Web design is a fantastic option for folks who have artistic inclinations but want to work in information technology. When you work in web design, you combine nuts-and-bolts practical thinking with larger “big picture” projections. Web designers work with the latest technologies and command excellent salaries, so if you have any design chops, it’s a great career choice. But what skills do you need to be a web designer?
We answer that question in this article and give you the tools you need to get your new web development career started on the right foot. You’ll find out the top skills that can move you from your current job into a rewarding and lucrative web design position, and we show you which design tool is the best one to pick up first. Before you know it, you’ll be designing websites and making your career dreams come true.
Learn Your Design Software
Every discipline has its specialized equipment that makes the work easier and more manageable. Web design is no different when it comes to tools unique to the discipline, and it’s this area that you should tackle first when you decide to start studying for web design work. You’ll need to be a design software pro when you plan websites, as you’ll be building your other skills as an extension of this initial one.
You’ll get to know Adobe products very well as you embark on your journey to becoming a web designer. Illustrator, Photoshop, and Sketch will all become your close companions—each one has its use within the visual design world, and each is invaluable. Study them all closely. You can also find free alternatives such as GIMP if you need to save money while you get your career off the ground.
Pick Up Some UX Chops
Part of what separates web designers from other web development workers lies in the approach. Web designers work with the end-user in mind and endeavor to design sites and functions that provide the best possible experience. That’s where UX comes in. UX, or user experience, refers to the ways website functions and designs make end-users feel. Emotion is a huge aspect of web design: you want to evoke a specific mood in end-users.
You’ll need to take the time to study UX when you start your web design career. UX involves lots of research and requires you to create personas, or hypothetical ideal user profiles. You’ll study the profiles to find out the paths users take to navigate the site, which items they overlook, and why they behave the way they do. Good UX involves a mix of technical know-how and psychology, and it is a vital web development skill.
That’s the deal, me hearties. Web design is a great career path for the visually minded techie and can give you a unique combination of soft and technical experience, but you need to know what to study to get started. We’ve let you in on the essential skills you should pick up to become a star web designer.