Web design has definitely moved on in the past few decades. As technology improves, so does our ways of using it. However much the industry has changed, there have also been a few constant themes. Here are the basic things every web designer should know about.
Now, let’s start with one non-web design related skill you need: backing up your files. Websites are not self-containing and you might sometimes find yourself with a blank slate – you don’t want this to happen. So, before you learn anything else, please learn to back up your files and creating copies.
The design process
You should also familiarise yourself with design theory. This means understanding the components of the design process: colour, flow, balance and proportion, and spacing. If you know how these work and what they are, then you are ready to start your web design journey.
How to code HTML
The most basic language behind website design and you should know it, even if you aren’t a web developer. You must be able to read, edit and troubleshoot basic HTML to ensure you are able to work with fonts and colours.
Designers also need to be able to work with photos. If manipulating photos seems difficult to you, then your web designs are going to lack imagination. You must be able to perform basic sizing, cropping and filtering in order to succeed.
Different platforms and how they behave
You also need to have the ability to use different devices and to understand how the change affects web design. Designers too often just focus on the platform they are most comfortable with – but this means they don’t fully appreciate the elements they add to their design, as these can appear very different on another device.
While pen and paper might seem rather dated in our technological world, you should be able to sketch with confidence. Putting your ideas on paper can be helpful because it forces you to think more than just erasing and fixing the design on the computer.
Web designing is not just about the ability to create beautiful images and styles. You also need to be able to grab people’s attention with the main headline. The words you use will need to relate to the visuals you are using – this is often the trickiest part but don’t forget to pay attention to it.
If you can’t do the above things in your sleep, then it might be a good time to recap your skills. You can find online sources that you should keep browsing, like the Seize Design blog. You should also get your hands on a few web design books. Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug and Design for Hackers by David Kadavy are a must-read for any new web designer. You can buy web design books from top retailers like Better World Books and AbeBooks, also avail more discount on them using coupon codes from OZCodes.com.au! The savings site even has offers for web hosts and Adobe, so it’s good for making web design more affordable.
Above all, just keep practising and deepen your knowledge on anything relating to the industry. You’ll soon handle these basic things in no time.