4 Skills the 21st Century Designer Must Haves in Their Portfolio
December 07, 2016
We have probably heard of designers and their bold, creative schemes to get accepted into large agencies. From designing their resumes like graduation batons to colourful infographics and top secret-like assignment files, many designers come up with ingenious schemes to get through the door, but is that all?
Dan, a front end designer and UX developer at a web design company, Manchester believes that while all those tactics are a great way to get noticed, what matters most is the applicable skills.
Here are some valuable skills a graphic designer should have in their resume.
1. Knowledge of Digital Design
The 21stcentury graphic designer must be well-versed in the use of technology to enhance his art. If you have been working with print before, start migrating towards digital design today. For designers who are already familiar with web design, add more skills such as programming languages, content management system platforms and tools relevant to your industry.
Sometimes we forget to include all the skills we know when updating our resume. Not everyone has the same skills, therefore, you need to differentiate yourself from the pack. List all the items relevant to your field or the industry you hope to work in. Digital design is a big plus to have.
2. Basic HTML
This is the golden era of tech apps and we are still evolving. A graphic designer with basic coding skills is a great asset for any company to have. You will be doing yourself a big service if you can and add this to your repertoire of design skills.
The amount you need may vary with the position you are running for, but even foundation HTML skills can set you apart from other candidates without. Consider learning how to read and write HTML no matter how little. Perhaps you know how to change stylesheets in a current website design? Add this information to your resume and see the difference it makes.
Besides your core technical abilities, employees are also looking for soft skills in any designer. Communication is a top value skill in nearly any profession, and it is especially important in the design industry. Communication in relation to design deliverables is key, so are written and verbal presentation skills.
Ensure your resume contains the whole spectrum of your communication abilities and past projects where you have effectively applied them.
4. The Ability to Be a Team Player
This is another soft skill employees like to know you possess. As a modern graphic designer, you will likely be working with professionals in other fields from marketers to web developers and content strategists and social media managers. A graphic designer is often the centre of any creative agency, so it is important to be a cohesive unit of any team you work with.
Being a team player sounds easy enough, but it requires the best of your talents and patience. Highlight examples in your previous or current roles where you displayed exceptional team work skills.
Boost Your Product’s User Experience with These Design Tips
A business’ website or app has the ability to make a lasting impact on a customer and that can determine whether they will continue to use your product or not. There are many factors that influence this ‘user experience’, especially the web and mobile experience.
Entrepreneurs have begun spending more time and resources to enhance user experience. According to Dan, a front-end designer and UX developer at a web design company, Manchester; a good user experience can make all the difference between your product and that of a competitor.
The following are great ways to improve your UX.
1. Personalize your Product
Personalisation has always been the buzzword in business. Even though it sounds cliché, it is very important in web design. Users like to believe their experiences are just for them whenever they visit your website or use your mobile app, play a game or make a purchase online.
An interface that ‘recognises’ a specific user ultimately creates the defining factor. When you think about it, some of the best websites in the world use personalisation very well. Amazon.com usually makes shopping recommendations based on your previously bought or viewed items. Hulu suggests films or shows you might enjoy. Spotify often creates music playlists by studying your preferences or mood. Now, each of these experiences gives the impression that the product was made just for them.
2. Use Accepted Design Patterns
When developing a product, consider using a design patter users are already familiar with. Improperly laid out patterns often complicate an experience for people using your product. For example, interacting with a screen interface where you expect to scroll left to right, but find it is right to left, or a video that plays in portrait position instead of landscape. Such unfamiliar interactions can put off a potential customer.
Sometimes these patterns may be associated with cultural cues; like in a Muslim society, users may have no problems with right-to-left scrolling. It is therefore important for designers to study their users before committing to any permanent design patterns.
3. Avoid Too Many Form Fields
Ever tried to complete a purchase or sign up for a product online and it seemed like the site wanted your whole background information? Surely few things are more annoying. Similarly, avoid asking too much from your users. When you cut the number of form fields or information requested from the customer, it improves their user experience and encourages more interaction.
Simplify your app by making any purchase or engagement as seamless as possible, and that includes fewer form fields. Studies have shown that fewer form fields lead to increased conversion rates.
4. Educate Your Customers
There are times when you must introduce new features into your product. Sometimes the whole product may be new. If this is the case, ensure you incorporate directional tips to guide users around your product. Tips in form of arrows and bars with explanatory texts that slide across the screen from time to time are preferable. Beware of making them linger too long or they may be distracting.
Give your users some credit. Before you know it, they will be using your new product like a pro. Make sure you conduct thorough research and tests about your customers before making significant disruptive changes.