Frontend web design is an essential factor in the website creation process. Web designers are not to be confused with web developers because their work is completely different. Frontend web designers deal more with the appearance, look, or visual aspect of the site. They focus on the creative aspects, graphic design, colors, typography, among others.
The work of a frontend web design specialist actually begins way before the website is created. It is the designer who is tasked to come up with the right site content, including graphics, text layouts, and videos. Some web designers even create a detailed set of guidelines for the website design. Their primary objective is to make the site unique, interesting, and relevant so that it will be pleasing to the eyes.
In some cases, the frontend web design specialist also doubles as a developer, working on the “backbone” of the website. Most often than not, though, businesses prefer to work with a separate web designer and developer.
Common Responsibilities of a Frontend Web Designer
A well-structured frontend web design is dependent on how the designer performs the following responsibilities:
- Meet with clients to discuss and brainstorm creative ideas.
- Create a set of website design guidelines, best practices, and standards.
- Build the appearance or look of websites, ensuring that the client’s branding is effectively delivered.
- Ensure that the site’s visual aspects are in tune with the goal of attracting visitors and providing them a satisfying experience.
- Making sure that the most relevant features and functionalities are incorporated into the websites they create.
- Come up with detailed plans for site structure.
- Produce design samples, specifically fonts and colors.
- Test and apply the most effective content management system (CMS).
- Check the website and improve its design.
- Follow content standards.
- Maintain the website’s look.
For a frontend web design professional to perform these tasks efficiently, skills have to be regularly updated.
Are Your Skills Up to Date?
A good frontend web designer does not only have to be brilliant at the website’s visual aspects. They must also be great at communicating with their teammates and collaborating with their co-designers. Likewise, it is also vital for all web designers to keep learning and improving their skills regardless of how many years they’ve been in the industry.
Here are some of the most important frontend web design skills every designer must possess:
The principles of design
Reification, emergence, and invariance – these are three of the most important design principles. If you’re a frontend web designer or is planning to become one, and you’re not familiar with any of these concepts, you should find time to learn at least the basic design principles. You do not have to be a master of it, you just need to know and understand so that you can apply it to your frontend web design projects.
When you visit a website and take note of how the visuals and texts were arranged or placed, you are noticing the composition of its content. A good frontend web designer knows that the most relevant content should be the main focus. A frontend website designer is highly skilled in creating the right hierarchy – or how the pages are arranged.
A good designer knows how important it is to balance a well-structured and well-designed website. It’s not all about the looks – the website should also function well.
You can improve your composition skills by paying attention to all the visual elements that surround you. Observe and study paintings, billboards, classic posters, photographs, other websites, and even scenes in your favorite movies or TV shows. Keep in mind that good composition equates to a balance of all the essential elements.
The typography of a website affects a visitor’s experience, whether he or she is aware of it or not. Most of the time, people do not pay attention to the fonts used in a website. However, there are some instances when they complain about it, “The fonts are too small! I can’t read the content!” or “What lettering is this? I can barely read the words!”. Making the right typographical choices is essential in ensuring that websites deliver their intended message – and a good frontend web design specialist knows this.
Practice makes perfect. You can keep your typography skills up to date by constantly practicing. There are also various online tools and resources that can help you improve and broaden your knowledge in frontend web design.
Ability to work with colors
Colors play an important role in frontend web design, so if you want to be an expert, you have to know at least the basic color theories. For example, would you know which colors to use if you want to darken the shades? Are you familiar with the color wheel? Knowing how to use contrasting, analogous, and contemporary colors is a must.
Content management system (CMS) and design software skills
Frontend web designers also manage content, so knowing how to use various content management systems is important. CMS is essential for organizing large volumes or blocks of content. The most popular CMS are WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla.
Frontend web designers should also know how to use design software such as Canva, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe XD. There are free options, as well, like Inkscape and Gimp. These photo editing software are useful tools for web designers of any level.
Once you’ve developed your photo editing skills and is ready to move on to more complicated design aspects, you should learn how to use tools for creating animation, special effects, and fluid motion.
Graphic design skills
Anything that involves creative visuals includes graphic design. With the right level of graphic design skills, a frontend web designer can create stunning logos, illustrations, and other graphic-heavy content. This will allow for a more artistic and personalized design, which are essential for effective branding.
You can improve your graphic design skills by joining competitions and workshops, and enlisting in a graphic design club. The internet has tons of online communities and forums where you can ask for advises.
There are other skills required for someone working in frontend web design, but the ones mentioned above are the most important ones. So, are your skills up to date? Find a good online resource and start working on your skill-set now.