4 Hot Web Design Skills That Will Stand Out on a Resume

Hot web design skillsYou’re a trendsetter—you always have been! From cutting edge tech gadgets to the hottest fashion trends, you’re always up to speed with the next big thing. It’s no surprise this innovative attitude in your personal life spills over into your professional life as well.

This is likely the reason you’re intrigued by a career in web design. Techniques and technologies are constantly evolving, so staying up to date with the latest web design trends is crucial.

The good news is the fast-paced nature of the industry offers great opportunities for rookie designers to make an immediate impact. Mastering today’s hottest web design skills will help you stand out to potential employers.

We enlisted a handful of design experts to help us identify and explain four in-demand web design skills that will help you become a hot commodity in the field. You’ll also find some helpful resources that will help you learn more about each specialty.

1. Animation

Why is it in demand?

Animation has become a powerful feature in web design because it can create the “illusion of life,” interaction developer Rachel Nabors explained in a recent blog article. When executed properly, animation can help users absorb more information about what they’re seeing, such as relationships, structure, cause and effect.

“Animation shouldn’t be a nice-to-have[skill set],” Nabors said. “It is critical to communication.”

More and more companies are incorporating animation in their websites to make their content both exciting and easily digestible.

What does it mean for you?

Animation is the content that seems to draw the most attention, according to Alexander Rodriguez, Creative Director at Tampa Bay-based YMMY Marketing. He explains that not everyone has the ability to build this type of content with the quality that people expect, which is why there is potential for rookie designers to succeed in this area.

“If a designer is able to distinguish him/herself by building animation into their user experience to a degree of pure excellence, they will make themselves much more desirable to a company looking to compete in the highest levels of the industry,” Rodriguez says.

Where can you learn more?

2. SEO

Why is it in demand?

“The traffic that comes from top search engine results can be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars a year,” says Casey Ark, CEO of Pennsylvania-based Plato Web Design

Ark explains the difference between sites ranking first and sites ranking tenth often lies in a simple website change, which is why he believes search engine optimization (SEO) is the most valuable skill an aspiring web designer can master.

What does it mean for you?

“Virtually anybody can build a website,” Ark says. “But almost nobody understands how to rank highly in search engines.”

This is why mastering this skill will help you stand out in the sea of web design hopefuls.  Ark says understanding the relationship between SEO and web design will give you the potential to earn big money in this industry—even as a recent college graduate!

A 2013 study by Chitika Insights found that the top-ranked website in Google’s organic search results reels in 33 percent of the traffic. The same study found that 91.5 percent of searchers never make it past the first results page. Staggering numbers like these are precisely why companies are on the lookout for web designers with top-notch SEO skills!

Where can you learn more?

3. UX design

Why is it in demand?

“As more and more products compete to win the hearts of users, UX designers are in high demand for their deep understanding of human emotion, behavior and patterns,” says David Sasda, Head of Design at San Francisco-based Hired.com.

Sasda says it’s no longer good enough for a website or application to just be beautiful and technically sound—it must be intuitive and easy-to-use. It’s the UX designer’s responsibility to ensure the product behaves as the user expects it to, helping them accomplish what they need to do as simply as possible.

What does it mean for you?

Successful web designers must be able to both create beautiful layouts and optimize those layouts to meet business objectives, according to Josh Meah, COO of Washington DC-based JackMyRep.com. He says UX design drives the latter, and it’s a skill you must develop over time.

Meah says the web designers who take the time to develop impeccable UX design skills shouldn’t have any trouble finding work. He says opportunities for these individuals are especially high in large companies and agency settings.  

Where can you learn more?

4. Video

Why is it in demand?

Everyone loves video, according to Meah. He explains that video is engaging and keeps users on a site, which eventually results in higher revenue.

Videos can be incorporated into the design of a website in several ways. They can introduce a product or service, excite an audience, add visual interest, improve storytelling and even replace large background images. More and more companies are starting to recognize the exciting potential in this area, which is why this skill made our list.

What does it mean for you?

“A rookie designer that can do great work with video is dangerous,” Meah says.

Meah explains that the only way to develop great video skills is to practice them. Even using your smartphone camera more creatively will help you sharpen your skills. The best way to learn how to apply these skills to your web designs is to study websites that have successfully incorporated video.

Where can you learn more?

It’s your time to shine …

If you want to stand out in your professional life like you do in your personal life, the decision to become a web designer is a smart one! Our panel of pros agrees that the best way to make a splash in the industry is to make an effort to master the most desirable web design skills in the field.

Adding these abilities to your arsenal will give you an outstanding opportunity to make a splash in the industry, even as a rookie designer. Highlighting these talents in your resume and demonstrating them in your portfolio will speak louder than your years of experience (or lack thereof!)

Web design skills and technologies are constantly evolving, so it’s important you don’t fall behind. Check out this list of expert tips for staying on top of the latest web design trends!

Callie Malvik

Callie is the Content Manager at Collegis Education, overseeing blog content on behalf of Rasmussen College. She is passionate about creating quality resources that empower others to improve their lives through education.

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