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Every day design fans submit incredible industry stories to our sister-site, Webdesigner News. Our colleagues sift through it, selecting the very best stories from the design, UX, tech, and development worlds and posting them live on the site.
The best way to keep up with the most important stories for web professionals is to subscribe to Webdesigner News or check out the site regularly. However, in case you missed a day this week, here’s a handy compilation of the top curated stories from the last seven days. Enjoy!”

Exciting New Tools for Designers, May 2022

HTMLrev – 50 Beautiful HTML Landing Page Templates Library

Cool Hover Effects that Use CSS Text Shadow

Designers’ Pick: Top Color Trends for 2022

:Where() :Is() :Has()? New CSS Selectors that Make your Life Easier

The Era of Rebellious Web Design is Here

Bootstrap 5.2.0 Beta

OptimizeImages Free Bulk Image Optimizer

2022 Craft Beer Branding and Package Design Trends

3D Avatar Library – Hundreds of 3D Avatars for your Designs

Shrink.media – Shrink the Size of your Images for Free

The WHY of Accessibility

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The term “web design” refers to the process of planning, organizing, and editing content online. On the surface, it seems like a simple enough concept. However, the reality is what we consider “web design” can change over time, influenced by our perception of the “web.” 

In 2022, a professional web designer might create custom websites from scratch, but they may also be responsible for: 

  • UX Design: Creating elements focused on user experience
  • App design: Building digital components of a website or online experience.
  • Theme design: Creating visual tools for supplementing web design. 

Web design isn’t just about making a site look attractive anymore. The definition goes beyond the aesthetic to include a complete consideration of the functionality, performance, and abilities of countless assets we engage within the digital world.

What is Web Design? The Definition Today

Web design is the practice responsible for creating a website’s overall look and feel or web asset (such as web and mobile apps). It involves the process of planning and building elements of your project, from structure and layout choices to graphics and presentation. 

Web design has various components that work together to create the final “experience” of a website, including graphic design, interface design, user experience design, search engine optimization, content creation, etc. These elements determine how a web asset looks, feels and performs on various devices. 

Though the definition of web design in 2022 has evolved, it’s still different from web development, which refers to the actual coding which makes a website work. When you’re building a website, you’ll need web design and web development. 

Elements of Web Design in 2022 

When designing a website, modern designers need to consider two overlapping concepts: the overall appearance of the website and its functionality. The proper connection between these elements will maximize the site’s overall performance and usability, and make a design more memorable (for all of the right reasons). 

Let’s break down the elements of web design into its visual and functional components.

Visual Elements of Web Design

Visual elements of web design influence how a design looks. The various visual components of a design should still follow the basic principles of graphic design. In other words, designers should be thinking about contrast, balance, unity, and alignment simultaneously. The visual elements of web design include: 

  • Written copy and fonts: A website’s appearance and the text on the site often go hand in hand. Designers need to work together with content writers to ensure written copy makes sense structurally and uses the correct fonts for legibility. 
  • Colors: Colors for web design are usually chosen based on factors like color psychology, which demonstrates a color’s ability to affect how someone feels, and branding. Most brands have specific colors they use consistently throughout their visual assets; this helps create a sense of cohesion and unity in designs.
  • Layout and spacing: Layout and spacing influence how content is arranged in an app, website, or another visual asset. The right layout helps to create a visual hierarchy, guiding a viewer through a page and drawing their attention to the correct information in order. Spacing helps to separate components on a page and create legibility. 
  • Images, icons, and shapes: Images, icons, and shapes help convey significant amounts of information. The right ideas and icons can strengthen a brand message, direct a customer’s attention using a web app, and bring context to a design. 
  • Videos and animations: Videos and animations are becoming increasingly common in today’s web design strategies. Videos can include 360-degree videos, which help immerse someone in a space, video streams, and short content clips.

Functional Elements of Web Design

Functional elements in web design are the practical components designers need to consider to ensure websites and assets work as they’re supposed to. A website, app, or any other web asset needs to function correctly to be accessible to users.

Functional elements of web design may include:

  • Navigation: The navigation elements of a website or app are among the main components determining whether a site is functioning properly and ensuring a good user experience. Audiences need to be able to move around the app or website quickly. 
  • User interactions: Your site visitors may have multiple ways of communicating with your web app or website, depending on their device. You’ll need to make sure people can scroll and swipe on smartphones and tablets and click on desktops. If your website has VR or AR elements, you’ll also need to consider these immersive components in your design.
  • Speed and performance: While web development elements can also influence a web design’s speed or performance, it’s also essential for a designer to show elements of the composition don’t weigh down the functionality. Designs need to load quickly and correspond with the demands of browsers on various devices.
  • Structure: A website’s structure plays a critical role in user experience and SEO requirements. Users need to easily navigate through a website without encountering any issues like getting lost or ending up on broken pages.
  • Compatibility: A good design should look perfect on all devices, from a wide range of browsers to the various devices users might leverage today. 

What Does Good Web Design Look Like in 2022?

More than ever, achieving high-quality web design is crucial to success in any industry or landscape. More than half of the world’s population is active online. If you’re not appealing to this audience correctly, you’re missing out on endless opportunities.

Notably, while elements of good web design can be subjective, such as which themes or colors someone might prefer for their website, the underlying foundations of strong web design are the same for everyone in 2022.  

Good web design is any design that looks good, performs as it should, and delivers the best possible experience to your target audience. Effective web design should include components like:

  • Effective use of white space for organization and structure.
  • Clearly presented choices and navigation options for the user.
  • Clear calls to action to drive user activities from one page to another.
  • Limited distractions and a straightforward user journey. 
  • No clutter or unnecessary components irrelevant to the needs of the user. 
  • Responsive, flexible design accessible on any browser or device.
  • High-quality content and images are designed to hook a reader’s attention.
  • Appropriately sized fonts and legible typography.
  • A good balance between images and text on a page. 

Other elements like eye-catching imagery and professional photography can help your web design stand out. Using the right building blocks, like a strong color palette and the right shapes or icons in your design is helpful. 

Of course, there is some scope for variation in good web design. A web designer in 2022 needs to be able to adapt their use of the various essential elements of design to suit a specific target audience or the unique identity of a brand.

What Doesn’t Work for Web Design in 2022?

Just as web design elements seem to appear consistently in all excellent examples, there are also parts of web design we’ve left behind over the years. Simpler, more straightforward designs have replaced cluttered spaces, flashing images, and endless animations. 

The focus in 2022 is on creating an experience that’s simple, engaging, and intuitive, capable of speaking to the right audience without confusion or being visually overwhelming. In most cases, some of the top components to avoid include:

  • Clunky performance: Non-responsive website design, slow pages, and other examples of clunky functionality are a no-go in 2022. Websites need to be quick and responsive.
  • Distracting content: Flashing images, animations, and complex backgrounds are a thing of the past for a good reason. Websites today need to be clean, simple, and clear. Any elements which don’t add to the value of the design should be removed.
  • Generic content: Filler text, irrelevant stock photos, unclear buttons, and links can be removed from today’s website designs. A web design should be specific to the audience’s needs and the brand’s identity. Generic components don’t work.

Creating Web Designs in 2022

Today, the underlying definition of web design has a lot of similarities to the definition we’ve known for several years already. Creating a great website or web asset still requires focusing on user experience, aesthetic appeal, and functionality. However, today’s web designers generally have more components and different devices. 

Web design in 2022 is about creating high-quality experiences for customers that can support various environments and devices. The best web designs are aesthetically appealing, functionally reliable, and capable of adhering to the latest trends in web creation, like augmented reality, 360-degree video, and ultra-high resolution. 

 

Featured image via Pexels.

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The underlying theme of this month’s collection of new tools and resources is development. Almost every tool here makes dev a little easier, quicker, or plain fun. There are a few great tutorials in the mix to help you get into the spirit of trying new things and techniques.

Here’s what is new for designers this month…

Cryptofonts

Cryptofonts is a huge open-source library of icons that represent cryptocurrencies. There are more than 1,500 CSS and SVG elements in the collection. Cryptofonts includes all scalable vector icons that you can customize by size, color, shadow, or practically anything else. They work with Sketch, Photoshop, Illustrator, Adobe XD, Figma, and Invision Studio, and there’s no JavaScript.

 

Reasonable Colors

Reasonable Colors is an open-source color system for building accessible and beautiful color palettes. Colors are built using a coded chart. Each color comes in six numbered shades. The difference between their shade numbers can infer the contrast between any two shades. The differences correspond to WCAG contrast ratios to help you create an accessible palette. This is a smart project and a valuable tool if you work on projects where color contrast and accessibility are essential (which is all of them).

 

Chalk.ist

Chalk.ist is a fun tool to make your code snippets look amazing. Add your code (there’s a vast language selector), pick some colors and backgrounds, and then download it as a shareable image. Your code has never looked so beautiful!

 

WeekToDo

WeekToDo is a free minimalist weekly planner. Improve productivity by defining and managing your week and life easily and intuitively. Plus, this tool is focused on privacy with data that is stored on your computer (in your web browser or the application). The only person who has access to it is you.

 

Bio.Link

Bio.Link is a tool that collects all your links – from social media to blog posts to any other kind of link you want to share. It’s free to use, includes 15 design themes, visitor stats, and is super fast.

 

Spacers

Spacers are a set of three-dimensional space characters that you can use in projects. Characters are in multiple poses and ultra high-def formats to play with.

11ty

11ty is a super simple, static website generator. Try it for small projects and read the documentation to see everything you can do with this tool.

Scrollex

Scrollex is a react library that lets you build beautiful scroll experiences using minimal code. You can create scroll animations in all kinds of combinations – vertical, horizontal, almost anything you want to try. The documentation is fun and easy to understand if you’re going to see how it works.

GetCam

GetCam is an app that lets you turn your smartphone into a webcam for your computer. It works with any iPhone and a Mac or Windows computer. It works with most video conference and streaming tools as well as browser-based apps.

Flatfile

Flatfile is a data onboarding platform that intuitively makes sense of the jumbled data customers import and transforms it into the format you rely on. You won’t have any more messy spreadsheets or have to build a custom tool.

Loaders

Loaders is a collection of free loaders and spinners for web projects. They are built with HTML, CSS, and SVG and are available for React and copypasta.

Lexical

Lexical is an extensible JavaScript web text-editor framework emphasizing reliability, accessibility, and performance. It’s made for developers, so you can easily prototype and build features with confidence. Combined with a highly extensible architecture, Lexical allows developers to create unique text editing experiences that scale in size and functionality.

Picture Perfect Images with the Modern img Element

This tutorial is a primer on why the img element is such a powerful tool in your development box. Images are so prominent that they are part of the most important content in over 70% of pages on both mobile and desktop, according to the largest contentful paint metric. This post takes you through how to better optimize and improve core web vitals simultaneously.

Building a Combined CSS-Aspect-Ratio-Grid

Building a Combined CSS-Aspect-Ratio-Grid provides two solutions for creating the title effect. You can define an aspect ratio for the row or use Flexbox with a little flex grow magic. Learn how to try it both ways.

QIndR

QIndR is a QR code generator made for events and appointments. The form is designed to capture your event information so you can quickly build and use a QR code for listings and even allow users to add it to their calendars! It’s super quick and easy to use.

On-Scroll Text Repetition Animation

On-Scroll Text Repetition Animation shows you how to create an on-scroll animation that shows repeated fragments of a big text element. This is a fun and easy lesson that you can use right away.

Eight Colors

Eight Colors won’t do anything for your productivity, but it is a fun game that you may not be able to stop playing. It is a block-shifting game with the goal to shift circular blocks to reach the target given.

Creative Vintage

Creative Vintage is a pair of typefaces including a thin script and vintage slab serif (with rough and smooth styles). The pair is designed to work together for various uses or can be used independently.

Hardbop

Hardbop is a vintage-style typeface with a lot of personality. It would work great for display, and the family includes seven full-style character sets.

Kocha

Kocha is a funky ligature-style typeface perfect for lighter design elements, including logos or packaging. It includes clean and rough versions.

Magnify

Magnify is a large font family with 16 styles and plenty of fun alternates. You can use it straight or with the more funky styles that create less traditional character forms.

Stacker

Stacker is a fun and futuristic style font with a triple outline style. Use it for display when you really want to make an impression.

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Are you a creative person looking for the perfect career path to take? If so, there are not many more creative professions than that of a web designer.

However, becoming a web designer can be challenging, especially if you do not know where to start. For example, do you need to attend college to become a web designer? And what kind of computer and software do you need to own to be successful as a web designer?

This guide aims to answer all these questions and show you the steps you need to follow to build a career in web design.

Web Designer: Main Skills and Responsibilities

Generally speaking, a web designer is a professional who creates, manages, and maintains content for the web. Nothing is left out from designing pages and visual elements via programming languages and creating user-friendly websites.

Web Designer (Hard and Soft) Skills:

  • UX, UI, and visual design knowledge (web fonts, colors, etc.)
  • Management of design software (e.g., Adobe Photoshop)
  • Coding knowledge (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc.)
  • Time management
  • Communication skills
  • Problem-solving and teamwork skills
  • Research skills

Web Designer Responsibilities:

  • Plan and create web pages
  • Design appealing layouts
  • Use codes to create user-friendly pages
  • Ability to meet deadlines
  • Listen and advise clients
  • Able to work as part of a team and effectively solve occurring problems
  • Analyze the client’s niche, explore new web design opportunities/ innovative digital marketing approaches

If you feel overwhelmed reading this table, don’t be! You do not have to master all of the above skills. No one expects you to either. Becoming a top-notch web designer takes some dedication, but ultimately it’s nothing more than a series of steps. Let’s dive deeper into them.

Becoming a Web Designer: 7 Essential Steps

1. Gaining the Knowledge Needed: Theory and Certifications

Let’s start with the most common question, “Do I need to go to college to become a web designer?” Research shows that more than 65% of web designers are self-taught (fully or partially). Of course, that does not mean you can jump into design from the start.

Instead, we recommend that you learn some essential web design elements and how to use them in your future projects. This includes UX (user experience), UI (user interface), protocols, and patterns. The same goes for technical knowledge like programming languages, frameworks, and design software.

2. Developing Certain Skills

So, there are numerous aspects you can explore regarding technical skills. To be specific, your first steps in web design include developing the following skills: 

  1. Theory and certifications: Learning the theory to understand how the web and the market work
  2. Web design tools: Finding the web design tools you need to start designing (.e.g Webflow, Sketch, Figma). This will allow you to learn how to prototype web design mock-ups.
  3. Graphic design tools: Becoming familiar with software like Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.
  4. Programming languages: Especially if you think of becoming a freelance web designer, you should at least learn how to use fundamental languages (HTML, JavaScript, CSS).
  5. SEO (Search Engine Optimization): Learning how to optimize your web pages to rank on search engines is crucial.  

3. Mastering Web Design Software 

What software do you need as a beginner to start creating web designs? There are numerous apps that will help you gradually enter the fascinating world of web design. 

When it comes to CMS platforms, WordPress is by far the most popular in the market. The good thing about WordPress is that it is very beginner-friendly and comes with thousands of pre-built themes and plugins that you can use when creating a website.

But the same is true for InVision Studio. Unlike WordPress, InVision Studio is specifically designed to help web designers prototype and design a website. Finally, when it comes to graphic design software, we recommend you start with Photoshop (for creating visual samples and prints) and Sketch (for UI designs). 

4. Learning How Much Computing Power you Need

Although online CMS platforms like WordPress do not require special hardware, that’s not true for web design and graphic design software. To be precise, both InVision Studio and Photoshop have quite demanding system requirements. 

Still, a mid-range desktop or an entry-level gaming laptop can easily handle such applications. You need a reliable CPU, 8 GB RAM, and a dedicated graphics card.

I find working with two screens perfect when it comes to prototyping. You do not need to spend thousands of dollars to buy a laptop or desktop for web design.

5. Practice, Practice, and Practice

As with any other profession, practice makes perfect in web design. Therefore, the good idea is to get involved with personal web design projects before you start seeking clients or applying for job offers. This way, you can gradually acquire the technical skills you need.

Also, by working on some personal projects first, you can build a professional portfolio.

6. Creating a Professional Portfolio

If you want to draw attention to your talent, you should have a comprehensive portfolio as a web designer. This way, potential customers to trust you by having a look at your work and previous experience.

When creating a portfolio, make sure to showcase all aspects of your work and make it user-friendly. In other words, think of your online portfolio representing your talent and treat it accordingly.

7. Choosing the Web Designer Type That Best Suits Your Needs and Preferences

Last but not least, before working as a web designer, you should know that there are three main types of web designers: Freelance web designers, Agency web designers, and In-house web designers.

If you prefer to be self-employed and believe that you have the required soft skills, freelancing is probably the best path.

On the other hand, working for an agency or a company is usually easier (especially for beginners) and will provide you with a stable income. But, in the end, it all depends on your needs and preferences.

Wrap Up

Being a web designer can be an exciting career. As long as you have the necessary dedication and willingness, nothing will stand in your way.

Learning different aspects of the profession and mastering specific software will only make you better. All you need to do is respond positively to (and ask for) incoming feedback and practice!

 

Featured image via Pexels.

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A breakdown of a simple app, from UI design to deployment, that shows off why coding is a magic tool for designers.

Figma, Adobe XD, Photoshop, Wacom Tablet, sketchbook… all tools for interfaces and web designers, yes? Take 2 minutes, and try to remember why you want to become a designer and why you enjoy designing stuff.

Chances are it’s because you like to create; you’re a creative person. Maybe you started with artistic experiences as a child, then turned that creative energy into problem-solving while continuing to express it visually: You became a designer, a creative problem solver.

Today, I’ll try to show you how coding is an underrated tool to express your creative problem-solving mindset by building a real SVG generator from scratch. So let’s get into it!

Step 1: Don’t get an idea; solve a problem

We didn’t go into deep business considerations here, but seeing problems you face and deciding to solve them yourself is a great way to start.

During client work, I needed some SVG waves for illustrations. So I looked for a wave generator: There were a ton of wavy colorful wave generators with parametric inputs but no simple, perfect sine waves generator. I decided to draw it on my math tool GeoGebra and then export it to SVG.

Okay, but not fast. And we like to get our jobs done quickly. But wait… Why don’t we create a perfect sine waves generator? Without equations & boring math software to open, just a curve and an export button. You got it, now let’s design it.

Quick tips: If you are looking for a problem, look for memes in your field. They always show a deep, painful, well-known problem.

Step 2: Design the solution simple as possible

Two main rules: First rule, think about who will use it; the second rule, predict what they expect from how it works. So who? Front-end developers. What are they waiting for? A curve that can be edited with direct feedback and an export button.

Wireframe design

High-Fi design

A quick tip: You can grab the Figma design of the app for more technical tips on the design.

Step 3: Build it for real

As a designer, stopping at step two is perfectly fine. But imagine if you could build what you design! You already know you can create everything you want.

You can see coding as a way to translate your UI that will surely end with a .com application that is usable by everyone. This is why “best languages” don’t matter; coding is just a tool to express your creativity and build stuff for others. And as a designer, a creative person, this might sound…interesting.

UI to functionnal app

UI to functional app

Every web app interface can be translated from UI design to code with HTML/CSS/JS. There is how we can see the role of each of those 3 “languages”:

HTML: I want a button.

CSS: I want my button to look rounded.

JS: I want something to happen when I click on my button.

To build our app, I’ll use Svelte. Svelte is a JavaScript compiler that allows us to use all those three “languages” in one place. So, let’s see how code can translate our UI to functional things.

HTML button code

“Hey web browser, I want a button named “exportButton” and everything in a function named “downloadSVGpath” to be carried out when someone clicks on the button :) Thanks”

CSS style button code

“Hey web browser, I want you to apply these style rules to my basic HTML button: I want a beautiful rounded corner at 16px, a mouse pointer when we hover it, I don’t want any borders, but I want a cool color gradient as a background color. Then, I want the font inside the button to have its color set to #fcfcfc and use the Inter typeface (bold, please). Like my Figma design, I also want to center stuff in the button and add padding. Oh, and add a subtle shadow :) Thanks.”

Drawing SVG curve function

“Hey, web browser, each time our slider moves, I want to run this function: I want you to draw a curve inside a frame that I have defined inside my HTML code. I also want my curve stroke to look rounded at each cap and have a color and width I’ve defined inside variables. You will take the sine function parameters from the stored values of the sliders. Finally, while your x variable hasn’t reached the total width in the x-axis of our frame, you will solve the y-axis point position of the sine equation and draw the curve :) Thanks.”

Quick tips: You can grab the source code files of the app to explore them.

Summary

  • Coding is just a tool that allows us to translate our very visual metaphors into something that everybody can use. How cool is that?!
  • Coding helps us to envision our design goals and forces us to see beyond the visual range: how is my button will be supposed to work? How does it look when hovering? How my popup modal can be designed for mobile devices?
  • Coding allows us to create the weird idea we designed “just for fun” instead of pushing the design case study into our portfolio under the “personal project” tag.
  • Coding shows us how much work is required to achieve what we designed. So we can better understand our design clients’ needs, challenges, and resource management.
  • Coding is flexible. You can replicate the Netflix website pixel perfect with pure HTML/CSS, the Vue Framework, or any other Web framework.

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Do you find yourself stuck when finding new web design clients? Whether you own a web design company or work as a freelancer, expanding your audience and attracting clients can be challenging.

Talking from experience: there are times when I can not find people interested in my work. If that’s the case for you right now, let me tell you not to worry.

This guide will analyze the best practices I use to attract new web design clients and how you can easily customize them to fit your needs and preferences. First, we will explore why it’s essential to use more than one way to acquire clients in 2022.

Why Should You Seek Innovative Ways to Attract Clients?

Let’s start with a personal conviction: There are enough customers to cover our niche’s supply. A common mistake most web designers make is looking in the wrong place.

Do not get me wrong, the quality of your work is always the most important thing. The better your services are, the more clients you will eventually get. But if you want to prove your talent online, you need to expand your audience.

Remember that the market is highly competitive. And so you need to follow certain steps and choose the best platforms. 

7 Best Ways To Attract Web Design Clients in 2022

Although there are many ways to attract web design clients online, some prove to be more effective than others. Let us explore them one by one:

1. Use Marketplaces for Freelancers Such as Upwork, Indeed

Whether you own your web studio or are just getting acquainted with being a freelance web designer, marketplaces for freelancers are a great way to attract new clients. The same goes for well-known web design job boards like Dribbble, Twine, and WordPress Jobs

But in general, marketplaces for freelancers are more effective as these platforms attract thousands of buyers/clients every day. The best way to attract clients is to create and polish your profile and respond to relevant job offers.

However, it is equally important to choose a platform that is not exploitative but also has numerous clients in the web design niche. Although Upwork and Indeed are the two most popular, several other platforms meet these requirements, including Freelancer, 99 Designs, Guru, Upstack, TopTal, and PeoplePerHour.

2. Search on LinkedIn

Many would argue that social media platforms are the best way to attract web design clients these days. While this is true to a certain extent, not all social networks have the same impact on professionals. I have found that LinkedIn is the number one platform that a web designer should invest time and effort into.

The reason is simple; the platform’s goal is to bring professionals together. So, if you create a top-notch LinkedIn profile, you can quickly expand your audience and find people interested in buying services. The process is quite simple because all you need to do is:

  1. Create a professional bio: Mention what you do and who are the people you can help via your services.
  2. Optimize your profile’s About (personal info, website and portfolio info, etc.) and Experience (previous projects) sections.
  3. Use the LinkedIn filters to connect with individuals and companies. 
  4. Personalize your invitations and respond via DMs to people inviting you.

This may sound like a lot of work, and believe me, it is. Still, if you want to attract more clients via social media platforms, LinkedIn is the best way to go. 

3. Pay Attention to your Portfolio and Website

Regardless of how many connections you have on LinkedIn, clients need to trust that you are the best person for a project before hiring you. And there’s no better way to do that than to have a comprehensive portfolio and website.

Websites like Dribble and WordPress allow you to create portfolio websites quickly and efficiently. As a web designer, you can treat your website like a personal project and use your UI and UX knowledge to outshine your competitors.

4. Create Social Proof

In a few words, social proof is a way to prove to new clients that they should mimic the behavior of your existing clients by hiring you for their project.

To do this, you can create a page with Google reviews, collect testimonials/references, take screenshots of your conversations with clients and capture their feedback. Then all you need to do is present them on your portfolio website, in your social media posts/stories, etc.

5. Use Word of Mouth

Apart from asking your existing clients for referrals, you should try to build a deep professional relationship with them. This will automatically help them to recommend your services through word of mouth.

In many cases, word of mouth has proven to be much more reliable than traditional advertising methods (email marketing, SEO tactics).

6. Speak at Events and Podcasts

Say you are an experienced web designer, and all you need is to expand your target audience. In this case, speaking at events is a fantastic way to build authority. Of course, becoming a public speaker is not easy, especially if you’re a beginner.

This is where podcasts come in handy. By appearing as a guest on podcasts (or webinars), you can easily get your name out there, connect with people interested in web design, and eventually attract new clients.

Start by finding communities (e.g., Facebook groups for web design) and communicate with active (or just interested) people in the web design niche.

7. Offer Free Advice to your Audience

Don’t get me wrong, I know that offering something for free is not the best thing. Still, by creating free content and offering free advice, you can make people take notice of your talent.

Likewise, answering questions on social media platforms and creating valuable content is a great way to convert your website/social media visitors into customers.

Wrap Up

Remember that the most important thing in attracting new clients is the quality of your work. This may sound obvious, but believe me, it’s more than just a rookie mistake.

Let’s close with this; the tips listed above will allow you to work harder but smarter. After all, that’s all you need to build authority as a web designer and attract new clients.

 

Featured image via Pexels.

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A career as a web designer can be extremely lucrative. The average web designer in the US makes around $50-55,000 per year, equating to an hourly rate of around $25. Of course, not every designer will automatically get a full-time, high-paying job as soon as they earn their web design credentials.

Sometimes, you might need to generate a little extra cash, perhaps to supplement your part-time income or keep the lights on while you’re taking some new courses. You can even use your web design skills to earn some extra money on the side while working a standard 9-to-5.

Today, we will be looking at some of the most effective ways to make extra cash on your web design skills.

1. Freelance

Starting with the simplest option, working as a freelancer is one of the best ways to start making cash with your design skills. There are dozens of websites out there to help freelancers find clients these days. Some of the best options include:

  • Toptal: For web developers, designers, and software experts;
  • Upwork: For all kinds of design freelancing;
  • 99Designs: Excellent for selling your designs whenever you like;
  • Dribbble: Display your work and find new clients;
  • Behance: Sell everything from animations to videos;
  • Envato Studio: Sell packages for web design.

As a freelancer, you’ll be able to choose which hours you want to work, and which projects to work on. You can make money from all kinds of design skills this way, from making pages for a website to designing widgets and applications.

However, you’ll also be responsible for tracking down potential leads, building your portfolio, and managing your own taxes, so keep this in mind.

2. Sell Design Assets

As a web design professional, you’ll end up with a lot of assets over the years. Whether you’re working freelance or full-time, not every asset you create is going to be picked up by your customers. Sometimes, you’ll end up with unused content sitting on your computer.

Fortunately, you can leverage these assets for some extra cash. You can sell things like icons, backgrounds, UI assets, and more. You can even sell themes on sites like ThemeForest if you’ve built something your clients weren’t happy with.

There’s a market out there for just about every asset, from icons and PSD templates to documents, fonts, UI assets, backgrounds, and brushes. You might even build your own website where you can sell assets in the future.

3. Design and Sell NFTs

Feel like getting in on the cutting-edge of a new marketplace? NFTs are probably one of the hottest topics in the digital world today. As concepts like Web 3.0 and the metaverse gain traction, NFTs will only become more valuable.

Countless companies and innovators are looking for people to design their NFTs for them these days. If you don’t mind dedicating some of your free time to creating digital graphics, you’re in for a significant amount of earning potential.

If you learn enough about the NFT landscape and blockchain, you could even create your own NFTs. However, this would probably require a lot of time and research. You can learn more about the NFT design and art landscape here.

4. Become a Consultant

Don’t have time to build endless new websites right now? No problem, just help other people build their sites instead. Consultants are people in any industry with expertise and insights they can share to support other people. As a web design consultant, you can offer your expertise to other upcoming freelance designers or business leaders.

You’ll need to invest some time into building your personal brand as a consultant. This means developing your social media pages (like LinkedIn) and creating a portfolio. It also helps to have an air of thought leadership. This usually means you’ll need to share at least some content online.

Consulting can be an excellent way to share your skills with other people without having to do all the work of building a design course.

5. Teach Web Design

On the other hand, if you like the idea of being a teacher, you can make money almost passively with web design courses and webinars these days. While you do have the option of selling one-on-one education to students, this will usually take up a lot of your time.

If your focus right now is on a side hustle to increase your earnings, it’s often much easier to use a site like Udemy or Skillshare. The great thing about teaching web design these days, it’s much easier than you might expect. The majority of solutions on the web allow you to drip content to your clients automatically. This means you only have to create the content once.

You can create a handful of videos, quizzes, and downloadable assets, and make money off your educational resources while you sleep.

6. Create a Web Design Blog

Blogging is still a surprisingly lucrative way to make money. If you have a creative streak and you know how to write about web design in a way other people can understand, you can turn this into an excellent side hustle.

Start by building your own website using your design skills, then start publishing regular blogs with the content you know your customers would be interested in. It’s a good idea to cover a range of topics, from Photoshop, to how to design widgets and more. You can even share reviews of various web design tools and add affiliate links to earn money that way.

Make sure you use SEO strategies to improve your chances of customers actually seeing your blog and promote your content as often as you can across social media. Once you have your blog, you can make money from it by:

  • Working as an affiliate and promoting design products;
  • Showing banner ads or sponsored posts on your website;
  • Selling digital products through your blog (like themes).

If you decide to take the affiliate route, here are some excellent programs to consider.

7. Contribute to other Websites

If you don’t have time to launch your own website and build a following for your blog, you can still make money from writing in other ways. Becoming a freelance web design writer means you can sell your blogs and content to other leading publications.

Many popular websites are constantly looking for new content to add to their blog. If you develop a strong relationship with some of these site owners, you could get yourself a regular gig.

Contributing to other sites as a writer helps you to develop your thought leadership. Many companies will even allow you to link back to your social media pages or profile.

At the same time, you get to earn some extra money writing about things you enjoy.

8. Sell Themes and Templates

A lot of web designers today rely on other themes and templates created for WordPress to help them build their websites. Access to themes and templates can make building a new website a much easier, straightforward process.

If you’ve got some excellent coding prowess, you can develop and sell a host of website themes and templates, and sell them wherever you choose. As mentioned above, there are a number of websites available for selling web design assets. Alternatively, you can sell your own packages and templates on your website, depending on your needs.

If you create a particularly valuable theme, you can actually earn a full-time passive income over time. Placing your themes and templates on marketplace sites will also get you a lot of attention from potential clients in the future.

9. Flip Websites

If you’ve ever seen one of those shows where someone buys a house, makes it look great, and then sells it for a higher price, you’ll understand the basic premise of flipping websites. The idea is to purchase an existing website for a low price (preferably with a good domain name), then fix it up to sell on a website selling directory.

If you want to earn a decent amount of money for your website, you’ll need to dedicate a decent amount of time to building traffic, improving the appearance of the site, and so on. However, it can be fun to take on these projects in your free time if you’re looking for a way to hone your skills.

You might learn some important lessons about how to make websites more profitable while you’re flipping your various sites, which could make you more appealing to customers in the long term.

10. Write a Book

Similar to flipping websites or producing an income from a high-traffic blog, writing a book isn’t something that’s going to give you a lot of extra income overnight. However, it can be an excellent source of passive income in time if you know how to use this strategy correctly.

If you have a specialist skill in web design, or you serve a specific niche, you can generate a lot of attention for an eBook or physical book sharing plenty of accurate and specific information. Remember, writing about web design, in general, will usually make it harder to earn money because there’s already a lot of competition out there.

Writing a book is a fantastic way to create a possible extra source of income as a side hustle, and it can also make you more credible if you decide to go full-time with your web design skills in the future. It’s definitely more impressive to present yourself to clients as a published author.

Remember to advertise your book whenever you can to improve your chances of additional sales.

Find Your Side Hustle

Web design skills are highly sought after in various parts of the digital world. If you’re willing to devote a little time and creativity to exploring the various avenues above, they can all deliver an excellent source of income to you and your potential business. All you need to do is figure out which side hustle makes the most sense for you.

Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all. In some cases, you might even be able to run multiple side hustles at the same time, particularly if you’re using strategies for passive income, like writing your own book or selling your own course.

 

Featured image via Unsplash.

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Every day design fans submit incredible industry stories to our sister-site, Webdesigner News. Our colleagues sift through it, selecting the very best stories from the design, UX, tech, and development worlds and posting them live on the site.
The best way to keep up with the most important stories for web professionals is to subscribe to Webdesigner News or check out the site regularly. However, in case you missed a day this week, here’s a handy compilation of the top curated stories from the last seven days. Enjoy!”

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Designing for user experiences is what all designers do. UX is often thought of as the preserve of app or web designers; however, even a print designer laying out a magazine anticipates reader reaction to the scale of type, the placement of adverts, and the art direction of successive stories.

Because all designers design user experiences, the role of UX Designer has come to mean someone focused on creating a product or service utilizing research and testing to guide decision-making.

To research and test anything, you need metrics: a baseline and a target against which to measure. No one set of metrics is suitable for all projects, but because UX tends to be for financial profit, the Pirate Metrics Framework — Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral, Revenue — is a good starting place.

You might seek out very different metrics in some cases. For instance, a museum might measure the success of its education program based on how many students go on to study paleontology. However, those types of metrics are notoriously difficult to quantify. Excepting a few niche cases, successful UX increases user productivity, decreases errors, reduces the cost of support, and increases sales.

So if it’s as easy as counting dollars, why does UX go bad?

UX vs. Design Principles

To understand what UX is, you need to understand what UX is not.

One of the most straightforward design principles to understand is hierarchy: bigger is more important, i.e., a heading is visually stronger than a sub-heading, a sub-heading is visually stronger than the body text.

Design principles stem from one thing: human-centered design. At the most basic level, bigger is more important because the bigger a saber-toothed tiger appears, the more likely it intends to eat me.

The evolution of human beings is so slow that had a smartphone existed at the time, a neanderthal would have been able to tap a button with the same level of precision as me. Prehistoric man shares the same minimum button size as modern man: 48 x 48px. Design principles don’t change, don’t require research, and don’t need verifying with tests.

On the other hand, a neanderthal would not have understood a smartphone, let alone an app. You only need to step back by a single generation to find perfectly intelligent people baffled by a commonly employed design pattern.

Unlike design principles, user experience is a house built on sand. When the sand shifts, the walls crack. The bricks are still solid, but the rain gets in.

Because effective UX is temporary, so is the ROI.

Technology Breaks UX

Technology unfolds at a rapid pace. As technology develops, the user experience defined by that technology changes.

The classic example is the mobile revolution, but technological change does not necessarily mean hardware. One of the most significant shifts in UXD (User Experience Design) in my career has been the popularisation of AJAX — the process of using JavaScript to load new data without refreshing the page. This seamlessness has been around since the early 2000s, but it’s only in the last ten years, as the code to achieve it has simplified, that it’s been widely used.

Jakob’s Law states that users spend most of their time on other sites and, as a result, prefer your site to function like other sites by following familiar design patterns.

Even if your UX is rigorously tested and optimized, when other sites and services carry out their own research, they are testing against the background of younger technology, and the “other sites” Jakob Nielsen refers to begin to change. As a result, the UX of your site is gradually eroded.

The consequence of continual technological change is that user research is constantly invalidated. The UX of an app, site, or service begins to degrade as soon as it is created.

User-Experience Lifecycle

Human beings have two deep-seated motivations: survival and procreation. The most important, survival, depends on discovery — new food sources, new routes through dangerous territory, new ways to skin a mammoth. We are biologically programmed to seek out the new.

A typical user passes through three phases of a relationship with a site, app, or service: discovery > comfort > boredom. Churn, or drop-off, tends to occur in the discovery phase (if the comfort phase is too slow in developing) or the boredom phase. The sweet spot is the comfort phase. That’s the part of the business-customer relationship in which the customer requires minimal support and is least likely to drop off.

The most effective form of UX — meaning the one that satisfies most metrics — rapidly moves a user from discovery to comfort and then continually eases the user back to the start of the comfort phase without tipping back into discovery.

This can be achieved with numerous micro-discoveries, tiny chunks of new experience, from simple functionality tweaks to style revisions.

Summary

All UXD, regardless of the quality, level of investment, and skill of the practitioner, begins to degrade the moment it is created.

Design principles like simplicity are good indicators of successful UID (User Interface Design) and are timeless; comprehensive design systems, brand assets, and content offer good ROI.

The most effective UX is broadly familiar and continually refreshed in small ways, allowing users to enjoy the comfort of the familiar while also experiencing the excitement of discovery again and again.

 

Featured image uses photos by Wolfgang Hasselmann & Shainee Fernando.

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