so you want to become a web designer cool but are you ready to put in the work it takes to become one because it does indeed take a lot of work I’m not gonna sugarcoat things for you in my research for this video something became abundantly clear to me there’s a lot of misinformation about what skills you need to have in order to design websites most of this information included things like HTML CSS and JavaScript come on guys this isn’t 2002 you don’t need to know any of that stuff to build great websites or even to build your very own web design business there are however some really important skills that you must know crucial skills that I believe are not discussed enough some of these may even be surprising to hear but hey that’s why I’m here these are the most important 10 web design skills to develop let’s start with the rock-solid foundation of a web designer people want to work with when most people think about developing the proper skills to become a web designer they naturally think of the techy stuff user experience SEO speed optimization content marketing etc but they’re looking at things backwards regardless of whether you simply want to land a web design job or start your own web design business I highly recommend the latter developing the following skills will make you more desirable to work with and infinitely more productive it just might even make you a happier person number one perseverance whether you’re job hunting or business building developing the necessary skills to improve yourself as a web designer is most definitely a long-term game perhaps it’s those dang Millennials or the instant gratification loops we constantly receive from social media but it sure seems like people expect results far too quickly these days we’ve become so accustomed to getting what we want when we want it hungry push a button on your phone and get food personally delivered to your door in under 30 minutes bored binge an entire season of TV and one want a new book to read tonight one click order it from Amazon and have it arrive by dinnertime want to become a web designer slowly and methodically develop the necessary skills through consistent personal and professional development and achieve satisfying results in a few years maybe I’ll just head back to Netflix there’s no way around it time plus effort equals results persevere to time management you already know this one we are in a new era the attention economy everyone and everything is constantly vying for your eyeballs more eyeballs equals more ads more subscribers more money in their pockets cable TV sports Netflix Amazon Prime Hulu HBO Spotify Apple music YouTube PlayStation Xbox Facebook Twitter Instagram snapchat radio billboards I could go on and on and that’s just the entertainment options nevermind the things that actually matter in life like family friends spirituality education diet exercise personal growth looking at those two lists you could easily say there’s no time left to do anything else but it all comes down to this principle you have to take time to make time if you want more time to develop your web design skills you need to take that time from another activity might I suggest Netflix three empathetic communication for this one I’m going to use a wonderful little illustration from stephen r.covey x’ the seven Habits of Highly Effective People suppose you’ve been having trouble with your eyes and you decide to go to an optometrist for help after briefly listening to your complaint he takes off his glasses and hands them to you put this on he says I’ve worn this pair of glasses for ten years now and they’ve really helped me I have an extra pair at home you can wear these so you put them on but it only makes the problem worse this is terrible news claim I can’t see a thing well what’s wrong he asks they work great for me try harder I am trying insist everything is a blur well what’s the matter with you think positively okay I positively can’t see a thing boy are you ungrateful and after all I’ve done to help you what are the odds that you would go back to see this optometrist how quickly do we attempt to prescribe solutions without first diagnosing the issue this problem is running rampant in our societies today everyone is shouting their solutions from the rooftops without first attempting to truly understand the issues of those they’re shouting at empathy is powerful it makes you a better listener it gives you a healthy dose of perspective it fosters a clearer worldview and yes it will also make you a better web designer clients are coming to you because they don’t know how to build a website themselves oftentimes they don’t even know what they want they’re not sure how to describe it all they can offer are vague ideas and confusing interpretations are you going to diagnose the issue or jump ahead to a hastily drawn conclusion for emotional intelligence you’ve heard of IQ but you know about EQ EQ or emotional intelligence is defined as the capacity to be aware of control and express one’s emotions and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically empathy plays an important role in healthy emotional intelligence but there’s more to it the true definition of EQ can be debated but it’s widely accepted that these are the five core principles that make up healthy emotional intelligence self-awareness self-regulation motivation empathy and social skills the more that you manage each of these areas the higher your emotional intelligence let’s break these down a bit self-awareness know your strengths and more importantly your weaknesses if you’re self-aware you know how your emotions and your actions can affect the people around you self-regulation personal accountability a quality that is sorely lacking in our modern world people who regulate themselves effectively don’t verbally attack others make rushed or emotional decisions blame others for their shortcomings or compromised their values motivation self-motivated individuals work consistently toward their goals and they have extremely high standards for the quality of their work if you can ensure your motivations don’t rely on external factors outside your control you’ll be well on your way to a high EQ empathy as discussed above this is probably the most important quality of EQ person who possesses true empathy can put themselves in someone else’s shoes to try to understand where they’re coming from and finally social skills a person who does well socially is a great communicator they’re able to handle hearing bad news work well within teams can calmly manage conflicts and are eager to jump in and help when they can by patience between designing websites building a business and dealing with clients there are many things that can go wrong overreacting to Photoshop crashing for the third time today or using a passive-aggressive tone with a needy client is a quick path to failure and I can tell you from personal experience people really appreciate it when you show patience oftentimes a prospect or client realizes when they are being a bit much and this is the point where most other web designers would drop them if you’re willing to listen to them try to understand the problem and then work with them to solve it you will easily stand out from all of the other lazy designers out there now let’s get to the techy side of being a great web designer now to get your foundational skills in place it’s time to develop the typical web designer skills you know the stuff you spread to see when you came here but guess what nowhere in this list will you see anything resembling coding HTML nope CSS nada JavaScript and that’s because you don’t need to learn to code to become a great web designer I can already hear the stampede of angry coding web designers on their way to fight me six user experience design this is the number one technical skill you need to learn as a web designer hands down ignore all the other stuff until you have this figured out you need to understand how visitors interact with websites in particular it’s important to learn the fundamentals of designing a website around the user so so many web designers get caught up in making something unique or artistic while it’s certainly important to build something visually attractive doing so at the cost of UX is a huge mistake for example let’s say your website has a stunning and custom illustrative video as an introduction to the entire website the video is about 30 seconds long and automatically appears regardless of what page your user lands on everyone you speak to universally agrees that the video is amazing however after taking a look at Google Analytics you notice that the majority of your visitors actually quit the video after just 6 or 7 seconds it’s clear that the majority of your visitors aren’t interested in the video what do you do now well there are a number of reasons why this could be happening one visitors are not getting what they expected when they clicked on your link and leave immediately as a result to the video does meet the needs of most of your visitors but it loads too slowly so people leave before it even starts playing or three the video displays and loads wonderfully on desktop but is cut off on mobile since most of your visitors happen to be on mobile devices they get frustrated and these are all user experience problems when you encounter issues like this you need to determine what the problem is where it’s coming from then resolve it there is one thing you certainly cannot do which is leave the video up as is because you personally love it I have personally had some blog posts that I was super proud of fail miserably my users needs and wants were clearly different than what I wanted to make are you gonna put your users experience above your own artistic expression 7 CMS tool ah yes my favorite topic of all the CMS or content management system CMS is simply the tool you use to build your website in the past you had to know how to code if you wanted to build websites that meant learning coding languages like HTML CSS and JavaScript these days that’s no longer necessary there are many coding free online based CMS’s to choose from some examples of popular online based CMS’s include WordPress Shopify Weebly Squarespace and winds then you have more advanced CMS’s like drupal joomla and web flow to choose the right web design tool for you you need to consider one your objective are you trying to qualify for a job or build your own business to your current abilities you have a few years experience under your belt or are you a complete new and three your patience level how fast do you want to see results how much time are you able to commit to learning I was a complete noob when I started so I began by using Weebly as my skills gradually improved I progressed to WordPress there is no right or wrong choice just choose the tool that best fits your current situation and future goals 8 performance optimization surprise it up a performance optimization above SEO the web is moving towards a performance first world your Google rankings will be dramatically affected based on your user experience and site performance Google and your visitors love to watch for things like loading speeds zero popups of any kind very few and unobtrusive ads lots of unique visuals videos variety of different styling and formatting easily viewable from any device mobile first design I think anyone wants to sit through 1,500 words without any of this to liven it up think again just look at this video as an example 9 search engine optimization websites with no traffic are lonely places it’s like paying thousands of dollars to put up a billboard at the bottom of Marianas Trench with Google’s algorithms constantly evolving SEO is a never-ending game one that gets more challenging every year you need to constantly stay on top of it it’s astonishing to me how many people don’t understand how Google works even if you’re not planning on getting into web design Google 101 should be taught in classrooms all over the world this lack of understanding is a huge reason why we find ourselves in the era of fake news it’s also why so many people and companies have been able to manipulate the public for a quick buck but that’s a video for another time for you our intrepid web designer you simply need to understand the basics of SEO so that you can implement it in your client sites 10 graphic design I can hear you freaking out already I have to learn graphic design on top of web design don’t worry you don’t need to be a graphic designer but you should most definitely learn the basics of graphic design it will drastically improve your website designs get to know some of the amazing and often free graphic design tools available to you you’ll gain the ability to spice up all of your websites images including stock photos stock videos vector icons social media images and YouTube thumbnails eventually you can even branch out into logo design something almost all small businesses need so to wrap up of course you’re not supposed to view all of these skills as a linear journey slowly develop in one at a time but don’t work like that you can develop all of these simultaneously if you want but the foundational personal and people skills will always trump technical skill and ability especially communication and emotional intelligence I know so many people who are chock full of amazing technical skills but lack the ability to effectively communicate with their prospects understand and solve their problems and display true patience so when things don’t go 100% according to plan so yes always continue to sharpen your skills in web design SEO user experience and the like but don’t forget about those core foundational skills they will take you much much further in life and in web design you [Music]