20 Simple Methods to Improve Your Web Designing Skills | Expert Advise
In any profession, the person who puts in time keeping up to date with the current tools and trends of their area of expertise are usually the ones who have a leading edge in their fields. There is always room for improvement in all areas of life. When a person reaches a point that they figure that they do not need to learn anything new, and then they begin to stagnate and wither. Always strive to learn more.
Being a web designer is a very important job, as he has many things to take into account regarding his job. A web designer must have firstly the talent and the imagination to create original and authentic designs, in order to be appreciated and paid. But talent is not enough, though, as he has to practice his skills before designing anything, especially something that requires a high level of knowledge and ability.
This article is focused on ways that if implemented properly may assist the Web Designer in keeping their skills current for today’s market. Listed below are some items that many have found useful in keeping their skill sets current.
First of all, he should totally consider his overall ability regarding the programs he uses for creating the designs. As such a program is very complex and it has lots of functions that he has to know, he must ensure that he knows a great part of them. A web designer is able to do everything from his own instinct and imagination for the design in question, in order to make it authentic for the requester.
1. Investigate what is current in Web Design
What a designer should do about improving his actual skills is studying the newest patterns for the layouts of the web sites, as they vary at a great deal nowadays. A designer should know when he should use a vintage style, a classical or a professional one for creating the design and the best way for this is inspiring and exercising, using some tutorials if needed.
There are many good resources on the Internet that can assist the designer in obtaining the information to assist them in this area. Use the search engines to find this information and glean from them. There are many to choose from. You might want to consider doing something new by changing your formats or using new templates. The choices are limitless.
Here is some UI Design Pattern Website to Learn from:
- Pattern Tap
- CSS Bake
- 10 UI Design Patterns You Should Be Paying Attention To
- Yahoo! Design Pattern Library
2. Keep an Eagle eye out for the finer details
The details of a layout are very important, also, because some insignificant details might be the most important ones, in the end. Why? Because a nice detail, which will be greatly positioned, will make the layout look better and both the requester and the designer will be very satisfied about that. No matter it is about shadows, gradients, textures, backgrounds or anything else, the attention that should be paid for creating the design should be really great for a nice result.
In your quest for additional knowledge in designs and templates, you might consider keeping a sharp eye out for details that others might overlook. Take under consideration the formats, colors, shapes being used. Ask yourself, is this appealing to me? Does this grab my attention? Chances are that if it appeals to you, then it will most likely appeal to your audience.
3. Utilizing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) methods
The designer should learn and practice as much as possible about SEO techniques and uses. Practice, practice and practice more until you master the uses of this tool. Knowing how to use this tool can work greatly to assure that the designer’s web page will get the viewing (traffic) it was designed for.
4. Find out what the competition is doing design wise currently
The trends are always changing and people might change their preferences for some of them. It might be about a vintage look, with some interesting vintage styles and effects of the text or of the image, or it might be about a professional look, with modern buttons, icons and a nice font. But no matter what it is about, the designer should always know what is new regarding the trends and what people really want. The best way for accomplishing the criteria is improving the current techniques of the designer: keeping up practicing will bring him great results of his work.
It never hurts to keep an eye on what your competition is currently doing in designs and other areas. Some trends may spark you imagination in other areas.
5. Do your homework on your knowledge of Typography.
There is no website without text and also no layout which does not contain it. But there are hundreds and thousands of text styles and effects applied for the text, in order to make it original and appropriate for that layout. A designer should always consult and study some of them, in order to make sure that he will not create something somehow similar with an existing design, but he will create a great and new style of the text, combining many effects that will fit with the layout and the requirements of the requester. The fonts, the sizes and the vocabulary will be very helpful for designing the text and they are also the most important. The rest of the problem is only about imagination and creativity.
Processing text is a major part of creating a web site. The designer would be wise to keep their skills in using the software applications that produce this text to a high skill level. Always look for a tool that will do the job more efficiently.
6. Tips on practicing with color and images
Along with the text processing you need images and color to bring the web site together. Try a variety of colors and images for your next project.
Knowing all the colors and everything regarding them should be very important for the designer. As he might know, the combinations are endless and also very unique for every person that works and gives his best in order to obtain a good result. But for that, he should practice a lot with them and he should also study the theories about colors and their significance. In this way, a great result will be assured without any doubt. Do not be afraid to experiment with variations of color and images. You can always change what does not appeal to you.
8. We can all work on our communication skills
As every job requires communication between the worker and the client, Wars have been started due to the lack of proper communications and misunderstandings. As the designer you have the knowledge of what it takes to produce a quality piece of work (web site), but in most cases your client might not. The designer must take the initiative in assisting the client as to what it is the client really needs and what the designer can produce realistically. The designer should communicate with the client regarding his preferences regarding the layout and the design he wants. In this way, the probability of making mistakes is lower and there is a higher chance of achieving better results. It is very important to be done with the projects on time and deliver it. The requester will be more than satisfied with a designer who is able to deliver a good result earlier and there will be even more referrals and happy clients.
9. Consider doing some tutoring in your area of expertise
Tutorials are the only way for obtaining knowledge and better results. The number of tutorials which can be found on the Internet is great and all of them provide clear instructions of obtaining some very nice results. Practicing and combining new styles will make the final result better an authentic. One way to stay sharp at what you do is to tutor others, which gives you the benefit of your knowledge and experience and reinforces you at the same time. This is called a win-win situation.
10. When you make a mistake, learn from it and move on
Notice that I said when not if you make a mistake. As humans we will all make mistakes doing one thing or another. Some make more than others. The important thing is to learn from the experience and move. Also be prepared to take some criticism at some point. This can be a good thing if it is presented in the right manner (constructive) and taken in the spirit in which it was given.
So there is no point in feeling disappointed, uncreative or anything else. The only way to achieve better results is learning from the mistakes and improving the actual skills in order to obtain better results. A positive view of the things is more helpful than a person could ever imagine.
11. Find out more about the technical aspects of design work
It is important to learn some of the technical aspects of design work which can assist you in resolving some design issues and questions. Like Math represents the base of the technology. So, in order to become more skillful, the basics of technical math should be in the vocabulary of the designer. There are many ways of using it, from interesting geometric shapes from some other and similar things, which request general knowledge of math. So knowing it is very useful for the designer.
12. Do preliminary drawings and sketches before actually starting your project
The sketches of a layout might be helpful for the designer. They do not require a great amount of time and they can be done everywhere. Whenever the designer has some inspiration, he will be able to sketch it and create it later. In this way, no idea will be forgotten and the results will be, also, much better, imaginative and creative. It is always useful to put your ideas to pen and paper so that you can get a feel for what it is that you are trying to produce as a result.
13. Take a break from working every now and then
When you feel the need, take a break from what you are doing for a while to clear your thinking. When you are more relaxed and refreshed your mind works better and you have a clearer picture of what you are trying to accomplish.
14. Share certain aspects of your projects with others to get their opinions
As it was said earlier communication has a very important role in people’s life. by sharing some aspects of the project(s) that you are working on will help to give you another person’s input concerning maybe something that had been a question in your mind. You may also learn a few new ways of doing things that are universal to designing that you might not have considered before. Requesting advice from other web designers might be a very helpful thing, as there are more experienced ones who are able to give appropriate and good advice regarding everything: styles, trends, patterns, text and so on.
15. Paying close attention to the order of your design
The designer should pay close attention to the design they are creating to insure that the look is no too busy (cluttered) and an “eye sore.” Fine-tune your design until you are satisfied that you have a marketable product.
16. Periodically refresh yourself with the design basics
We never become so advanced that a trip down memory lane to (basics) will not assist us in our work. Creating a design that is simple and it does not request having many graphics might be even appealing and better for the requester. So using more white space in the design will be better than adding many graphics which will make it look unpleasant. The basics of designing should be helpful for good results, so reading and practicing them again might be useful. By refreshing your outlook with the basics again it is amazing what you remember.
17. Make sure that you are very familiar with all the components of design work
Be sure that you know what a design Grid is and how to use one. There is a lot of information on the Internet describing this subject. Use your search engines.
18. Buy a New Book
There are many books and conferences that are specially created for web designer. This is a good way for people to learn new things and new tricks for a better result, so attending or reading a book should be really nice for the designer. He will be also able to meet and receive advice from more experienced designer. In this way, improving the current skills is just guaranteed.
19. Consider attending some social events, like conferences to network
Social events like conferences and exhibits are great places to network with other designers, clients and persons with similar interest.
20. Convert your designs and other data,
What would be really helpful for ensuring that the work will be saved and not lost? Converting from PSF files to CSS or HTML will be useful and help the designer correct any mistake that was made.
There is nothing more frustrating than depending on someone to do something important for you that you could have done for yourself had you taken the time and had the knowledge. If you do not know how to do these important steps then I recommend that you learn. You will be happier in the long run
A designer who really wants to improve his skills and become a better one would always look for new information, tutorials and he will ask for advice. As being a web designer has many opportunities, being a good and skillful one is much appreciated and it will make the clients happy about the results they obtained.
I hope that the tips presented in this article are of some benefit to the reader. By applying these steps to your way of doing business, you should see some very positive results.