With the world of web design constantly progressing, it’s essential that as a designer you’re keeping up, always improving and honing your design skills, and then relearning skills to make sure you haven’t missed anything. No longer can you rely on your knowledge of HTML and photo editing alone, when that was once all that was required of you, but nowadays designers are expected to work in areas that were once specialised. By surrounding yourself with other experienced designers, this will also help you move up a level with your work. Here’s our 5 tips for keeping your design skills up to scratch.
Update your layout design patterns
By exploring new design patterns that you haven’t used before, you can get some great inspiration to pull you out from your current interface rut, giving your clients something different from what they’re used to getting from you. By looking at the interfaces of other websites, you can get the inspiration to get out of using the same look for navigation and forms too. Check out interface pattern websites UI-Pattern.com and Patternry for ideas.
Know the grid
Update your grid skills, or learn the grid if you haven’t already. By doing so you can gain experience with a popular grid framework like 960.gs. You’ll find plenty of articles online for this system as well as others, with clear and easy to follow instructions to learn from.
Become a copywriter
By learning the craft of copywriting you are able to offer this as a service to your clients. Copywriting is a service that clients on tight budgets may struggle to afford, so by offering the service at a reduced rate you are not only helping them out but boosting business for yourself. The web is mostly about content, so having this skill under your belt will help you offer a more complete package.
Search engine optimisation has become increasingly important over the years. A lot of designers will outsource someone to give their web projects a good lick of SEO, but by learning it yourself you can save money, offer it as an individual service, as well as build it into what you offer as a designer. But even if you don’t want to do SEO, it’s important to at least learn to code websites that are SEO friendly. This will help them achieve high search engine rankings.
With practice comes perfection. Why not check out some free tutorials online, or buy a book on the latest design technologies that will improve your work – there are many mediums to learn from if you want to up your design game. With a little time and effort, there’s no reason why you can’t put yourself ahead as a designer.
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