5 Valuable Skills Every Professional Designer Needs
To be an effective designer, you must be highly knowledgeable about certain software programs, aside from being creative. You have to possess a set of technical design skills to be great at what you do. However, if you want to be truly successful in your career, you need to have soft skills.
Most designers today tend to overlook the significance of having soft skills in their careers. A soft skillset does not only apply when you’re trying to bag a job at a corporate agency. Did you know that the majority of successful, pro designers have strong soft skills?
Soft skills refer to your interpersonal skills and personal attributes. These aspects of your personality are what will make a lot of people want to hire you beyond your raw talent. Fortunately, these skills are inherent. So even if you’re a newbie, you’ll be able to harness the soft skills you’ve acquired from past experiences.
Sometimes, it may come as naturally as you hope it would be. Still, you can work on your soft skills if you want to improve personally and professionally. In this article, we’ll list down 5 valuable soft skills every designer should master to help take your design career to a whole new ball game.
Creativity and Innovation
Every designer out there can create designs, either based on the work of others or an existing design pattern. But what separates the best designers from the rest is their ability to produce creative and unique ideas for their design projects. In fact, the best of the best can even innovate an entirely new way to approach design, influencing and inspiring many in the industry.
As a designer, you have to do as much as you can to develop your innovative and creative thinking abilities. Good thing there are several ways on how you can do that. These include looking at design problems from various angles or different perspectives. Then, incorporate creative thinking into other aspects of your life.
Efficient and Effective Communication
Essentially, design is one form of communication. You are communicating an idea to a target audience through visuals and text or providing a solution to a complex problem by using forms, shapes, and colors. However, a good design goes beyond what you can deliver. You need to communicate effectively from beginning to end. That means, you often have to deal with a lot of different stakeholders.
Communication starts even before your project commences. You must understand the brief and needs of your client thoroughly from the get-go. Make sure you have a clear idea of what you have to deliver and when you need to deliver it. You can do this by creating a range of document that outlines project specifications, such as due dates and feedback breakthroughs.
On top of that, you have to communicate your own terms and conditions clearly, from your preferred payment method to working hours. You also have to let your client know the best way and time he can reach you. By being upfront with what your client can expect from you and setting the tone, you’ll find it easier to tackle any problems later. Moreover, you will look very professional in your client’s eyes.
One of the most crucial groundworks of a growth mindset is having a beginner mindset. You won’t be open to new and innovative ideas if you think that you already know every possible solution to a design problem.
Meanwhile, you will be able to recognize solutions from more comprehensive sources if you approach a problem with the idea that there is always room for improvement and growth. Also, you’re most inclined to bring to the table fresh ideas that have not been tried and done before. As a result, this will have a direct impact on your innovation and creativity.
Furthermore, technology and design evolve rapidly, which makes having a growth mindset vital. What was deemed to be groundbreaking last year is a thing of the past today. So if you want to grow continuously, consider how you approach your design. Do not be stuck with producing old design patterns over and over again that people have seen before.
Be An Outstanding Collaborator
We’ve all experienced dreading phone calls of demanding clients with one revision request after the other. Sometimes, we have a team member deliver that does not deliver on time as promised. But no matter how irritating people can be, you have to remain professional constantly.
Delivering right on schedule is given. But make sure to always give people the respect they deserve regardless if they are difficult to deal with or failed to deliver. Keep in mind that it is not easy to collaborate through screens and different time zones, especially during these trying times.
Consider approaching things as if you are a customer service rep where you want the experience of your client to be as easy and seamless as possible. At the end of the day, you need to be patient and understanding with everyone you’re working with.
Never Stop Learning And Stay Humble
Even the best and most experienced in the industry never stop learning. The design world is fickle with trends evolving and things changing with a snap of a finger. Along with that, all projects you will encounter comes with a different set of challenges. Hence, you have to go with the flow. Once you have your ego checked, your mind and eyes will be truly open to wonderful opportunities and perspectives.
So make sure to keep yourself updated with the latest design techniques and trends. You can do this by taking some time to read relevant articles here at B3Multimedia Blog, signing up for newsletters, and so on. If something arouses your interest, do not hesitate to learn it. If you have questions in mind, ask experts. Stay humble, listen to what others have to share, and then gather facts. Moreover, set your ego aside when stating your beliefs and opinions.
You can learn, practice, and improve the soft skills we’ve listed here to make you a better and more desirable designer to clients. Take the time to reflect and discover the soft skill you need to make you a more effective and successful designer.
So, which of these do you feel confident can help you grow? We’d love to hear your thoughts on the comment section below.
Aileen is a Technical and Creative writer with an extensive knowledge of WordPress and Shopify. She works with companies on building their brand and optimizing their website. She also runs a local travel agency with her family. On her free time, she loves reading books, exploring the unknown, playing with her two adorable dogs, and listening to K-pop.