What are your web design skills really worth? Part 1

May 23, 2018

If you are considering a career in web design, there are basic web design skills that will be necessary. This post article is all about these individuals after our own heart.  As web designers we are forever walking the path to stamp out bad web design.  Our end goal is to leave each website better off than when we first found it.

What is the most sought after service?

Most clients come to us for re-design work. The are looking to clean up the look they have currently and to enjoy the new smart technology available to them. They are not looking for a DIY experience. Otherwise they would have tried to make the change themselves. They are rather searching for design talent to bring their brand to new heights.
As we develop our skills and become more proficient as web designers, we are worth more than when we first start out in the industry.  Programming skills become better over time.  The more seasoned web developer is able to create the more complicated graphic presentations.  Thus, they will receive the higher fee for this skill.

Smart technology evolves and offers new challenges:

As technology change, we find more and more features available for our clients, it is our responsibility to become familiar with these new features. Consumers today are very savvy and will definitely ask about the new bells and whistles they see on the web.  If they discover the web designer is not able or skilled enough to give them these new techniques, then your future as a designer will be short-lived. They will quickly go to another designer to get the latest look.

Your website message will affect your company brand:

A website is more than just an address.  It is your brand identity.  Sharing your company message is paramount in building brand awareness.  Sharing your story will have a  direct impact on those returning over and over again for your products and services.  Consumers are easily distracted and will leave the website to search for a more pleasing experience on a whim.  If you website is clogged with bloated content, if it is not organized and does not offer the consumer a user-friendly experience, don’t expect them to hang around. The user of today prefers a beautiful website over a complicated display.

What are a few elements which will keep their attention?

  • Interesting animation (video or custom graphics)
  • a mobile-friendly platform (responsive for viewers)
  • A few high-resolution images (relating to the subject)
  • Informative bullet points (explaining services)
  • Compelling content (minimal with white space)
  • Messages offering a benefit

Home page nirvana:  Less is best:

Most in the know will agree that for the home page (landing page) you should keep everything to a minimum.  The page should be well-organized, clean and full of great keywords (within the page content).  Google suggest keeping the page content count to no more than 300 words.
Less clutter will create a comfortable and clean environment, easy to navigate.  Leaving plenty of white space is the new normal.  It is not necessary to cram the home page full of unnecessary content.  Only the basic information is required.
Always include a phone number somewhere on the home page and add the social icons, licensing info and any other pertinent info.  But remember, there are other pages available to put this information on as well so keep the layout as simple as possible for the best results.
Easy to access information will keep the user’s attention and direct them to have their questions answered.  They should be able to see all pertinent content within a few seconds of entering the website.

The psychology of color in web design:

Understanding the use of color can make or break a web designer. Visitors will feel comfortable when they see soft blue hues because this is connected to tranquility.  Do you want to add spark and energy, try using colors such as orang or red. It has been reported that the color blue will bring about more likes on Instagram than other colors because the color blue is associated with the ocean or a clear blue sky. Learn more about color and how it impacts your web design projects.
One of the first things we ask for as we meet with a client is to take a look at their logo.  This will give us an idea of their branding and identity.  It will also play a large role in the development of their website.  The color palette represented in a company logo will dictate the colors chosen for the overall website design.  This will keep their brand consistent in look and feel.
Individual colors and color palettes should be chosen carefully as they affect the way visitors feel when they find your website. Using color properly will increase your value as an industry leader in design excellence.

Becoming a better web designer:

Designers should always be enrolled in continuing education to master the latest design skills. What our skills are worth is largely driven by the industry and the whims of the internet.  As Google makes changes in their algorithms, so do we as designers learn to work with the new guidelines.  Becoming a website designer requires ongoing education which never ends.

Conclusion: What are we really worth as web designers?

The truth is this…. we are only worth what someone is willing to pay. Charge for your time but avoid overcharging your customer. Do some research to find out what others with your skill level are charging for website design. Understanding your target audience, learning what the industry expects, and increasing your skills will help in attracting the higher paying consumer.
It is not longer ok to simply sit by and do the same things over and over again as you design websites. Become the best in the industry by working hard and learning more each day.
Stay connected for all things web design to stay in the know!  Hurry back for part 2 next time.
Staff Writer. Inside Design Orlando


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