Digital designers tend to be multidisciplinary. They need to know about typography, color, graphics, and photography, and combine those practices and media in a way that creates a larger experience for the user, one that anticipates what they need and how to address their needs.
Web designers make sure a web interface looks good, but web design is part of a larger field of user experience, in which designers make systems that are easy and intuitive. Those systems can also include apps, hardware with digital elements, software, or even live events. Regardless of the use case, designers bring creative skills to solve problems. Form follows function, and the look and feel of digital products, user interfaces, and print designs all have to serve a purpose.
Good designers put the user first. “Empathy is so important in digital design,” says Ackerman. “The user has a need, and you’re helping to solve the problem.” Ideally most of a design’s function and usability will be immediately apparent to the user. No one wants to spend a long time looking at your design or interface like it’s a puzzle to be solved. They need to be able to pick it up and use it instantly.