A website is essential for any entrepreneur. It is a space on which business owners can clearly communicate their brand message and ethos. Moreover, they will be able to create brand loyalty without interference from all the competition that clouds social media. That is why it is essential to design a good looking website with strategically placed content.
What is Web Design?
Web design refers to the creation of websites on the internet. It encompasses planning, design and arrangement of content online. A professional web design company focuses more on user experience rather than software development.
Why is Web design important?
1.It sets the first impression for customers. According to various studies, 66% of the customers vising a website, prefer looking at a beautifully designed one versus something plain and simple one.
2.Web design aids in search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, therefore increasing the ranking of the website.
3.It puts a business on the map with its competitors. If the competition utilizes web design, then you must also do so, to remain in competition with them.
4.It allows the audience to get familiar with the brand. Having the same layout, style and fonts across all pages on the website creates familiarity and enables the audience to identify the brand.
Therefore, to publicize your brand and attract customers you should hire a professional web design company.
Skills of a web designer
A web designer must possess several skills apart from coding. These skills can be learnt from other branches or fields of design and are essential for creating a user friendly website design. In this article, we will discuss 12 such skills that can be learnt from other branches of design.
1.Skills that can be learnt from graphic designers
a)Principles of design
A web designer must know the basic principles of design to create a website. These fundamentals are the foundation of the web and graphic design and they include,
Emergence: Emergence is seeing an arrangement of visuals and immediately understanding what they represent. When an element breaks the pattern, we become aware of the pieces that make it up.
Reification: Reification is using only the essential parts of an object to make it identifiable. This lets designers exercise restraint, while still conveying meaning.
Repetition: Repetition is used to strengthen a design by tying together separate parts and creates associations.
Contrast: Contrast is the most effective way to create emphasis and impact with your design.
Invariance: Invariance is being able to use tasteful disturbances in designs, to make something stand out from a group of similar objects. This lets you highlight parts of a design.
Alignment: Alignment od images, creates a sharper, more unified design.
Balance: Balance provides stability and structure to a design, either through symmetry or tension of elements.
Hierarchy: Hierarchy is the organisation in your design
These are some essential elements in a graphic designer’s arsenal and should be used together to create a design that is both visually appealing and properly structured.
Typography is the art and technique of arranging type. It is an essential skill for a designer to have. It is so much more than simply making the words legible. The typeface you choose and how it works with your layout, grid, colour scheme and so on will make the difference between a good, bad and great website design. A professional web design company uses websites like Font Reach to keep on top of typography trends.
Typography shapes our perception of ideas. A type’s weight and geometry convey meaning, and as a web or graphic designer, it is important to know the best way to deliver messages with the appropriate typographical choices. Presence of thousands of font options can make it hard to choose for new designers. Practical fonts like Georgia, Verdana, and Roboto work well for body copy, while more decorative typefaces should be used only as ornamentation. Good designers know the difference between different type styles and where to use them.
Although typography is not a big part of graphic design, it doesn’t mean that typography skills should be ignored
c)Software for design
Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, XD, Webflow and Figma are a few design software programs designers should be familiar with. You should have a grasp of photo-editing basics and the ability to tweak vector-based graphics, like a logo that may come your way. A professional web design company may also use animation software like Motion or After Effects are handy tools to add motion to a website.
2.Skills that can be learnt from artists
The arrangement of text, visuals, and other elements serve both an artistic and utilitarian purpose. Important content should grab a customer’s attention immediately. A well-composed layout involves creating balance with contrast, negative space, and proportioned elements. All artistic elements, such as lines, shapes, tone, depth, form, colour, texture and space, can be arranged in various ways. Visual arrangements that follow the rules of composition, look better.
Some elements of composition which are essential to fine art include:
· Shapes and proportions
· Orientation, balance, and harmony of visual elements
· Rhythm and gamut
· Contrast and tones of visual elements
· Perspective, symmetry and stylization
· Visual focus
The rules of composition that both a web designer and artist must follow include,
· The rule of golden proportions
· The rule of thirds
· Rules for guiding a viewer’s gaze
· Rules of rabatment
· Rules of symmetry
Basic concepts, like combining primary colours to create new colours will help you create pleasing colour palettes. As a designer, you should be familiar with the colour wheel and how complementary, contrasting, and analogous colours work together. A bit of visual dissonance can make for an interesting design, but conflicting hues can lead to an ugly layout and that may be unreadable.
Text, calls to action, and headers should use colours that work well together and are extremely legible. Knowing when to use lights and darks, contrast, and saturation are also important colour skills in website design.
A professional web design company requires discipline to help with productivity and hitting deadlines. Time management is a huge part of this. Getting to work means shutting off social media and freeing yourself from all distractions. Make constructive use of your time to enjoy a design process that’s a steady stroll instead of a mad rush.
It’s important to manage both your work ethic and the discipline of furthering your knowledge and skills. This skill is essential for artists as they need to focus on their art and not on other activities to complete it in time, which can prove to be very difficult.
3.Skills that can be learnt from User Experience (UX) design
b)User Experience (UX)
User Experience focuses on someone’s emotional response to a design. It is a combination of a website’s usability and integration of interactive and dynamic elements to make the site a joy to navigate. UX aims to shape a person’s experience while guiding them through the website. The best UX practices include,
– Audience-specific design and information tailored to meet their needs
– Clear and uncluttered layouts with negative space and logically organized content
– Intuitive design and content that focuses on a humanistic, rather than mechanical experience
c)User Interface (UI)
Where UX focuses more on the broad aspects of how a design affects someone, UI focuses on specificity. Web pages, buttons, menus, and micro-interactions are all a part of UI. These elements guide the customer through a design, free from obstructions, for a smooth experience. UI includes,
– Navigational elements and straightforward, intuitive interfaces
– Intuitive and repeatable actions the audience can follow and learn when using your website
– Call to give an action to guide people towards what you want them to see and do in the shortest amount of time
4.Skills that can be learnt from a photographer
a)Observation and attention to details
Photographers sometimes spend hours in pursuit of a perfect shot. They are usually looking for a perfect point of view, a perspective, evaluating an exposure, light and composition. The process involves constant development and research. The aim of the photographer that viewers properly understand the intention of the shot and invoke the emotion behind it.
Similarly, web designers should perfectly know the purpose of the website and what effect they need to achieve to attract visitors. They must also pay extreme attention to the details. It’s no secret that any good photo contains a tiny element that makes it unique and special. A website should also contain an element that makes it unique and special. Hence, web designers that want to create a good website should be very attentive to the details, to find an element, a small detail that gives zest to the entire layout.
A well-selected image can assist a design by adding colour and clarity. However, not all photos can be of excellent quality. Mediocre photos can be brought to life with a bit of photo-editing. Hence, designers need to have trained eyes to adjust things like colour levels, brightness, saturation, and contrast which can go a long way in making lacklustre photos look great.
5.Skills that can be learnt from content writers
Although the wiring is not technically a field of design, it is essential to convey the message of a design effectively. Hence, we will also include skills learnt from content writers in this article.
a)Search engine optimization (SEO) and copywriting-writing
Creating content that’s searchable in Google is key to getting eyes on your work. Including SEO in a website’s content improves its ranking on a search engine as it forces bots to take notice of it. Good SEO involves naturally weaving keywords and phrases into the content.
Another aspect of website designing is copywriting. This is essential to sell your products or services to customers. Copywriting refers to writing the text for the purpose of advertising or other forms of marketing. The product’s written content aims to increase brand awareness and ultimately persuade a person or group to make a purchase from your website.
Great writing and design are about making an impact. You need to be able to identify content that’s too wordy, grammatically incorrect or just not engaging enough. You will be able to recognize good writing on any fantastic website designs.
Other required skills
People skills are as important as pixel skills. Explaining your vision for a project in a way that non-designers understand is essential. Stakeholders can include anyone from the founder to the marketing department. Hence, you need to be able to effectively communicate what you’re designing and how it will meet your client’s project goals.
Much of design is a solitary pursuit, but it’s still important to step outside your creative bubble, be an active listener, and communicate what you’re working on.
Whether you’re stumped on integrating a client’s feedback, frustrated with the pace, or can’t figure how to simplify the navigation, of your design, patience is a skill you will need. If you find yourself frustrated and ready to pull out your hair, step away and do something else. A change of scenery will shake things up and help you find a solution to your problem.
moreover, you will require patience to deal with your clients. Clients aren’t designers and you will likely need to explain the design terms in a few different ways before they understand what you’re saying. Having patience makes you a good person to work with.
Know your limitations. Whether you’ve claimed to have expertise with a software you actually know little about or claimed to be an SEO expert when you’re not, you should know that you will get caught sooner or later.
Don’t promise something you can’t deliver. It’s easy to say yes in hopes it will all work out, but you’re setting yourself up for a lot of stress and potential failure. Be authentic and give clients only what you’re capable of.
4.Willingness to work as a team
A web design process involves a group of people. Hence, a crucial skill for any web designer is the ability to work in a team. When may people with a say in the project work together, it can lead to disagreements. Staying calm and compromised during such times is the key to success. Choosing battles wisely and remaining on good terms with everyone is essential as you will continue to be involved with the company in future.
Choosing the right professional web design company
1.Determine what type of website you need.
Firstly, determine what type of website you will need. The company you hire should have experience working in this space and have a solution that will scale with the growth of your business and provide support for glitches that occur along the way.
A good development company must provide you with the tools to update content, add new pages, and articles, or make minor updates. Most web development companies provide on-going support. Hence, it is a good idea to find out what level, turnaround time and staff involved.
Companies usually charge extra for anything beyond the initial design and development. Hence, you need to understand the charges and fees for your project prior to signing the contract. Compare the prices of different companies and select one that provides quality service at good prices.
4.Reviews and testimonials
A testimonial section to display all the comments and appreciations of the brand. Look at this to be more comfortable and confident about the service sold. You can also search for reviews online on websites like google or Facebook to find truthful customer reviews.
5.They know how to use a CMS
You need a CMS for your website. Without it, you’ll be at a significant disadvantage in the marketplace. Any professional web design companyshould be familiar with the best content management systems like WordPress, Drupal, and Magento.
Like so many occupations, there are a wide range of skills needed for a web designer. As a web designer, apart from technical skills and coding, you should also be fluent in the guiding principles that make for effective and aesthetically pleasing work. Skills like communication, perseverance, and patience will make you a better designer.
Hermit Chawla is a Marketing Manager at Sprak Design. He would love to share thoughts on unique graphic design studio Miami, Lifestyle Design, Branding Firm, Exhibition design etc..