Just like with print design, there is a set of skills and knowledge you need to master to become a professional web designer who designs functional, successful websites.
- Understand how the web works and realize users visit websites because they are looking for information.
Users visit websites because they seek answers or need a service—this is what matters most to them. The only people interested in the design of your website are other designers.
- Realize that usability is the most important thing in web design.
If your users can easily access information in your website, they will come back. Ensure that the pages within your website are as accessible as possible.
- Learn the technology behind the web.
Understand how information is passed between a server and a browser. You should also learn how various browsers interpret the code and what their limitations are. This is good to know, especially when you’re designing a website that uses the latest browsers, but you still want it to work on older versions.
- Discover how to organize content on your website.
How users read content on the web is different from how they read print materials. Learn what makes your content easy to scan and read. Also, you should know what makes great web copy and how to write content that focuses on meeting your users’ needs.
- Learn how to structure websites.
Design your websites in a way that your users will enjoy reading and finding information. Master how to make the whole experience of moving from one page to another effortlessly seamless.
- Understand how code works.
If you design websites, you should have at least a basic understanding of how code works so that you know what you can do and what might cause problems.
- Investigate actual limitations of the design material you can use.
Fonts, colours, and images all work differently than with print. Once you know the differences, the whole process of design will be easier.
- View and analyze other websites.
Take a look at the most successful websites on the Internet. Pay attention to structure, navigation, and usability. These are the things that your users will be paying attention to when they visit your websites.
Mastering this knowledge will build confidence in your web design skills and make your websites work well for your clients.
Summarized from http://bit.ly/1kV85 and modified.