This statement has been debated endlessly. The crux of this debate is that talent (in terms of web design) is an inborn characteristic and can’t be taught or learnt. Although today there are a number of tools and techniques that help designers create aesthetic and visually appealing websites, it is their talent which lends their work with a much better shelf life. This is why naturally talented designers are so sought after by companies and clients both.
So, what exactly are the traits of these great web designers? Let us find out by analyzing three traits, which I think are there in the DNA of a great web designer.
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If you think everything can be taught to newbie web designers via forums, events, tutorials and specialized courses, you are quite a way away from the truth. There is a phrase that sums it up brilliantly, ‘you can bring a horse to water, but can’t make it drink ’, now juxtapose this thinking onto a website designer and designing as a whole; you can teach a person website designing but can’t instill aesthetic sense into the person. That comes naturally!
This is one of those traits, which are inherent in talented designers. It is because of this aesthetic sense, that they have good taste, which reflects in their web design and the kind of design elements they choose; this is what makes all the difference between a mediocre website and the best websites.
A keen eye for aesthetics is the DNA strand that unites the best website designers. But, in the context of website design, it must be said that aesthetics in large part is not just about the visual appeal of the website, but also about marrying the visuals with usability. So, a website designer shouldn’t just have the aesthetic sense to come up with great looking website design, but also the practical sense to ensure that the visuals, don’t conflict with the user experience, but go on to enhance it.
(The only way any designer may get close to learning such aesthetic sense, is by using his/her sharp observation skills and putting in years of experience and hard work.)
Passion for Design
How do you check whether or not a web designer has a deep rooted passion for designing? Simple, you just ask him/her – whether he/she eats, drinks and sleeps design! Well, what I mean is ‘website design’ should be the only thing on their mind and they must be really serious about pursuing their career as a web designer. But here’s the catch.
The interest for website design should not only be professional but very personal, as well. It shouldn’t be purely career oriented. Passionate designers love playing with pixels so much that even if you wake them up in the middle of their sleep, they’d love to design a website right away (however, don’t try this practically!). Also, he/she never hesitates to go that extra mile to create beautiful websites for their end-users.
Passion for creation is a common strand that unites not just all website designers but anybody and everybody creating something or the other. If you are not passionate about what you are working on, you won’t be successful. Passion is borne out of interest, so if a designer is not really interested in crafting websites, and just regards it as a job that must be done, the ensuring website will not exude passion.
Let me put this straight – Passion doesn’t come if it’s placed at the altar of commercial interests. If, a designer is passionate about building websites, he/she shouldn’t really worry about the ‘money’ part. Their primary attention should be on applying their creative skills to create well designed websites. Everything else is secondary. That is what passion is all about.
A great web designer is consistent; he/she designs great websites throughout the year, irrespective of the project he/she is asked to work on. This is clearly visible if you take a look at the portfolio of these designers, which consists of nothing but the best web designs ever made. This is due to the fact that they never compromise on quality and put in all their efforts and creativity in designing their websites. Like the other traits in this list, consistency is also a trait of a talented web designer.
To be consistent, one must put in the required effort. This does not come easily; you might be the most aesthetically inclined, passionate website designer in the world, but if you are not able to force yourself to become consistent, you won’t be consistent. Consistency does come naturally in part, but the person must make it a force of habit. Unlike the other DNA strands, this is a quality that one instills in oneself, over time.
All the above mentioned characteristics are inherent in many talented web designers. If you think, you have some or all these traits in you, then all you need to do is to polish these traits a wee bit more to become an ace web designer.