Most web designers are only concerned with one thing, the skills that they possess when it comes to the actual design work. These could be anything from programming in JavaScript to manipulating images in Photoshop. However, there is a lot more to web design than just your skills and equipment, and there is a lot more that the budding web designer must remember, especially when it comes to building their professional reputation.

1. Improve Communication Skills

One of the most important things you will have to do as a web designer, and indeed in life, is to communicate your ideas clearly and concisely to whoever it is you are interacting with. This is especially important when you have to deal with a client or a developer, and can actually be so important that it affects the overall success of the project. Creative souls are not the best communicators to begin with, but communication is something you are going to have to get good at if you would like to become truly successful in this field.

2. Learn How To Market Yourself

The world is not as big as it seems, and the world of web design is even smaller. The competition is as stiff as it is fierce, and only the best and fittest survive the onslaught. If you would like to ensure that you too become counted among the finest in the field then you need to learn how to sell yourself. This will allow potential clients to know about you and your skills, and help get you to the top of the pile faster. There are a number of ways you could sell yourself and your brand, including social media marketing, business card marketing and word of mouth.

3. Develop Good Business Sense

There are many web designers out there who do not have the slightest business sense when they approach any of their projects. Working in the real world is centered around how well you can sell yourself, how much value you attach to different things, and balancing out the costs to you. Successful web designers do more than design websites for their clients, they also create business solutions for them. If you find it hard to work on both the creative and business side of things, perhaps you should consider working within a team, or working with someone who can complement your work with their business sense.

4. Learn How To Be A Team Player

There is rarely a time when you will find something has been designed entirely by a single person. Working within a team is inevitable, even though sometimes the team may be so small that you feel like you are working alone anyway. However, because teamwork is inevitable, it is important that you understand how to work with others, and how to delegate certain tasks. You need to be able to understand your role in the team in relation to the big picture, and how much easier your work will become if you learn how to work within the team.

5. Plan Before you Begin your Design

There are a huge number of designers who “wait for inspiration to happen” before they begin doing their work, stating that they are only able to work when inspired by one thing or another. However, what they do not know is that sometimes creating a plan of what you are going to do can actually make the inspiration hit a lot quicker.
There are a couple of things that you need to consider when you are planning, for example, the clients company, the customers’ expectations and the company’s competitors and what they are doing. If you can use all these things to create a plan, you stand a chance to save time, money and resources that may have been wasted later on in the process.

6. Forget Graphic Design and Stick to Web Design

There is a common misconception that graphic designers and web designers can do the same work, mainly due to the fact that they both carry out most of their design work on their computers. Despite the fact that this is theoretically true, there are very few people who actually practice both disciplines simultaneously. This is because the two types of design are fundamentally different, with different mediums and therefore different expectations. For this reason, it is important that you concentrate on your web design, and leave the graphic design to those who have dedicated their lives to it.

7. Keep Yourself Up To Date

This may seem like a no brainer but you will be surprised how many people forget to update the technologies they use on a regular basis. Computer software and technology changes very fast, and to keep up with it you are going to have to regularly update yourself with all the new information that may have emerged in your field. You will need to do a lot of research to find out what is new, and what has been made obsolete, especially if you do not want to see your competitors surpassing you in business.

8. Never Ignore Design Soft Skills

One of the most important things to a web designer should be their soft skills. Despite the fact that something in the web design field changes almost every day, especially when it comes to new techniques and technologies, it is important that you learn and understand how to use these techniques and technologies competently. One of the best ways to ensure this is possible is to ensure that you maintain your basic skill set.

9. Stay Organized

One of the best ways to ensure that you are a success, not only in web design but in life, is to ensure that you are well organized. However, in web design, organization is especially important, especially when you take into account how messy some work can become. Organizing yourself will allow you to manage your time better, help you meet deadlines, and inevitably reduce your stress levels.

10. Maintain a Current Portfolio

This is another no brainer that many people seem to forget. The best way to showcase your talents as a web designer is to have a portfolio. However, there is no use having a portfolio that is not up to date and relevant to the current market. To ensure that you get the right jobs and attract the right clients, ensure that your portfolio is up to date and reflects today’s design world, not last year’s designs.