Creative Design

What Web Design Skills You Should Learn

What skills will help you make web sites that actually work?

Here’s a list of the most important web design skills that anyone who wants to make good web sites should at least try to learn:

  • Marketing
  • Branding & positioning
  • Traffic generation
  • Information architecture
  • Graphic design
  • Production
  • Accessibility & usability
  • Copywriting



Web design is marketing, which is the process of matching markets to propositions. The more effectively you do that, the more effective your web design will be.

Designing web pages without marketing is just graphic design, and that’s OK, but if you want to make web sites that are really effective (instead of just pretty) graphic design is not enough on its own.

If nobody visits your web site, or people visit but don’t find what they want, how can the web site be really successful?

Advertising, email marketing and search marketing are all interwoven with your web site, and they should all be viewed as part of the marketing mix. Web design is not separate.


Branding & Positioning

Branding (and its cousin Positioning) is the process of choosing what you want your communication to say about you (your product, or your client – whatever the web site is about).

A brand can either be accidental or deliberate. A conscious, focused brand creates a strong impression that communicates clearly what’s special about site, gets into people’s imagination, and helps them to distinguish offering from all the other zillions of choices out there.

There’s no point being just one more web site that looks the same, sounds the same, and is just as ineffective as everything else in your market sector.


Information Architecture

Information architecture is a posh way of saying building sites that are easy to navigate. And it’s more than that.

A good web designer is responsible for the whole experience that people have on your web site. Helping them find their way around is crucial to that experience.

Plus, the way you construct a site has a bit impact on its ability to compete for your target search terms, and it’s even more crucial for converting prospects to customers

A strong brand is the essential aspect that every web site needs in order to give people a reason to engage, which ultimately leads to their taking action.


Graphic Design

Graphic design covers page layout, use of imagery, colour, styling, typography, iconography, ease of navigation… It’s what people first think of when you say “web design” and it is important.



Web page production is the process of turning your graphical design into a living, working web site. It incorporates HTML (for content and structure) and CSS (for visual styling), but it can make quite a big difference to success.

A well-produced web site will be easier and quicker to build than a shoddy one. It will also be easier, quicker, and cheaper to edit the site if and when the design changes.

Good production will naturally transfer well to other user agents, like mobile browsers, be better for visitors with disabilities, which means more people can interact with your site, and it will also be friendlier for search engines.

It’s very, very important! Plus, understanding how web pages are put together helps you know what’s possible, and what can be done most cost-effectively.


Accessibility & Usability

Web usability is simply the discipline of testing how easy it is to achieve what you want on a site, and accessibility is the discipline of making your site usable by everyone – regardless of disability.

Anyone who creates web pages should be familiar with the principles of usability and accessibility.




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