How Important is a Web Design Degree?

busy design office partners collaboratingEven if you’re filled with innate raw talent as a designer, it may not be enough to propel you into that dream web design career. Why? Great web designers possess more than creative gifts—they are masters of intuiting how users actually use a website, and they strive to create a holistic and organic experience that meshes the client’s intentions with that ultimate user experience. In short, they are both visually visionary and pragmatically E-commerce-minded.

While you’ll supply the visual gifts, a web design degree program can help you cull the skills you’ll need on the business, E-commerce and web interaction side. A good web design program will not only teach web programming and web standards basics, but flesh out your education with coursework in English, mathematics, psychology (great for understanding how users tick), and physics.

What Makes a Great Web Designer?

Online tech journal UpCity polled leaders in the web design field about what traits and abilities promoted designers to the top of their game. They published the results in their blog article, 20 Qualities of Top Website Designers. Here are our seven favorite traits that are sure to set a web designer apart from the crowd:

  • Remington Begg, CEO of Impulse Creative: Have knowledge of key principles. Begg says, “Good web design principles are rarely innate, which means they almost always have to be learned.”
  • Ben Hunt, Internet Marketing Expert: Be self-learning. “The best designers…they’re all learning every day, trying out new stuff, learning what works and what doesn’t.”
  • Raini Setia, Mass Communication Post Graduate: Find solutions. “Getting stuck is part of handling things and a good designer looks for solutions not just alternatives.”
  • Nick Pettit, Designer and Teacher at Treehouse: Tell a story. “Websites are a communication medium, so clients want to see work that really says something.”
  • Randall Parrish, the Web Development Group: Be collaborative. “Bouncing ideas off one another throughout the design process only serves to make the final deliverable all the more refined.”
  • Penina Finger, Owner of Fantastic Machine Design Studio: Design for emotion by doing your homework. “Not only do your customers have feelings, but they have feelings which can’t be captured in a single word.”
  • Isaac Campbell, Lead Designer at Fannit: Pay attention to the little things. “Incredibly observant people make the best designers. Their ability to see small details of a larger picture is indispensable.”

What Our Web Designer Thinks

Our Senior Web Designer, Ira Muturi, has all the skills and abilities these top website designers suggest (and more). We asked Ira to list what she considers the five top traits for success in the field. Here’s what she thinks is important:

  • Understand your market and audience (research, research, research).
  • Know how to communicate effectively on the vision, and how to present your ideas to a group of people.
  • Be a visual visionary and visual storyteller to help others see.
  • Keep an eye on what’s going on around you in technology, design trends, and other emerging areas.
  • Be process oriented and have a good methodology that others can adapt to.

As far as earning a web design degree (and Ira earned her bachelor’s in visual communication design), she thinks it’s an essential step. “School provides the basic methodology/history/background and the design forward thinking that are fundamental when choosing this as a career. A degree is important because a lot of the jobs around web design require at least a BFA in visual arts, graphic design, web design, or visual communication art. “

If you’re ready to change the quality of your career, start researching web design degree programs and get ready to make a difference to your field—and to your audience.

Source: UpCity, August 5, 2014, 20 Qualities of Top Website Designers.

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