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To choose a career in Web Design is to have one foot firmly in the present, with the other foot reaching out to touch the future. Web design is necessary for all personal, commercial and non-profit websites. How the public makes purchases and finds new information is directly related to how they interpret the design of the web pages before them.
Learn the basics
Much of web design is based in the artistic form. A student who has excelled in graphic design is likely to be able to transfer their creative skills with ease. As well, someone with technical knowledge will need to find their creative outlet to design websites with the highest level of aesthetics. Most of all, everyone involved in this expanding field needs to have a clear understanding of emerging trends.
Display your design skills
Your web design skills should be composed of several elements. First and foremost, a background in graphic design is required. There may be instances where clients ask to see an actual portfolio of your work, instead of an online portfolio. They might also wish to see how you use color in your designs to express emotions within a theme or motif.
Examples of your artistic skill is an excellent method for introducing potential clients to your creativity and sense of ingenuity. If you have produced animated pieces or have a background in cartooning, this is certainly something that should be highlighted. Skills in photography, portraiture and clues to your personal visual style allow clients to see how well rounded your design background truly is.
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Knowledge of fonts, spacing and balance are important skills to have
One thing that many Web Designers forget to emphasize is how accessible they can make each web page readers. This means being aware of spacing, balance text and insert graphics within a given web page. Much of this has to do with proper line spacing and visual alignment. It is the difference between simply placing a new page online, and placing a page online that will receive millions of hits in a short period of time.
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Learn to code
An education in graphic design may not originally have included college courses in coding. Design is seen as artistic, while coding was considered a technical class. However, HTML coding is all important. A Web Designer that knows HTML fluently will be a professional designer in much demand. Although you may still outsource a great deal of your coding activities, designers need to be able to code on their own. Coding has become one of those technical skills that is necessary for anyone who wishes to increase their client base.
Enhance your writing abilities
Designers often see themselves as interpreters of line, rather than words. Copywriters are likely to have been former journalists, or those who majored in advertising in college. This is true, but a Web Designer must be able to design words to join online graphics in a pleasing manner.
Learning to write ad copy always comes in handy. Demo copies of your work need to feature inviting content and concise wording. This serves to bring forth how well you can market yourself and your clients before an audience. Content writing can be outsourced for a large project, but you still need to be able to write cohesive copy when the occasion calls for it.
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A business background is key
Every future Web Designer needs to understand the basics of economics. Concepts like “Supply and Demand” are the backbone of the business world. In addition to understand how the economy operates, a Web Designer needs to have a genuine background in sales and marketing. While it is optimistic to think that clients will just appear at your doorstep, the reality of the situation is different indeed. You need to learn how to market yourself effectively to be taken seriously. Or else, you may find yourself unable to make a decent living at your chosen avocation.
It doesn’t matter whether you work for one employer or freelance for a variety of clients, a sound business mindset will definitely work in your favor. Unfortunately, too many Web Designers found themselves at a loss when attempting to ascertain what their services are truly worth in the marketplace. Studying contracts and agreements is additionally going to factor in considerably when setting up your own web design company.
Learn from the Pros
For some designers, their sense of business comes naturally. They comprehend the basics of how the wholesale and retail world works. If this all seems like a foreign language to you, a wise move would be to take courses in business related subjects at your local college. Online courses, lectures and books about business can also be used as reference points.
Technology is your friend
The world of technology is continuously changing and evolving. New pieces of equipment and types of software enter the retail arena every day. Make a point of working with equipment that is up to today’s standards. While everyone has a tendency to become comfortable on one type of computer or series of software.
Don’t let your reliance on the “tried and true” work against you. When introducing yourself to new clients, a knowledge of emerging technologies speaks volumes about your ability to propel their corporation or non-profit into the future. If you have always designed for traditional websites, make a point of expanding your skill-set to include Responsive Web Design, App Design and social media management. These and other web design trends are areas where savvy Web Designers regularly gain momentum.
Client communication is a commodity to cultivate
As a Web Designer, you will have to prove your designer skills in a number of ways. One consistently underrated skill is the ability to communicate freely with your clients. Listening to what they are saying is the key to delivering completed work that meets their overwhelming approval. This time might be spent over the telephone, within a series of emails or during a face-to-face meeting.
Your listening skills will let them know how willing you are to design a website which can double or triple their sales. Make yourself that employee or freelancer whose presence is requested at conferences and luncheons. Within a reasonable time frame, you will find your web design services are a “must have” ingredient for their company to be profitable.
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Analyze each project upon completion
Updating your skills and improving the client experience is a sure-fire method for growing your own web design business. Remember what aspects of a project went exceedingly well, and which items you would be wise to never repeat. A professional analysis of each web design project you complete will lead the way for future success.