With the web growing at an astronomical rate, the skills necessary for a web designer are ever changing and ever in need of being updated. There is always a new development around the corner, so you need to keep yourself aware of what they are. The following are a list of what you should know and stay current on:
Know The Language of the Web
CSS-Tricks Video Screencasts #58: HTML & CSS – The VERY Basics
Knowing the basics of CSS and HTML is not only helpful, but really it is necessary if you want your designs to come out ahead of the competition. Once you know the basics, make sure you stay updated on any change in specifications.
Cultivate Your Own Design Style
There is no getting around the fact that you need know the basics of design in order to create website that people want to look at and use. Starting with clean and simple designs when you are new to designing web pages is a good idea, but as your skill level increases, try to cultivate your own personal style. You will always have the basics to fall back on, but you can draw clients by having a style that is desirable and unique. It does not hurt for you to remain aware of any web design trends as well. You may not like some of them, but for those you do like and the ones you believe fit your style, it may be worth your time.
The Most Current Software
Programs such as Photoshop, Flash and Illustrator, come out with new versions of their software that will require some of your time so you can learn about new features. Although you will have to invest your time to learn new features, just think of the new tricks or design elements you will be able to add to your websites.
Every once and while there may be a whole new type of design software available. You can do yourself a big favor by letting someone else try it first and then reading the reviews. If the program is not worth learning, then you can find this out from reviews rather than waste precious time. However, if you simply cannot resist trying the newest software before anyone else does- go right ahead.
If you know Search Engine Optimization, you are that much more valuable to a web design firm. It is no longer enough to design a great website that is visually appealing as well as functional for its purpose. Now, you must also know how to get a website ranked well within a search engine such as Google. Plus, this is something you can learn on your own and you may very well have to as there are not too many classes offering up the knowledge you need to understand SEO.
Know The Web Browser
There are many web browsers available from Window’s Internet Explorer to Apple’s Safari and everything in between. All of these web browsers function differently and it does not hurt for you to know how this affects the websites you design. Just like the Internet itself these browsers are always changing so stay abreast of any updates because these could affect your designs as well.
In a tight job market it is important to stay on top of your skills and keep them up to date. It is also important for a web designer, who is just starting out to have up-to-date skills if they want a decent job in this field. The above list is meant to encourage new and old web designers to keep learning so they keep their skills fresh and in demand.