Many brands are increasingly concerned about having a high bounce rate. (A bounce is when people leave your website having only visited a single page.) There are a number of reasons for this but poor website design is one of the main ones. Consumers are demanding and expect a smooth buying journey. Providing an excellent website experience plays a vital role in customers’ purchasing behavior.
Web design is all about well-designed UI (user interface) and UX (user experience). Getting this right is one of the easiest ways to make your business stand out. This provides lots of opportunities for good web designers who will need a specific set of skills to succeed in this fast-growing field. But, before we get into it, let us understand the key difference between UI (user interface) and UX (user experience):
Some people use the terms UI and UX interchangeably but there is a big difference between them. UI refers to the elements that a customer sees on the website - the graphics, icons, animations, text, etc. On the other hand, UX means how a consumer interacts with these elements - the user experience.
There is a growing demand for good UX and UI designers as marketers recognise the increasing importance of creating a positive user experience (UX). Many companies are looking for people to create mobile apps, Internet of Things (IoT) interfaces, etc. A recent study by Burning Glass stated that the demand for UX and UI designers is likely to increase by 14.9% worldwide.
Design is increasingly a collaborative process. This means getting to grips with a range of collaborative tools that help smooth the communication path between designers and developers. These tools include:
As these tools evolve, designers will need to keep their skills updated. In addition, every designer needs to have a range of core skills in order to stand out from the crowd. These skills include:
Wireframing refers to laying out the elements that will be displayed on key web pages - this could include Call To Action buttons, menus, images, video content, etc. Designers should know how to create prototypes for testing a variety of layouts. Tools like Invision and Marvel can be a big help at this stage - they are free to use and can save a lot of time.
Since designers work hand in hand with developers, some essential coding knowledge is important. Coding is not a designer’s primary skill but comes in useful when a site requires a bit of tweaking during the design/production process. A course covering the basics of HTML and CSS will provide a grounding in coding - something which will prove invaluable for any web designer. You can attend a classroom course, take online coding courses, or simply subscribe to a relevant YouTube channel to learn the basics of coding.
If you are starting out on your web design career, you will need to develop good analytical skills. A good web designer is constantly monitoring data on how people use a site. This data will suggest ways in which the user experience could be improved. Web design is a continual process of learning and adapting.
In an ideal world, a web designer will have an understanding of the design process from end to end - from original concept to finished website. Not all designers can do this so individual skills like prototyping, visualising, creating responsive designs, coding, and problem-solving are also valuable and useful skills.
One area that is often overlooked is soft skills. As a web designer, you will be required to present your ideas to groups of people. These could be your colleagues or you could be presenting to a room of potential clients. To do this you will need good verbal skills and have the confidence to speak in front of a group of people. If this sounds daunting, start with a small group and, as your confidence grows, you will be able to migrate to larger groups. Once you have done it a few times, it will seem a lot less daunting. Then there is the software. Here are some of the main software packages you will need to master:
I interviewed several senior designers in a company that provide digital marketing services and asked them to give some tips for newcomers. Here are the main tips they gave me:
Although UI and UX designers are going to be in demand, the more skills you have the better. Our top tips for beginners are to take the right training courses to fine-tune your skills, learn about the psychology behind the design and understand the essentials of good UI and UX design. If you get these things right, your future career will be looking pretty bright…!
by Myrah Abrar | 24 Nov 21
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