The internet is full of list articles that offer hacks and tips but what are the qualities and skills that set great designers apart from the rest?


In all cases, your determination, your persistence, and your ability to adapt to change are going to give you far more milage than following every trend you can find.  Commit to being the best at what you do, and in time you’ll find you’re on the road to great.


Let’s look at a few of the top qualities and skills that are guaranteed to fuel your success.


  1. Constant Learning - While technology advances in most professions requiring the ability to adapt and change; when it comes to graphic and website design and anything involving technology, keeping up with the speed of change is critical to your success. Experts recommend dedicating a portion of your earnings each year to training and updating your skills to stay current with the pace of change. You’ve chosen a dynamic field where those skills that you relied on yesterday are already on the way to becoming obsolete. Besides, there’s something noble in being an eternal student, isn’t there?


Therefore as a website designer you need to keep up with the pace of how different concepts are changing and learn them to perfect your skills.


2. Be Prepared - Have a Rough Plan

Do your homework. It’s that simple. Before beginning the technical design of a website ensure you have done the research, understand your client’s needs, and have written down a rough sketch or outline and have any reference materials on hand. While this may only pertain to more established businesses, many companies have design guidelines and policies that will inform your design. As a web designer, have an idea of what you want to achieve and take the important step of putting it down on paper to make sure you stay on track. That being said, as you may have learned, the best designers are flexible and stay open to several options to better accommodate necessary changes or client preferences along the way. Your plan should be in alignment with the purpose of the website, and ultimately function as a funnel leading the user through a decision making process and may even include a direct call action stage.  

3. Stay Up to Date - Example consider phasing out sidebars and sliders

While creating sites that ignore tested and true practices is never wise, understanding the latest trends and hacks will help you improve your client’s site functionality. No one wants an obsolete site. Take sidebars and sliders for example. At present a growing number of designers are reconsidering these popular elements since browsers now many ways to scroll. Practically speaking, if you have 36 images on a slide, do you think the majority of visitors will be patient enough to slide through to the very last image? While there’s no need to trash your entire site to get rid of them, the current trend is to think twice before using these navigation tools that were once standard.

4. Stop the Clutter - Keep it Clean

You know when your room is picked up, you can see the floor, and suddenly there’s a sense of calm and space? If so, you’re already in tune with one of the best practices in design! While your client’s anticipation to tell readers everything they want to share may be great, as a professional it’s important that you impart the importance of a site that is free of clutter, and is clean and clear of any competing elements that might detract attention from the central message. Pages filled with corner to corner information overwhelms visitors and has the potential to divert traffic away from the most important content featured.

However, as much as a clutter-free site enhances centrality and simplicity, there is a balance that needs to be achieved as to how much white space should be used. In short, don’t over clutter your site and don’t leave so much white space that the tone and feel that imparts your brand is lost.



5. Bury Social Media Icons

Consistent with the best practice in delivering a site that leads browsers to focus on your central message, social media icons meant to engage target audiences should be placed at the bottom of a page not on top.

Imagine going through the effort of creating a great website only to chase away people before they even read through your page? Incorporating social media icons at the top of the website run that risk! The most ideal location for social media icons is closer to the website footer where they act as complementary icons to your content. 

6. Fonts - Pay Attention to Font Size and Styling

To make your website design appealing and modern, use large fonts for the introductory part and pair contrasting fonts that blend together. Not sure which fonts work well? Do some research online. Established designers understand font pairing, how to use fonts that compliment and emphasize messages without appearing random and hurting corporate branding. Whatever sized and styles you choose, great designers apply the same font rules consistently throughout a site which improves readability. You can use the different fonts for different purposes on your content, but be consistent. If you’re not working with corporate design guidelines then make sure to create a template that can be followed. Larger fonts not only attract attention, they improve readability and set content sections apart. Need guidance on using headings? There are many great best practice guides online!

7. Compatibility with devices

In this era and age, there is no reason to create a website that does not support mobile phones and tablets. Technology advancements have made life easier by widening the number of devices on which you can access the internet. Since most of the population has a smartphone or tablet, wise designers create sites compatible with both.  

8. Master Graphic Design

If you want to become a pro in this field, you need to perfect your skills on how you employ different graphic designs. From free and paid online courses to community colleges and university degrees the opportunities to learn and master graphic design are plenty. This is one area where finding mentors can be extremely useful. With new free and easy to use software apps and programs available online there has never been a better time to dive in.

9. Be Color Inspired - Not Color Shy  

Don’t shy away from applying color to your website designs. Colors schemes, consistent combinations of colors, have the potential to set your design apart from the rest. Too much white space, dull colors, leaves target audiences less than inspired and remember, this site is not just a website, it is an integral part of a company’s brand. When choosing colors it is important to consider how you want readers to feel when browsing the site, which colors are already used in the company’s logo, business cards, or other branding tools, and of course consider client input, expectations, and needs!  In the modern world of design, it is imperative to learn how to use different colors and themes in combination for an artistic look. Take time to explore your creativity and combinations on paper to find which combinations will best suit the website you’re designing.

Share this Post: