Getting noticed as a web designer is often an uphill battle. After all, the industry is getting somewhat easier to enter into, and there are more and more online courses available to anyone who wants to become a designer. In this thriving environment, understanding what will set you apart can be difficult to pinpoint.
So, in this post, we’ll take a look at seven great habits that designers who stand out have honed over the years. Let’s see how these habits can help you take your website design career to the next level.
They Look at What Others Are Doing
Great designers will always look for ways to become better at what they do. They will look at dozens of websites every day to see how other website designers have solved different issues.
They will often also follow certain competitors on social media and keep track of their work. This helps them better understand what direction the industry is moving in and what they can do to both keep up and stand out.
However, great designers never copy what others are doing. They merely look for inspiration and ways to improve their own work.
They Keep Learning
The one way to become a better designer is to, well, continue learning and working at getting better. No matter how good of an eye for detail you have or how well you can translate a client’s dreams into reality, there is always something new you can learn.
Maybe you can start by learning more about website architecture or even SEO. Or you can do an Introduction to web development course to better grasp how your ideas can be turned into a working website.
There are numerous skills that will help you score bigger jobs. Taking the time to work on one of them at a time will help you stand out more quickly.
They Listen to Their Clients
Website designers also need to become very adept at working with all kinds of clients – both those who know exactly what they want and those who don’t actually know what they need.
They need to be able to grasp an idea and translate the key messages and emotions into a functional and aesthetically pleasing product.
For example, a designer might be tasked to create the website of a digital service like Aura. There are countless ways to approach this project, yet this particular designer knocked it out of the ballpark with the hero section’s video. The image of an astronaut about to take off is perfectly aligned with the brand’s promise of increased sales. It’s simple yet highly effective.
This is the kind of flair great designers manage to develop, pinpointing the one element on a website that will make it stand out among a sea of similar ones.
They Know How to Say No
Knowing how and when to say no is another important habit to adopt. Sometimes a client will demand something that isn’t doable. They might have a very limited budget or ask you to work within a very limited timeframe.
When this is the case, knowing exactly how to politely refuse and explain why you’re refusing can quickly set you apart from the designers that will take any project on without thinking the implications and demands through enough.
Always be respectful and honest, and try your best to be clear about your logic. Clients and colleagues will soon start to respect you more.
They Know When to Think Outside the Box
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t always need to come up with something exceptionally unique. Templates and formulas exist in website design for a reason, and sometimes all you need to do is fine-tune them to match a client’s project.
This is not saying that you should create cookie-cutter websites. It just means that you don’t always have to come up with a 100% original idea.
Great website designers will think outside the box and come up with something entirely new when a project truly needs a unique and specific approach. They will take the time to draft proposals and wireframes that are perfectly aligned with the aim, purpose, and audience of a brand.
They Niche Down
Website designers who stand out will also not work with just anyone. They will niche down in one way or another. Perhaps they will work with clients from just a handful of industries, or maybe they will work with just one CMS.
Niching down can help designers become much better at their job. They won’t have to learn about a new type of audience every time they take on a new client and will be able to draw on past experiences to get the job done well.
Make sure there is some variety involved, though. Working on pet food websites alone, for example, will quickly become boring, and you won’t be able to come up with an unlimited number of different designs.
They Learn How to Sell
Finally, in order to truly stand out, great designers will learn how to sell their services well.
understand how to write winning proposals, how to negotiate, and what kinds of clients to go after
understand their strengths and weaknesses
research the prices other designers with similar experience are demanding, and adjust theirs accordingly
They will NOT:
be too pushy when offering their services
make promises they know they won’t be able to keep
get discouraged when a proposal they’ve spent hours on is rejected
By adopting these seven habits of great website designers, you can start to stand out more and attract just the kinds of clients you’ve always dreamed of working with.