10 Things a Web Designer Should Consider

While this is an old debate and it is clear that we won’t get very far with it, I want to make some statements regarding the things a web designer should consider in order to improve present skills.

designer

1. Never stop learning new things

Being in a domain where trends are easily becoming past, a web designer should constantly try to keep up with the latest approaches. From logo design up to user interfaces, you should search for various samples and see what is new and what is not. Also even if something is not useful to you, try and replicate it and after that you will definitely remain with some new ideas or skills.

2. Accept a second opinion

By nature, as web designers, we have been blessed with a significant amount of stubbornness. I know because I have plenty of it. And you will see that in the first years of web design, we have the ability to be immune to criticism and second opinions. That is wrong because most of the time we cannot see the forest for the trees.

3. Always take a step back

This idea is pretty simple: from time to time during a project try and relax and detach yourself from the design part. For example you can do that by reading a book, seeing a movie, a walk in the park or any other activity. This will make you see better the current flaws or wrong approaches in your design. Even a simple step back from the computer and a view towards the monitor from 3 feet away will send you informative feedback.

4. The Developer is not always wrong, you know…

Another great ability of a web designer is to be able to discuss in contradiction with somebody … preferably a web developer. And 99.99% of the time we are positive that the web developer is wrong. Believe me, we are so wrong.

5. Follow the news

In any field of activity you must follow the news constantly. This is a verified statement, because in many projects I’ve used some services or information that I’ve read about on a design news channel. So keep reading the news because it can make a difference in the web design industry.

6. Learn to filter

These days there are multiple sources of information, numerous dedicated websites, personal blogs etc. You have to learn how to filter the good stuff from the junk. Scan as much as you can but digest only the good stuff. This thing is critical because it will make you see the good content and it will save time by not reading trash.

7. Always use pen and paper

Even with so many niche applications that are available online, I still use the pen and paper on every project. I do it because the pen is the only item that can render properly what’s in my mind. So using a pen and paper will keep you closer to your ideas. It works for me.

8. Study other designers

Another great thing that you should consider is to study great web designers. Zeldman, Molly, Meyer, Shea, Moll, Croft, Snook should mean something to you not just names. Study their work, follow their activity. These actions will result in valuable web design knowledge. Also keep in mind that some of them often release awesome computer website templates.

9. Always buy the photos you use

I know that clients still believe that Google is the biggest provider for images but they are wrong. Not only that this is the thing to do, but by purchasing great pictures you add value to the web design ecosystem. In this way quality content is provided and promoted at the same time.

10. Listen to your mother

I can’t say anything that will link this statement to web design, unless your mom is a great web designer. The idea is simple to listen to your mother cause she wants what’s best for you. So, stop wasting time and do something with your life not web designing. :D – I think this is my mom talking and not me.

No conclusion for this post. Cheers!

24 ideas on “10 Things a Web Designer Should Consider

  1. Mauro

    2. Accept a second opinion

    I thik that this option is the hardest one to recognize in designers.

    I really like the list, it was funny! thanks!

  2. Andy Gongea

    Yes. We have a hard time dealing with that one.

  3. web application development

    The preliminary step is aim to maintain the site simple, understandable and translucent.The fundamental endeavor of every website is to make business thus the graphics and the text must provide to each one visiting the page and so bringing them closer to buying a product.

  4. Alisha Rai

    good post! Sound SEO knowledge is also a must for every designer. check out some tips for web designers http://budurl.com/n4tz

  5. Bonita

    cool post, thanks! can you perhaps supply links to the sites of those designers that you mentioned in point 8..?

  6. Webdesigner for Wordpress

    I believe, that there are three great battlefields you should master as a successful webdesigner: 1. Design, 2. Coding, 3. SEO. If only one of those points are missing, the whole thing will collapse.

    • Andy Gongea

      I agree with you. These are things that should consider beside the proper knowledge – things that should be always in contact with.

  7. Mark

    Great tips! Number is very important. you can never learn too much especially in the web design field since things change so often.

  8. Maggie Wolfe Riley

    You have a great sense of humor! I just discovered your site and so far I love it – and the fact that you admire and follow and learn from and link to some of my favorite designers and writers really gives you some “street cred” :)

    • Andy Gongea

      Thanks for the kind words. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the article.
      Cheers!

  9. Cameron Baney

    Following the news is very important. It isn’t like other fields where you can learn it and then stop. Web design is constantly evolving, and if you don’t keep up with it you will lose touch.

  10. studio-Cs

    Great sharing.
    The greatest challenge is to have a simple and clean web design, yet effective.

  11. cjdsie

    Great post! I think #3 (stepping back) is one of the hardest things to do when designing. You become so involved in your work that sometimes the idea of stepping away and take a few moments to reflect on what you’ve done is a hard thing to do. But a must for creating great design.

    Great post! Looking forward to reading more.

  12. Dan Frydman

    10. Listen to your mother

    Well, from a usability point of view, if your mother can’t use it, it’s not going to be able to be used in the mainstream.

    If you’re designing a niche site where the users ‘get it’ that pressing a little dot reveals the navigation – or that massive typefaces are the gateway to a section of the site, then fine.

    Otherwise keep it simple, let your mum review your new site design. It can’t hurt… it might be more useful than talking to a web developer :P

    • Andy Gongea

      Ok, in this case should I change the last one in – Make your mom the lead tester? :D
      You’re right – keep it simple.

      Thanks for your comment, Dan.

  13. Mike More

    LOL, I’m a developer so my favorite is “The Developer is not always wrong, you know…”
    Very true :) Thanks

  14. Blacksnipe

    10. Listen to your mother

    This is one I really should try to follow…

    Allthough it’s not my mum, but my girlfriend :-D
    In school we got a couple of projects, and the teachers nearly said the same things she commented, so I REALLY should give it a try…

    Great post. Thanks.

  15. Dale

    Great article. All valid points.
    I think using pen and paper helps me to take a step back and get a quick idea of what a design might look like before spending the time in photoshop.

    Or, I might just be slow in photoshop.

  16. Swashata

    I agree with the pen and paper work! This is a must thing to have in order to design a web page properly! Especially the logo part :)

  17. Cheryl D Wise

    For those that commented about a “mom’s test” remember that not all moms are good for the “average user” testing. I am the mom and run rings around my kids, even those in high school when it comes to technology. My usability test is my father/father-in-law but even my mother is very computer saavy. Though I like the “listen to your mom” for other reasons. :-)

  18. Ovi Dogar

    Really nice post…

    Keep up the great work! ;)

    Ovi Dogar
    AbsoluteCovers.com

  19. Miniia

    I’ve just started in the web design path. And these tips are really useful. I will definitely check out the people in point 8. On my way now :)

    • Andy Gongea

      Good luck ;)