It is truly a nice feeling to be called a ‘Master’ at something. It gives value to your name, talent and skills. In addition to that, people will begin respecting you because of what you know about the field that you are an expert in. Truly, being called a master adds weight to your name, but there is more to value than just the name. What things web designers should know is vital here.
As a master, you are afforded the respect you want because of WHAT YOU KNOW. No one is ever called a master without superior knowledge and experience in the field he is a master in. He should be knowledgeable, well-versed and well-bruised in battle.
It is in that sense that we have compiled this list of things a master should know. Now for those budding web designers out there, here’s your chance to guide yourself towards achieving the master status. At the very least, because of this list, you will know where to go and which path to take. Meanwhile, for experienced web designers, this is your chance to assess yourself and ask, “Am I really a master?” So without much ado, let’s start the list.
A Master Should Know What the Web is and How It Works
Photo from Motherboard.vice.com
The Web is the primary reason why you are a web designer. In fact, it is the main explanation why there is a web designing profession in the first place. Without the Web, you have nothing to stand, develop and do. The whole existence of your work lies in the existence of this vast collection of data. Without it, you’re nothing.
That is why, as a master web designer, you should understand how the Web works. He needs to know how it moves and changes, where it came from and where will it go. For it is only through this understanding that you will learn and predict how the trends will go in the future. Mastering what the changes to the Web are each year will at least give you a hint where will it go.
Master this and you will find the world of web design easier to navigate.
Amylove32 of WikiAnswers gives a very good point:
A designer needs to understand the Web from an accessibility standpoint. The designer needs to know what needs to be implemented and design accordingly to enable various accessibility features for things such as screen readers and text to speech software. A designer wouldn’t want to design an entire site in Flash for a website whose audience is the blind folks, because Flash is not that readily accessible by various software. Granted, there are ways to make Flash accessible with smaller Flash components embedded into an already existing website, but it’s not really possible to do so when the entire site is in a Flash file. A designer also needs to understand how the web works in regards to advertising, where appropriate, so that they will understand where it is appropriate and where it is best to put one. Also, it will help with determining how to design space for ads when you know how it will work on the Web through rotation, sizing, popups, or other various methods for ads. Also, when a designer understands much more past the face value of a website (the design), it can open up a whole new set of creative ideas to implement into the website. A designer would have base knowledge of what is possible in terms of design vs.programming.
Now if you’re wondering where to learn how the Web works? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Just click and read the following links:
- Web – How It Works?
- How The Web Works – In One Easy Lesson
- How the Web Works
- How the Web Works: HTTP and CGI Explained
- What’s the Difference between the Internet and the World Wide Web?
- How Mobile Web Pages Work
- How Web Servers Work
A Master Web Designer Should Learn HTML by Heart
Photo from pubpages.unh.edu
Despite the continuing debate on whether web designers should learn how to code, I still believe that web designers need to learn basic HTML at the very least.
HTML is the framework of all web pages. It is the basic language a web designer should learn. Learning HTML will allow you to understand basic web page elements and make you design with more usability and purpose. Knowing that this particular HTML element can make the following design will help you reach places!
Imagine the comfort when you know the basic codes:
- You will be empowered to do a lot of things you haven’t done before, thus, improving your productivity.
- You can easily handcraft demo websites that you yourself designed.
- You will understand the limitations and scope of your design, making you more knowledgeable of the things that you could put or remove from your designs
- You have an edge over other designers who just know designing.
Here’s what you should read:
- If You Know Nothing about HTML, This Is Where You Start
- HTML Introduction
- PSD to HTML Tutorial: Code a Photoshop File to a Working Website
- 10 Easy-to-Follow PSD to HTML/CSS Tutorials
- Convert Your Product Landing Page From PSD to HTML [Very Detailed]
A Master Web Designer Should Know the Design Process
Photo from hayneedle.com
Web designing also encompasses a little bit of graphic design. With these design schools being very close cousins, a master web designer should also learn the basics of the designing process.
There are basic things you need to know about the design process. As a designer you should understand the following core elements
- Spacing – It is the distance of each element to another. A good website is well spaced. The spacing should be wide enough for the elements to ‘breath’ and narrow enough to facilitate easy reading and appreciation.
Photo from shutterfly.com
Regarding this, you could read:
- Using White Space (or Negative Space) in Your Designs
- 21 Inspiring Examples of White Space in Web Design
- White Space in Web Design: What It Is and Why You Should Use It
- The Importance of White Space in Web Designs
- The Importance Of White Space In Web Design With Examples
- Is There Room for Negative Space in Web Design?
- How To Actually Use Negative Space As Design Element
Proportion and Balance –This refers to visual equilibrium, our physical homeostasis. A balanced design, though difficult to master, suggests visual stability. Often achieved in two ways, symmetrically and asymmetrically, proportion can be applied in a web design to highlight elements that are deemed to be important, thus, improving the flow of information. Knowing how to facilitate and control the proportions will help the reader in understanding your website content easily.
photo from www.gatlineducation.com
For further reading, try these:
Color – Colors are essential elements in web design. It determines the theme or the motif of the whole website. Applying the perfect color will allow your user to relate a certain need or usage to your website. It also helps in the psychological aspect of web design, where a designer uses the colors to influence the website visitor.
Photo from www.gamblincolors.com
For further reading, try these:
- An Introduction to Color Theory for Web Designers
- How Colors Help Make Websites Successful
- Color Psychology and Web Design
- The Psychology of Color in Web Design
Flow – Refers to the visual movement that guides the viewer through the piece. Flow refers to the correct usage of lines, shapes, colors, depth and hierarchy to achieve a process while viewing the masterpiece. It may sound simple, but flow is very difficult to achieve and could be detrimental or beneficial to the design. As a designer, you can use a lot of tools to ensure correct flow: arrows, facial directions, spacing and perspective.
Photo from episcopalart
For further reading, look at:
- How to Control Flow Within Your Web Designs
- Does Your Design Flow?
- Visual Movement: Flow in Web Design
- Guide to User Flow – The “Foolishly Ignored” Backbone of Website Design
Understanding these graphic design-related stuff will lead you to full awareness of the functions of each graphical element of your design. This will help you facilitate information, attract attention and sustain the number of viewers in your work of art.
In Times of Great Difficulty, a Master Web Designer Must Know Where to Look and What to Do
Let’s admit it, it’s pretty rare that any of our works smoothly run without any bugs during our first tests. Believe it or not, only a few web designers get it with just one try. To cut the story short, a master web designer knows troubleshooting. He knows where to look when something doesn’t work. He knows what to do with basic errors and mistakes other designers commit. Be it in the code, with the design itself or with the logistics of how it’s done, a master web designer knows the solution for almost every problem he encounters.
Photo from Pace.edu
But all these never came in one day. Over time, a master designer developed great skills and patience with web designing. He becomes aware and used to the daily potholes of life and knows how to avoid them. So, when your code doesn’t work, try to troubleshoot it first so that you learn.
For further readings, visit:
- Solving Problems in Web Design
- The 8 Biggest Responsive Web Design Problems (and How to Avoid Them)
- Six Steps to Website Troubleshooting Bliss
- 10 Useful Tips For Debugging and Troubleshooting in Programming
A Master Web Designer Should Type Well
Photo from Monsters23
Yes, you read this one right. If you can type really fast, you could save a lot of time and effort because you will be able to encode easily. This makes typing a master skill you should learn. You need not be fast like lightning; you just need to be as accurate as you can be. Imagine having to write codes faster, giving you more time to write other projects and troubleshoot them.
A Master Web Designer Should Know How to Write
Photo from www.g2msolutions.com.au
Writing is one of the more undermined skills developed by web designers. It is completely understandable because it is hardly used by many. However, if used properly, it can attract more clients and ensure a lasting and good-ending client-to-designer relationship. Also, it could improve your branding. Copywriting becomes a must-have skill, especially for those starters who want to kick-start their freelancing careers. They can easily sell their services through a well-crafted statement or email.
For further reading, try
- 10 Principles for Turning into a Killer (Copywriter)
- 20 Killer Web Copywriting Tips
- 5 Killer Tips that Will Get You Clients: Copywriting for Web Designers
A Master Web Designer Should Have Knowledge about SEO
Search Engine Optimization is a key element in web designing. Mastering SEO will be advantageous to your website because you will be able to attract more visitors if your website appears in search engines. More traffic equals more people communicating equals more people being affected by the content and could mean more earnings.
To learn SEO, try reading these:
- Top 21 SEO Tips and Tricks to Follow in 2013
- 95 SEO Tips and Tricks for Powerful Search Engine Optimization
- Top 10 SEO Tips and Tricks for Beginners
- 6 Tips For Designing an SEO Friendly Website
- How To Clean Up and Optimize Your Existing WordPress Blog Posts For SEO
- A Detailed Guide To Write an SEO Optimized Blog Post in WordPress
A Master Web Designer Should Have Business Sensibilities
Photo from www.pubcentral.com
If you take web design seriously, that would only mean that you need to be paid for it. Yes, you might be working under a company or all by your freelance-self. Either way, you should have business sense. Knowing how a business works will benefit you, for sure. You know when to make decisions, which decisions to make and which risks to take. This will give you independence with your project because you will be fully aware of the consequences present in your line of work. Having business sense will also teach you marketing, advertising and public relations, the tools you will surely need to increase your income!
- Useful Business Advice and Tips For Web Designers
- 8 Powerful Web Design Tips for Small Business Owners
- Marketing For Web Design: How to Get More Business
- Guide to Marketing a Small Web Business
- Top 10 Marketing Ideas
- Tips for Web Designers From an Internet Marketer’s Perspective
A Master Web Designer Should Know How to Listen
Photo from customersrock.wordpress.com
You work with clients. Some of those are very stubborn and can cause you a thousand facepalms. Some are so timid to the point where you can’t talk to them. Some are just okay. (And those ‘just okay’ ones don’t come often)
So you want to earn money from your clients? Well, I have a simple secret. It’s LISTENING. Yes, you just need to listen to them. They want something changed in the design? Listen to them first, and humbly suggest input. They want you to do something you think is stupid? Ask them for the rationale first and then you tell them how you really feel.
See? The simplest thing you would ever do is listen. Remember, people want to talk. We all want to be heard, but nobody loves listening. If you, as a web designer, listen carefully to your client, then you’ll teach him to value you more than just an employee. He might even give you bonuses, we can’t tell!
For further reading:
- Building Client Relationships: 5 Tips For Web Designers
- Secret Web Design Tip No. 11: Listening to the Client
- Tips for Effective Communication with Your Clients
A Master Web Designer Should Always Learn
Photo from www.home-school.com
Last year, flat design just came out of nowhere. We are all keeping up with the trend. But what if we stopped studying? Well, for one thing, we won’t have much flat design web designs today. You see, with web designing being inclined in technology, which is ever changing and changing fast so we need to adapt. Learning is forever in web design. If you stop now, you stop forever. So continue learning from tutorials, inspiration sites and of course, 1webdesigner!
For further reading, try on:
Being a master web designer is never easy. It never was and it will never be. But that doesn’t mean you’ll never dream of becoming one. You could be a master. Yes, you will be. That is after you acquire a lot of knowledge and experience. With patience and proper guidance from 1stwebdesigner.com, you’ll surely have no problem with that!
Rudolph is a geek. He loves reading: books, blogs and even nutrition facts found at the back of products. He also loves basketball. Since joining 1stwebdesigner last year, Rudolph has written several articles that concerns Typography, Wordpress, Freelance Lifehacks, Graphic Design and Showcase of Beautiful Web Designs. He also write poems, movie reviews and he puts them in his blog together with rants and some daily life updates.