It’s 2018, and virtually every business wants to go online meaning a high demand for web designers. However, the cutthroat competition in the industry means only the best web designers will get a piece of the cake. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to learn and improve your web design skills regardless of the position you are in your career.
Web design, unlike other careers, requires a lot of creativity and innovation. In this regard, you need to be on top of your game if at all you want to stand out. However, just like other careers, it’s essential to have the fundamental architecture as the basic rules still apply. You need to have a solid background through education or apprenticeship.
Exceptional web design skills should be acquired with time and the more you practice, the better. Furthermore, you need to keep up with the ever-changing dynamics of web design and new technologies. One of the best ways to do this is through continuous learning. You can opt to learn through experiments, online courses, tutorials from professionals and school-based learning. Moreover, you can train yourself using step by step guides that are almost freely available online.
With that said, here is how you can learn the top web design skills in 2018 that will separate you from the average web designer.
1. Keep Reading
Wise web designers never stop learning even if it’s non-creative stuff. For instance, you should try to find more information online or offline that complements your skill set. In this regard, you want to learn about communication, such engine optimization, drawing, elements of design and coding among others.
Luckily, most of this information is available online and you can choose your preferred mode of learning and time. Furthermore, there are numerous e-books, blogs, podcasts and YouTube videos dedicated to web designers that can help you sharpen your skills. You should also visit design galleries as associating yourself with exceptional designs will allow you to stay sharp.
2. Design More
Practice makes perfect is an adage that never becomes irrelevant. In this regard, try and perfect your skills by repeatedly practicing them. Try to code daily if you are into coding or come up with new designs regularly. If need be, offer free services to your long-term clients or charity.
Furthermore, participate in competitions and always know when open source projects are available. While at it, challenge yourself to something new that you haven’t done before. It could be trying out CSS or HTML or any programming languages.
In the end, you will have spent your time doing what you like and learning new things which makes it easy for you to come up with designs off the top of your head.
3. Teach Others How To Design
You might not feel very confident about your web design skills but I can promise you that there is someone out there who doesn’t know what you know. Teaching them what you know does not only keep you updated in your field but also allows you to self-diagnose.
In the event you find you can’t remember some things, you absolutely get a chance to review them and researching further consequently equipping you with more skills. Furthermore, people who are willing to learn will ask questions prompting you to research further on specific topics.
Today, the best thing about technology is that you don’t have to set up a class to teach others how to design. Starting a blog, podcast, web series or YouTube channel can do wonders for someone who’s passionate about their career.
4. Find The Right Tools
Sometimes the most expensive tools aren’t always the best and definitely not for everyone. In this regard, make sure that you are using comfortable tools for your design. For example, you might be conversant with Adobe Photoshop but find yourself struggling with Adobe Illustrator.
In this regard, you would want to consider using Photoshop because it makes the process faster. Otherwise, you might find yourself spending more time learning how to use a tool instead of designing.
5. Check Out Other People’s Work
Here we obviously don’t want you to steal other people’s work but rather find inspiration from what you see. If you continuously envy exceptional work done by respected people in the industry, you will want to achieve the same naturally.
In this regard, you will be prompted to try as hard as possible to better yourself. Furthermore, you can reach out to them and ask for a few tips. The best part is that you can try to compare your work and realize the areas that you might want to improve.
6. Take Time Off
As much as we want you to code every day and keep perfecting your trade, some downtime also helps you improve your design skills. It may sound ironic but pushing yourself extra hard could lead to burnout and possible health issues. In this regard, find some time off to relax and play games, watch football, stream or do whatever makes you feel relaxed.
Downtimes allow you to recharge and trigger the creative juices that are likely to disappear when you overwork yourself. Furthermore, pushing too hard may lead to sloppiness, missed opportunities and deadlines which will not only hurt your health but also your reputation.
7. Save Room For Mentorship
With the proper mentorship, you can learn a lot about your career that you might have overlooked probably because of your state as a web designer. Ideally, a mentor is someone who is above you in the career path meaning they have extensive experience and knowledge of the industry.
In this regard, they are in a position to offer leadership and direction. In most cases, they are your idols or seniors at work who have accomplished things you envy. You don’t have to hire a mentor or go looking for high and mentorship programs. All you need to do is understand the difference between defending your ideas and the probability that you might be wrong. You will also need to learn how to take positive criticism.
8. Use The Second Eye
While this might be same as mentorship in a way, you could just use someone trustworthy who might be pursuing a different career but can give an informed opinion. For example, you can approach a business executive, communications specialist or any random person.
Remember, you are designing websites to be used by other people meaning their opinion counts. In fact, these people might point out very basic things that you might overlook such as the color scheme and font of a website.
In short, while you are thinking about next-level designs, they will help you understand how easy it is for them to understand the message you are sending out with your design.
Nice tips, right?
Before you jump on to implementing some of these tips, keep in mind that most of these techniques and technologies will come and go but the fundamentals will always be there. In this regard, you should try to learn as much as you can but always hold on to dear basics.
The truth is that as much as new technologies seem appealing, the basics are always the same and very important. In this regard, you should focus on learning the basics first before moving on to the other steps. In this way, it will always be easy to learn new concepts, and at the same time, you can create elegant but straightforward websites from the web design skills acquired during the learning process.