If You Have These Skills–Consider Web Design!
The best web and graphic designers have a solid set of skills that boost their technical and artistic talents. In fact, if you love art, drawing, and designing, you probably have other interests that can make you not just a good web or graphics designer (or both) but a really talented one!
Ben Hunt, a web and graphic design coach, lists ten skills these artists can use and improve upon to help them create even better products for the web. It’s not necessary to have all of these skills, but having even just a couple can help you become a more skilled designer.
Take a look at this summary of the skills Hunt recommends, and see if there are any you already enjoy and can build upon. They are not listed in any order of importance.
- Graphic design skills. Anthem Institute offers a program in Graphic Design & Animation at certain campuses that provides a background and then some for students who want to learn graphic and web design. Graphic design skills are the backbone for attractive websites. Anthem Institute teaches the industry standard skills you’ll need to for graphic or web design. Our students become adept with Adobe Creative Suite, which used in both graphic and web design, and study digital print, animation, and other techniques used in these fields.
- Creative Graphics. This isn’t the same as fancy graphics and Flash-y tools, although these are certainly good to know for clients who like them! But simple designs work well, too. Hunt lists e-bay, Google, Wikipedia, and Craigslist as sites that have proven to be very popular even with basic designs.
- Typing. Web and graphic designers spend a lot of time on keyboards. Hunt recommends learning to touch-type.
- Self-Learning. Do you teach yourself how to use different tools on your computer and on the web? This is a great skill for both web and graphic designers to have. These fields are “a giant pile-on of visual design, technology, coding, human factors, all that jazz” Hunt says. “And the technology doesn’t stand still from one day so the next. That’s what makes it so frustrating – and so fun!” So if you’re a self-learner, you have a lot of useful skills right there.
- Listening. I work with graphic and web designers who are really good listeners. (That’s why our site looks so good!) Hunt says listening skills will help you figure out what your client or boss wants to see in the site you’re developing or improving. Listening also means realizing what questions you need to ask the client.
- Circumspection. This is the ability to look at a problem from several points of view. You need to figure out who you want to visit your site—for example, students or their parents? Maybe instructors? Maybe all of them?
- HTML and CSS. Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) are important tools for creating websites. Not all graphic artists learn these but those who complete Anthem Institute’s Graphic Design & Animation program know them. If you have any familiarity with either of these, you’re already ahead of the game and marking up your own value.
- Writing and editorial skills. As a writer myself, I was interested to see this listed. Hunt points out that there are writing skills that just didn’t exist before there was a Web. But in today’s webby world, skills such as using keywords and search engine optimization (SEO) tools that make a site easier to find, might come naturally to writers and editors. Or they might need to be learned.
- SEO. Even if writing isn’t your thing, you can still boost SEO by focusing on branding, and that’s where a lot of design, graphics, and HTML/CSS skills can help. A designer who thinks about the big picture will create a website that will be found and seen, and that is what SEO is all about.
- Business sense. Hunt is blunt. “Frankly, if you’re going to make a go of being a web designer, whether you’re self-employed, freelance, part of a small company or large corporation, you’ll benefit from knowing the basics of how business works, and how to make sensible guesses when faced with business choices.” Anthem Institute understands this. Each campus has a Career Services department that focuses on helping students find work after they finish their programs. Among the services are seminars and trainings on professional behavior and understanding the workplace. In addition, portfolio development is part of the GDA program, giving these students an additional business skill.
Graphic Design & Animation uses a lot of skills you might already have. Call Anthem Institute at 866.502.2627 or text “more” to 480-3828-EDU to find out more.