Technical knowledge aside, what makes for a good Web designer?
In a technology dominated age, we are exposed to all kinds of media day by day. Consuming and noting all the different disciplines of each website we visit provides insight into the website design process. Good web design naturally should follow basic design principles, but ultimately should focus on how to meet user needs and expectations as efficiently as possible. It’s important to look at exactly what kind of designer you want to be. Creative Bloq’s 2012 article, “Jump from Graphic to Web Design in Seven Easy Steps”, lists three website defining items: “who you are, who your users are and what your business goals are” (CreativeBloq). As designers, we bring our own knowledge and experience to a project. However, it’s vital that we
do so while also keeping the target audience and desired effect in mind.
In another Creative Bloq article, “Design isn’t just about pixels”, it is stated “Design is about understanding people” (CreativeBloq). A successful website is less about being the most aesthetically pleasing, but more so about creating something that is efficient and easy for the target audience to use. Designers have to research potential users and understand what needs and expectations they may have.
In order to give clients what they want, some communications skills are required as well. In his article “Why You Need to Ask More Creative Questions”, Aaron Morton emphasizes non-mainstream thinking and using the brain’s tendency to problem solve to our advantage. He states, “Constantly looking at the problem doesn’t necessarily provide a solution. By turning the problem into a question, you are directing your thinking towards finding a solution” (Morton). We need to not only be creative in how we work, but how we approach a project and come to certain design decisions; a designer needs to know the fundamentals but also their audience well enough to confidently defend why their solution is the best one.
We have to be able to view the screen from two perspectives: our own as creators and as users interacting with said creations. Despite how much we “know” and try to argue about color theory and user-friendly layouts, it is entirely up to whether the user can easily navigate and work with a website; as pretty and well thought out a project may be, it will always fall short if
user experience is not optimal.