You Think You Have What It Takes to Be A Web Designer Today?

Think you want your neighbor's kid to create your website for you? Think again. Not only does a website require a professional looking website, but most people don't even consider the technicalities of all the back-end work that is done with programmers, security, maintenance, IT, etc. Today, I'll give you a glimpse of what is required just from the designer's perspective.

Today's web designers skills go beyond software knowledge. In addition to technical skills, web designers must possess the following:

Research, Planning & Implementation Skills:
Before a web designer even starts with their design, they must get to know their client and the industry. Do your research. Know what works and what doesn't regarding industry trends. Also, getting to know the client helps. An initial kickoff meeting helps with getting to know the client and what they want. You may want them to provide examples of websites they like and knowledge of their competitors. 

Web Design Skills: 
This one's obvious, but there is a big difference between web and print. In addition to knowing basic design principals, web designers must possess knowledge of the best practices, accessibility, browser testing, optimization, information design and usability.

Soft Skills:
In order to communicate effectively with the programmers, it's probably a good idea to also know HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript, SEO, and CMS. Even if you are familiar with what they have to do will help you become aware of the possibilities and limitations of the web. Having these under your belt will not only help the design process, but will better serve your clients and will make you a more valuable employer.

Business Skills:
You have to think about the people you are working for. With that, in order to carry out their vision for their company, active listening skills are a must. On top of that, you must be flexible to their needs.

In addition to these specific skill sets, it is also helpful to possess the following: great time management skills, understanding of social media, mobile devices, marketing & advertising, and technical writing experience.