Article Title: Important Skills For Every Freelance Web Designer
Author Byline: Expert Web Site Design, Consultation, Maintenance & Management. Found at RazorIT.com
Author Website: http://www.RazorIT.com
The most important thing that anyone in web design can learn is that EVERYTHING is a compromise. Designs are constantly compromised by browser limitations and connection speeds. Rather than designing something to look perfect for everyone (as you would in print design) you have to develop for the majority of your users, and keep everything usable (if not always pretty) for everyone else. In recent years we’re getting closer and closer to standardization and better browser compatibility, (even if Internet Explorer still insists on being a pain on several fronts 🙂
The Freelance Web Designer not only has to compromise in their projects, but also in the scope of their abilities as an independent business person and a web designer. Since no one can be a master of everything it is important for web designers to brush up their skills with the same attitude they take towards web design. Keep your skills sharp in the most prominent areas, and areas you are most interested in. Focus on being an expert in your nitch (rather than trying to master everything).
To win the work in the first place it is important to have excellent communication skills. You must also be able to effectively communicate requirements with your employers in addition to making web designs that communicate the proper message to users. It is a necessity for you to keep your communication skills sharp. (Even when the hundreds of hours you spend by yourself in front of the computer don’t help your socialization skills 🙂
The next most important area to keep abreast of is website usability. It is important for a designer to understand how various browsers interact with HTML, CSS, and images. It is equally important for web designers to understand how their users will interact with their designs. A design can be visually pleasing but completely confusing to users. Whenever possible follow the big guys lead on feature placement, using their large research budgets to your advantage. (Google has a handy tool for doing your own research too : Website Optimizer)
If you can master usability and communication you will be a very successful web designer. The combination of these two skills makes you easy to work with, and ensures that you have a clear vision of where a project should go.
Technical skills are important for the web designer; however, it is not as important that you master every technical aspect. It is just important for you to have a basic understanding of all technical aspects. This enables you to communicate effectively inside a web development team.
The last area that web designers should include in their skillet is project management. By having project management skills you ensure that you are easy to work with. This doesn’t mean you have to be able to go and sit for the PMP or PMI exam, but a basic understanding of project management principles will take your career a long way.
Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by CollegeRecruiter.com, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.