Are you looking to improve your web design skills? It’s time to realise all great web designers were in your shoes at one point. Hard work and practice is key in this department and will take you where you need to be. Here at Hot Web Design improving our design skills is of high priority. Constant improvements are being made in the web design department and its difficult to stay relevant in this profession. To help you, the designer, we’ve put together some tips on how to improve your design skills. These tips worked for us at Hot Web Design; they will work for you too.
1. Appreciate Criticism
Now it goes without saying, receiving criticism on your work is vital to taking the next steps to improve your design skills. It gives you the chance to see the areas which need improving. This advice should be appreciated in order to avoid any similar altercations in the future. It must be noted that when receiving feedback, you should analyse whether it is constructive criticism (aimed to help your work) or destructive criticism (aimed to make you feel bad). Of course destructive criticism can be forgotten about but if you receive honest constructive criticism this should gain your upmost attention and should be worked on promptly.
We would also recommend giving feedback to other designers in order to improve your own skills. Teaching others is often a great way of teaching yourself to do something. Web design is no different. So, by giving advice to others, it can help you to realise your strengths and weaknesses and discover new techniques through discussions with your peers. This type of networking can open up many new opportunities for you and your business.
2. Build a Sandbox To Practice Your Designs
For someone with limited web design skills, practicing on live sites is not a great idea. You need a safe space to freely experiment with your designs and put them to use without damaging any real work. Of course, to become a great designer you are going to need this space to create and improve your work. At Hot Web Design we think the best way to create this space is…
a local host
Here’s a guide on how to set up a local host on Windows, Mac, and Linux
Creating this local server will be perfect to build your experience with web design as you can constantly try new ideas without running any risks. You can make as many mistakes as you like and reset the page back to the start whenever you like. Since nobody is funding this work, it gives you as many chances as you like to get your desired result without the interference of anyone else. If you give yourself enough time and give the right attitude towards improving your design skills through practice then you will excel greatly over time.
3. Pay Attention To Trends
Here at Hot web Design staying on top of trends is of high priority. We are constantly adapting to new changes in this sector and are open to anything new that comes our way. Just like most departments, web design is always evolving. It is extremely important to stay on top of emerging trends as you wouldn’t want to fall behind your competitors. You should want to stay fresh and up-to-date in order to impress clients. This doesn’t mean you should always introduce new trends to your current workings, but in fact just pay attention to the trends. By simply appreciating the trends happening right now you will gain a better understanding of what customers want in this market.
If you are struggling to find new trends here’s 10 innovative web design trends for 2019
You may also be struggling to keep up to date with new trends and like to do things the ‘old school way’ in this case we would recommend reading plenty of design books. A lot of people skip this stage of learning in this day and age with access to the internet being so easy. But a lot of the articles are just snapshots of the amount of knowledge which is hidden in books. Although it can be a challenge completing a book you will be getting your knowledge from the direct source and actually improving the quality of your design, rather than keeping the same knowledge when others have advanced.
Here are 20 of the best web design books recommended by web design pros
4. Always Have a Plan
Planning is key to ensuring your website meets the needs of your customers. You must determine your buyer’s journey (the natural process of a buyer to find the best solution to solve their challenge) from the first time they visit your website all the way up until they are a customer. It is important to design your website step by step to ensure customers can solve their problems with ease rather than being directed through pages which are meaningless to them. You must get an understanding of what content your customers will want to see, what pages they are going to view and how they will choose to view them. To put your plan into action you should use your current knowledge of your customers and figure out how they went from a visitor to a customer. You can then base your new strategies on past experience with customers as this process is likely to reoccur in the future.
5. Never Stop Testing
At Hot Web Design we are constantly making sure all of our pages are performing the way we intend them to, otherwise what use would they be to you and I. If, like us, you have a site which has tons of features to go through, you may find a lot of issues arise even after the site is live. These may be features you simply missed in the design stage and posted without knowing. Although these may be small mistakes in the design stage, this can result in loss of business in the future if a customer struggles to find what they need on your site.
Now to establish what is wrong with your site you should evaluate things like conversion paths, where the users will click on every page, how far they will scroll, etc. In analysing each page you may find that they are simply outdated and just needs tweaking. Presuming you can leave a site to run itself once it is live is a common mistake beginner designers will make. Constant changes need to be made in order to keep the site up to date and more interactive for the customers. This can involve simple changes such as colours or even adding a few sentences to each page. No matter how straightforward the change is, it could be the reason you secure that huge new deal through your site!
As you can see there are no shortcuts in improving your design skills, it’s not something you can do overnight. You must be consistent and change your attitude towards your work as well as accept and adapt to changes that come your way. You should learn from others and the resources around you and apply this knowledge to your own work. We hope these tips help you on your journey to becoming a top web designer.