How to Become a Highly Effective Web Designer in 2012 and Beyond?

Posted on September 18, 2011 by

We try to explain everything in our life with theories, why the Earth rotates, why apples fall, why the sky is blue and why bees buzz. We use theories to make us feel secure among uncertainties, as the result, we try to explain many things in our life using equations, graphs and numbers. The bottom line is: people love theories. Even uneducated people make assumptions based on an event and they reuse the assumption if the event seems to be repeatable. In theory, you should see a correlation between theory and practice, however, in practice, they are often not. When trying to become a highly effective web designer, we talk about practice, not just theory. If you want to become a good designer, then practice should be your thing.

Although there is no magical spell for making yourself a highly effective web designer, these traits could help you to have a significantly better chance.

  1. Knowing when to quit: People often say: ‘Winners never quit, quitters never win’. These seven words can be both constructive and destructive. Many couples have imploded relationships, CEOs refuse to back down from bad strategies and stubborn leaders of warring nations won’t settle for peace.
  2. People have the urge to persevere despite the presence of an unconquerable obstacle. Human being is often so awful in limiting unnecessary losses that we come up with a term for this illogical tendency: loss aversion. It’s a common sense to minimize losses and maximize gains. Unfortunately, people who quit tend to have a bad rep, although they did the right thing by quitting. In essence, winners are quitters, but they know when to quit. Designers should be able to curb their runaway ideals. Bear in mind, quitting mostly means knowing when to quit on a daily basis, not quitting your job or firing your client. This entails, relenting to clients only when necessary and trading off a part of your design principles for positive business karma. People who quit smartly can have a better career, so a highly effective designer should learn when to quit and let things go when needed.

  3. Redesigning processes: Despite ‘gold standard’ processes, failures happen all the time. The cause of process failures is usually predictable irrationalities. Indeed, our prejudices, biases, imperfections, irrational actions and quiet agendas are more often to blame. By accepting irrational features of people and making room for any imperfection, formal processes can work more often. To get successful process, it’s essential to know how to implement it well, instead of adhering to an ideal. By learning and embracing processes, you can become a highly effective web designer, especially if you can modify them to fit into the reality.
  4. Combating reality distortions: Web designer is thought to be more like an artist than a Web programmer, because design is a subjective matter. This is a prevailing reality distortion in Web development industry. In many organizations, beliefs that have gone unrestrained and unevaluated for so long may eventually be considered as facts, when in fact they are just disruptive distortions. Common distortions are ‘more feedbacks lead to better design’, ’design is just for decoration’, and ‘logic trumps over intuition’. Some distortions hit closer to home like, ‘logos should be bigger’ and ‘cram the top fold of the page with important information’. They might seem benign; however, they are potentially harmful. Disruptions may act as proverbial elephants in the heart of dysfunctional organizations. Highly effective web designers should be able to resolve any distortions in the organizations.
  5. Finding the right environment: People are excellent scavengers. There are billions of choices in our world, so it’s important to know where to look. We should be able to identify environments that can satisfy our demands and we should do that almost without thinking. People instinctively know how to come up with or find certain things. We pursue intangible goals, such as successful employee, good job, true love and others, we spend a lifetime achieving them awkwardly, but often failing repeatedly. Wrapping our minds against those abstract pursuits can be tricky, because they don’t have measurable values. You can’t use a spreadsheet to determine a good partner or appropriate life choice. Unfortunately, ‘good environment’ is also an intangible thing and we may be terrible in measuring it. However, a highly effective web designer should be able to find a good environment and prosper in it. Defining a good work environment is difficult, but many professionals include indicators such as
    • Trust: In a trusting environment, clients can rely on web designer’s gut instincts and decisions.
    • Passion: An environment filled with passion can motivate web designers to make meaningful results and progresses.
    • Courage: It allows web designers to innovate and produce unique results, by taking necessary risks.
    • Brain: It is just a common-sense brain that can help web designers to be practical.

    These qualities should exist together to form a good work environment for web designers. Take one away and you get a dysfunctional environment. For example, remove trust and everyone will feel uncertain about others’ works.

  6. Rewriting habits: In the web development industry, we strive to improve things. It is a worthy goal, however there could be plenty of unintended consequences. For example, people may conclude that certain methods, processes and practices must not be modified and have reached their zenith. We often treat our life and career like a typical line of code – a series of meticulously written strings, which are concluded neatly by semicolons with the hope that it can produce perfect logical results. Unfortunately, in practice this type of thinking method may be faulty. A highly effective web designer should always refine, improve, rethink and question the dogma.

About: This Article was Contributed by Raja. He is a Web Hosting industry watcher and writes regularly on Dedicated Hosting Reviews and Reseller Hosting Reviews.

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