in this industry. The following list of skills, both technical and otherwise, represent some of these key areas of knowledge that you should work to add to your repertoire as you begin down the path to become a website designer.
1. Design Sense
Having a good sense of design is important for web professionals who fall more into the “designer” category. There is a lot more to web design than simply knowing which colors look good together. One attribute of any truly great developer is that they not only have an excellent grasp of the technical side of their business, but also of the design and client-oriented aspect. To develop great apps and software, you have to understand how your clients and customers will use the end product. You also need to have an understanding of how real people will interact with a design so that you can make the right decisions to help meet the needs of that site. You must be knowledgeable of the elements of design as well as the basic design principles as well as typography best practices, how to use images, layout principles and more.
2. Being able to manage time and prioritize
Working in web development can be extremely stressful and chaotic at times. Projects keep stacking up and deadlines are always just around the corner. To stay efficient (and sane), it’s vital to manage your time as best as possible. This is something that many developers struggle with, simply because they never took a step back to improve their time management skills. Here are some quick actionable tips on how you can become more organized and avoid deadlines creeping up on you:
- Make a to-do list and prioritize to put the most urgent and important tasks on top. Sometimes, the other stuff will just have to wait.
- Check your list first thing every morning and make a quick plan for the day. Even though things won’t always go according to that plan, you will becoming much more efficient by having it in the first place.
- Set reminders for important tasks and project steps that you want to get finished at certain times during the day or week. Ignore everything else if needed to make sure you meet your own mini deadlines.
- Communicate with your boss or clients as soon as possible if you feel like you won’t make a deadline. It’s not ideal, but it’s not the end of the world either. The sooner you let them know about it, the sooner they can prepare.
3. Understanding UX
One attribute of any truly great developer is that they not only have an excellent grasp of the technical side of their business, but also of the design and client-oriented aspect. To develop great apps and software, you have to understand how your clients and customers will use the end product. Before you start working on a new project, take the time and really think about the design and how it will be used by consumers. Through this step you will often develop ideas that can significantly improve the product design itself.
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