A good web designer displays important qualities at various stages of building a website. Check out these tips on being a master at the craft of web design.
Good product and industry knowledge, effective communication and coherent planning are just some of the ways to display competency.
Be well-versed with the building blocks of a website
A good web designer speaks the programming and design languages fluently. In order to integrate the two seamlessly, the web designer needs to know how to use graphic design knowledge and web development tools to his/her advantage. Aside from ensuring that the overall form and function is intuitive, the web designer should have a strong grasp on concepts like the spatial relationships, colour complement and contrast, and the impact of typography.
Being able to break down a website into its different components will also help web designers understand what exactly contributes to the success of a website. When making references to other sites for research, being able to quickly grasp the success factors will give you a sense of the components that gel well together.
Keep up-to-date with trends
Make it a point to read up on the latest web design trends on a monthly basis. The design scene itself is a dynamic one – transitioning from the psychedelic vermillion orange of the 70s to the lime green and Caribbean blue of the 90s. Keep a close lookout on the palate of the year, or you may miss riding out the wave as it passes you by!
Communicate with the client
Most clients do not have the in-depth knowledge of web design that a web designer has. However, the client usually has a good idea of how they would like to be branded and the end experience they would like their users to receive. Effective communication between the client and the designer will help both parties combine their knowledge to create something that is relevant to the users.
Communicate with the client throughout the design process. Make sure to have a brief before you meet your client and clearly notate the client’s objectives at the meeting. Openly discuss what can be achieved and recommend a timeline that is best suited for both parties. After doing extensive market research and seeking out design trends from competitors, check back with the client to see what best aligns with their brand and direction.
Lay out the groundwork and test your product
Once the back-end research has been completed, and the client has agreed on an approach, it is time to draft the floor plans for the site. Sketch out wireframes before designing the site and seek out opinions from third parties to ensure that the UX and UI are intuitive and relevant. Test out the various functionalities with your target audience before you streamline or expand on them further. The rule of thumb for this stage of the process is to prototype, prototype and prototype!
Take into consideration web security
Cyber-security is often at the forefront of the client’s concerns especially with sensitive and confidential information available on the site. Although this might seem more relevant to large organisations, cyber-security should, in fact, be a top priority for any site with personal data of customers.
As part of the design process, conduct web penetration tests using methods such as SQL injection. This will point out potential issues and vulnerabilities of the site. Although most Content Management Systems have inbuilt security features, it is still vital to have knowledge of the common security exploits in order to quickly apply security patches in the event of a threat.
A good web designer puts in measures to ensure that the client’s website has visibility and will not be buried deep in the web’s search engines. There are various ways to improve your SEO – position your content with specific meta keywords, optimize your non-text content (Flash, PDFs) so that search engines can crawl the content and explore multichannel optimization by extending your branding efforts to other platforms (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Read up on the best practices for optimizing your site for different search engines, and review them with your client for the most strategic approach.
At Krome, we specialise in website design and development services. If you or your client are interested in creating a site, it’s time to tell us about your project or have a chat about what we can do. You can contact us here.