Being a web designer (and/or running a digital agency) means you have to wear many hats. A lot of blog articles talk about the Photoshop chops or CSS skills that makes a good web designer. The reality is that web designer hardly ever spend 100% of their time designing marvelous stuff. I’d say it’s more like 65%.
Here are seven skills and habits that makes an effective web designer:
1. Runs effective design review meetings
Yes. Presenting design is hard and yes it means you have to talk about your designs is public and yes, it means you will have to answer some hard questions. But the best person to explain your design decisions is you, the designer who took those decisions.
An excellent web designer learns how to present effectively.
2. Designs experiences that builds a real human connection
Yes, a great UX professional is excellent at crafting awesome user experiences with well designed UI elements but they also understand that they need to integrate some level of emotion into their designs.
An effective web designer always explores ways to delight the users of the website they’re building.
3. Educates their clients on the web design process
They don’t start a new web project or design meeting explaining the intricacies of responsive design. An effective web designer understand that the questions, doubts and fears that their clients express are often just an expression of frustration.
A good web designer leverage these moments and uses them to educate their clients on the process of the web design process.
4. Has a design methodology
Because they know that the design approval process has a great chance of becoming a very painful experience if there’s no clear methodology in place. A process that helps both the designer and the client to talk about the project in a sensible way.
An effective web designer also knows that a well defined design methodology has gets faster design sign-offs.
5. Knows that it’s important to assert themselves as experts
Because they understand that if they want to have a relationship based on mutual respect hey need to communicate trust and the best way of doing that is asserting themselves as the expert early in the process.
They also understand that there are different ways for web designers to assert themselves as an expert.
6. Goes to great lengths to explain their designs in a logical way
Because they understand that web designs sometimes are very complex. They also respect that their clients are busy people so they make it easy for their clients to digest complex designs.
To do this successfully, they use techniques like chunking up, to convey their designs.
7. Are efficient at collecting and dealing with client feedback
Because they understand that failing in involving key project stakeholders to give feedback early in web project is close to malpractice.
They also understand that inviting clients to participate in the design process helps their client feel ownership of the project.