What skills do you need to be a web designer?

As per question really, what skills would be needed for a ‘one man band’ to put themselves out there and call themselves a web designer - please dont say ‘the ability to design websites(!!!)’ - i mean the acual tools of the trade needed?

Ive asked a few questions here and had some good responses. Im currently a student learning the following -
flash and actionscript
photoshopd illustrator

With these skills alone, if i were competant with them, would i have the neccessary skills to work as a web designer? Im getting a feeling looking around at job adverts that these skills alone may not do?

Also this may well be a daft question but could someone please explain what is ‘back end’ and ‘front end’ development? And if a web designer works alone, do they need the skills of the many?

Any thoughts would be appreciated!

Back end is servers, front end is the website ‘user interface’.

I’m sure plenty of people could provide you with a comprehensive list of all the skills that can be acquired under the Title of ‘web development’ but what I realised several years ago was that it’s impossible to be expert in all of them, or even well versed in all of them. Depending on your preferences, what I’d recommend is figuring out what you want to specialise in.

To call yourself a webdesigner I would add to the list of skills you posted assuming that you decide to focus on Flash, HTML (CSS?) and Photoshop:

Usability & Information Architecture
Semantic Markup and Search Engine friendly coding
An understanding of Cross browser compatibility issues
Web standards
Business management
Client liaison & Information Gathering
Project Management

Check this link about Six Web Design Skills You Need to Know-
The Six Web Design Skills You Need to Know

This. My learning so far has led me to corners, and around each corner seems a MOUNTAIN to climb! I wish to be a web designer, so i enrolled on a formal course, then i learn html/css, flash and so on. 2 year course, but doesnt touch php (for example), or many of the other skills seemingly needed. While i appreciate there is a lot to learn and it is ever changing, actually getting a direction to ‘point in’ seems a minefield!

Many thanks for your response!

Shall check it out, thanks!

It really depends upon what kind of sites you do. My claim to fame personally was flash, but there is really a difference between the design of websites and programming of websites.

Now that I am in more of a management role, (which, by the way, I still get my hands dirty in code and design - it is just that my business doesn’t 100% rely on me doing so anymore) I find that I still want all the tools at my disposal. We got a new laptop, and I found that I really wanted the following programs:

  • Office (sometimes clients will like different projects done such as power point presentations … plus they will send content in excel, word, etc.)
  • Edit Plus - my code editor of choice
  • Flash
  • Photoshop
  • Web Drive - favorite ftp program

Now, from a skill set standpoint, it has been good for me to know php, html, css, javascript, mysql, flash, photoshop & the ability to ftp. Those are the main biggies for me.

I’m with Tanner :slight_smile:

Just create different and easy to use.