Boost Your Design Skills by Developing Good Habits

Posted on Feb 21 2017 by in Blog 

 

There’s a lot more to designing a website than just the technical know-how. The technical details are important, of course, but so are a lot of other factors. Web designers develop habits, both good and bad.  There are particular good habits that can lead to considerably better website design, and these are some of the most important good habits that will improve your design skills.

Use a Good Computer

Before you even begin to design a website, there are some things you can do to make it the best website possible. Buy the best computer you can afford.  Computer technology advances quickly, and if you’re using an older computer with outdated technology, you’re not going to get the results you’ll get with a newer, faster computer that can support more advanced software.

Know Your Market

Do plenty of research on your target market. Know what your audience will be looking for in a website, and provide that for them.  Look at the websites of your competitors and pay attention to those details.  You shouldn’t copy those websites, of course, but they can give you some ideas to try with your own flair.

Keep Up-to-Date

Follow website design blogs that you enjoy, and read books about website design. Figure out which designers you admire, and follow them online for tips and information about how to improve your designs.  Read as much as you can about design.  It’s important to educate yourself on new ideas and happenings in your field, no matter what your industry.

The field of website design changes very quickly, so stay up to date on it. That means following the current trends, colors, and styles.  It also means staying up-to-date on the latest standards set forth by search engines, so your website will rank as high as possible in search results.

Brainstorm A Little at a Time

Brainstorming is always good, but it can be better if you do it in shorter sessions, rather than trying to come up with ideas for hours at a time. Trying to come up with ideas when you have none only results in frustration.  So if you’re having difficulty with fresh ideas, take a break for a little while and concentrate on something else.

Use Good Old Pen and Paper

Even though the actual creation of the website will be done via a computer, use the old-fashioned pen and paper for quick sketches of designs. Technology is great, but sometimes the basics can be even more inspiring.  Plus, it’s easier and faster to grab your sketchbook to show your initial design, rather than waiting for your computer to boot up and load the page.

Collaborate

Collaboration with other designers can be very helpful. You don’t have to be working together on a website to share ideas.  Professionals from Nirmal, a Web Development company from Sydney, recommend bouncing ideas off of each other, offering tips for improving a design, and proofreading text content to ensure there are no spelling errors or typos.

Save, Save, Save

Save your work. Often.  The last thing you want to do is to have a great design in progress, and lose all that work.  Power surges happen and disrupt computers, files get corrupted, among other issues that can wreak havoc with your timeline if you haven’t saved your work.  Along the same line, back up your work to a separate location (like a flash drive or to cloud storage, rather than your hard drive).  If something happens to one of the files, you still have another one with most of the data.

Be Consistent with File Names

Using a consistent format when naming your files will save you time when you are searching for a particular file. For example, rather than using a default numeric assigned name for an image, pick a file name that describes the image, so you can easily find it later.

Use Interactive Tutorials

If there’s a particular aspect of website design that you have trouble with, an interactive tutorial is a great way to improve a skill. There are a lot of great tutorials that demonstrate how to work with particular website design aspects, such as working with fonts and colors, and learning about alignment and layout of a website.  Nearly every web designer has been known to use tutorials when needed.

Remove Distractions

Many website designers have the ability to work from home, but that opens up a whole other world of distractions. So put your cell phone away, close the other computer windows that you have open at the same times as your design program, and focus completely on the design you’re working on at the time.  This is not the time to multi-task.

Prioritize Your Work

Figure out what your priorities are with your design, and those priorities may change, according to where you are in the design process. Maybe today is the day to decide on images, edit them, and upload them.  Maybe it’s the day to work on the layout of your design.  Decide what’s important, and set goals and deadlines.

Test Your Design

Testing is a must for any website design. Website designers are constantly doing A/B testing, where they direct about half of internet users to a particular design of a page, and about half to a slightly different design, and evaluate the feedback and information they receive from both pages.  This is a great way to learn about your audience and make changes to a website that will attract more visitors.

Work with Clients, Not Against Them

Clients are not always the easiest to work with, and yet, you must. Online Marketing experts from Sydney argue that trying to go against a client will result in dissatisfaction at the least, total failure at the worst.  Your job as a designer is to give the client what he wants.  However, don’t promise what you can’t deliver.  Know your limits as a designer, and if there’s something that you know you can’t do, don’t promise it.  Ask for feedback from your client throughout the entire design process, and adjust your design according to that.  Follow up with clients after the delivery of the website, to make sure that they are still satisfied.  Satisfied clients mean more business for you.

Join Forums

People generally think of joining forums to network as something you should do before your design a website, not after. But getting your name out there once you have completed websites that you can show off, that’s just as important to the success of your design business as networking beforehand.  Every designer needs publicity, and showing off your designs is the best way to get that.

Bottom Line

It takes a lot of dedication to be a successful website designer, and there are a number of practices that work for some designers, but not for others. However, these good habits can only improve your design skills, by making you focus on the important aspects of website design.

 

Author bio: Sam Cyrus is CEO and co-founder of Green SEO Sydney, a Digital Marketing agency from Australia. Sam is also a creative writer and likes to share his insights on entrepreneurship, business, online marketing, SEO and social media.

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