8 Things all Designers must Learn

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As the web standards continue to increase, new technologies and techniques arise, which increases clientele expectations for what a designer can bring forth. Whether be it fancy gradient effects, attention to detail, or mesmerizing illustrations, there is always that expectation a client wants for what they envision for their design. Furthermore, we discuss eight things a client expects from today’s designers to have learned.

PHP

A lot of clients search for designers who can design and develop in PHP to eliminate the process of contracting two or more people. Let us dive right into why and how it is important. Clientele range from many different niches, from portfolios to corporate sites but they all have a few things in common in terms of needs. Most websites we look at today have contact forms, lightweight galleries, or a simple display of products.

While you can find many free contact forms or galleries, basic knowledge of PHP is needed to modify or customize them to suit the client’s needs. A lot of times they want to be able to manage their contact form, display of products, or gallery all from a centralized panel, without PHP knowledge this cannot be easily attainable. Therefore, it is important to begin to adapt to a PHP or development environment.

Illustration

Many new designers can whip up designs with fancy gradients and patterns; however, they cannot create basic illustrations or graphics such as a lightweight illustration of a park or even simple graphics such as chalkboards and what not. Today’s clients expect designers to have such basic skills in order to whip them up a few things they might need to make their website stand out. With a plethora of free quality tutorials on how to create basic and advanced illustrations, there is no reason not to learn how to do it.

Creativity

While there is nothing wrong with browsing the net for inspiring designs, clients want their designs to stand out with new original ideas to enhance their image on originality. In fact, with so many pre-made designs out there, proving to your client that they made the right decision choosing you is ever increasing in difficulty; however, this proves your originality and ingenuity. Therefore, adapting to a creative environment or creative thinking gives you the upper hand on design allowing you to impress clients every time.

Logo Design

Logo design also categorizes under illustrations and creativity as a logo is the unique icon your client’s customers will remember. While it is wrong for clientele to think that a redesign includes a logo design, clientele expect it as a part of the package. Having the creativity in design to create a unique logo for your client’s niche expands on your portfolio and customer base. Therefore, emphasizing on illustration design is an increasing demand for designers, becoming a must for some clientele.

Clean PSD, Clean Code

A lot of clients want security for their future, they want to make sure if they hire someone a few years down the line that the person they hire can easily pick up from where you left off. With that said, it is in your best interest to offer a well organized, grouped, labeled, and layered PSD of the design or certain graphic elements that might be changed in the future. Clean code is also another thing clients look for but cannot distinguish the difference.

However, by properly commenting and organizing your code, your client will definitely be impressed with the work and will recommend you or re-contract you in the future. Furthermore, this also makes it easier for them to modify and maintain their site if they need to change a few small things, which saves you time from clientele who expect you to help them out for free when they need it.

CSS 3

The demand for CSS 3 is surprisingly increasing as clientele become more tech savvy. While Internet Explorer and other similar browsers do not support CSS 3, specializing your design to the browser your client uses is what you need to do to an extent. If your client uses Google Chrome or Firefox, you can save time by creating rounded corners and shadowing using CSS 3 as it does not mess up Internet Explorer users, but rather limits the design a bit. It also gives your client flexibility to be able to change things without the need to recreate the rounded corners as it is all done dynamically.

Javascript and Javascript Frameworks

Javascript effects are becoming noticeable all over the web, it gives a website more personality and the pizzazz clientele are looking for. Therefore, learning how to code in Javascript is becoming a must even as a designer as it effects how your design behaves. There are a lot of Javascript frameworks out in the world today that help ease up the hard coding, making it a few minute step even for developers new to the language.

Furthermore, it is a good idea to browse through many different frameworks and picking the best that suits you and your clients need, and expanding your knowledge about it. Clients are not meticulous about what framework you use, but are rather for the effects you implement.

Mobile Design Skills

Many of your clients will most likely have some sort of mobile device whether be it a phone or some sort of device like the iPod Touch. What this means is, they will most definitely try out their new website on their mobile device only throw feedback at you for correction. Therefore, learning some tips and tricks about mobile design and how to approach it is definitely an increasing demand, and something you should invest time in to learn and understand.

It is always a great move to stay up to date with new technologies and demands as a designer while continuing to expand on your skill set. Not only does this increase your knowledge, it also affects your portfolio in a positive way and widens your range of the type of jobs or clientele you can accept, and most importantly, it gives you the upper hand in the industry.