Guest post by Jennifer Hahn Masterson.
Want to pursue a career in visual design? A couple of free courses, one good piece of advice and not a single project done—does not make one a designer. Having a bit of knowledge or a modicum of talent is nowhere near enough to become successful.
It takes hard work, talent, and plenty of projects that provide essential experience to enable you to compete effectively in the visual design marketplace. Here are six principal requirements for a successful career in this field.
Work on yourself first
What’s the designer’s job? You guessed right if you said it’s to establish a connection between your client and their prospects, using the visuals. Basically, this means the designer needs to be able to both communicate with the client (without using visuals) as well as the target customer (using images).
So, in addition to learning and using the best visual design tools, it’s crucial to work on yourself and your social skills. Understanding and communicating effectively with others is critical in order for a designer to be able to “tell the story.”
Organize your time
Even talented workers who deliver quality work can lose their jobs due to being late with the final results. On deadline-driven projects, your employer may have no use for your amazing work if you can’t wrap it up on time. One of the best investments you can make is learning how to organize your time.
Sometimes this will require altering your lifestyle, but rest assured it’s definitely worth it. Changing and rearranging your everyday habits according to your chores and finally having time for your career, family, friends, and for yourself—that’s an outcome worth striving for!
Arm yourself with knowledge
Getting a proper education, attending useful conferences and events, exploring other cultures, and meeting new people—all help you lay a solid, irreplaceable foundation. ‘
“The main objective of our master in visual design is to stimulate talented individuals from all over the world to expand their educational horizons with a progressive curriculum and prepare them for exciting professional opportunities in this field,”’ explains Pasquale Volpe, the Director of RM Istituto in Milan.
Make the best use of social media
Social media can be a double-edged sword. If you have a perceptive understanding of how the online world works, you get the nuances of what kind of content works best on Facebook versus what’s most effective on Instagram,and which formats are ideal for each network, you’re good to go.
Unfortunately, it’s easy to mess up and lose ground to your competition within a couple of posts. That’s why you should step up your game, collaborate with your marketing team, and provide the best possible design work for each social network.
UX design is the attention seeker
User experience (UX) design is what can either draw you deeper into a website or make you leave it withing a few seconds. There are certain UX rules you should follow in order to optimize the responses to your calls to action (CTAs).
This discipline isn’t oriented towards the design itself, but rather towards human behavior; understanding how our brain reacts to certain design elements, then organizing and designing your site in such way that your visitors’ brains react positively to what is seen.
Try out new things
Seek out and experiment with new technologies and techniques, especially since you often can’t know in advance which latest innovation is going to enhance your work and boost your business.
If your competitors capitalize on new technologies or techniques you ignore, it can hurt your business results and force you to play catch-up.
Merely becoming a visual designer is not that hard, but consistently producing work that is effective and appreciated is more challenging. How can you guarantee your work is going to dominate the market and attract customers’ attention? Follow the guidelines above to help best position your efforts and output for success.
Author bio: Jennifer Hahn Masterson is a senior business strategist, holding an MA degree in business communication. She is always doing her best to help her clients find their place in the ever so competitive business arena. You can check her out on LinkedIn and Twitter.