“If you are a professional web designer, you must be in business for good 5 years”, this is something your clients would expect when they approach you for a project. And rightfully so, because if you have been in the profession for this long you must have experienced or endured the transition in web design trends, aesthetics, layouts, content and everything else that makes you what you are. What matters is, how updated you keep yourself to trends and more importantly your attitude towards change.
Web designing is a fast paced career and successful designers do not depend solely on their own skills and knowledge, they learn from others. All experts in this field have secrets they are not willing to share, but their practice and product speaks for itself. So, if you come anywhere near to a perfect design, you need to improve your skill on a different level. In this article I’ll highlight a few tips for professional web designers to become better at what they do.
If you are currently using Photoshop CC, you must be working on CS6 a year ago, or you still haven’t updated to latest version. One problem we commonly observe in working professionals is their resistance to adapt to a newer software version, may be because they shy away from learning a new technique, skill or practice an easier way of doing what they already know. But, when you want to try something new or add a new feature to your design, following tutorials is the best way to boost your skill. Set goals to learn something new each month; and of course, practice what you’ve learned to implement things your own way.
Learn from Others
Being a web designer if you isolate yourself form community of we designers you miss out on a number of opportunities to be better at what you do. Follow online communities, blogs, forum, and discussions to keep you updated on the latest trends in the design niche. When you come across an inspiring design analyze it deeply to understand what makes it so great and acknowledge the effort put in by the designer. This will encourage the learning process and change your approach towards your project.
Sketch your Ideas
A sketchbook is probably the most effective and standard tool that every designer should have. Whenever you think of something new grab your sketchbook and start drawing whatever caught your mind. This practice will improve your thinking process to brainstorm ideas and gives you a clear direction whenever you start working on your project.
Simplify the Navigation
Always put yourself in the user’s shoes. There may be a number of things you can add into your web design which definitely looks good, but are way too complex for an ordinary user to understand. Keep your website navigation simple, remove complex dropdown menus and reduce the number of links in the sidebar. Think rationally!
Use of Imagery
Decorate your website with high quality images, low resolution images will give an sloppy impression and that’s the last thing you wish to do as a professional designer. Don’t go for cheap stock free images, either purchase the image copyright or hire a professional photographer. If you have a good sense of photography, grab your camera and add a more personal feel to your web design.
Start with Greyscale Format
Don’t confuse yourself with color right at the start of your project, use a greyscale format. Black and white color scheme will help you highlight the important areas on the website like defining CTA placements, buttons, images, content and once you are done defining the structure gradually move to colors selection.
Always go for simple tools to generate your website samples. When you need to make a quick prototype of your website don’t complicate yourself with Photoshop, rather use a simple tool like Axure. With Axure you can actually define functions, set up links, place content and demonstrate your web sample to your client very efficiently. The point is to simplify your approach in order to be productive.