Nearly every digital layout is based on a grid or guide. “Every website has a grid structure,” says Ackerman. “If you look closely enough you can find the structure they’re using and learn from the best websites.”
Digital designers are, in many ways, system designers. A user needs to recognize that different parts of that system are related to each other. Fonts need to stay consistent, and different typefaces should have similar functions over different contexts. “Keep it simple,” says Ackerman of fonts. “Pick a typeface or a type family that has a wide range.”
Keep your files in order. Successful designers know that web developers, writers, project managers, other designers, and clients may access their files. When those partners open design documents, they need to be able to understand what they’re looking at. Organize the layers in your editing software, and label everything clearly. Keep in mind that other people will need to use your work, so make your files easy to work with.
Be a team player.
Every project involves collaborators and stakeholders, and good graphic designers make things easier for people they work with. First, designers need to understand their client’s needs. “Getting to know the client is so important,” says designer Emma McGoldrick. “I do a lot of podcast covers, and I couldn’t imagine doing them without speaking with the client and knowing why they are doing their podcast and the inspiration behind it.”
Design for accessibility.
Think about all potential users, including those with visual impairments. A good design takes into account some of the most common accessibility issues that users might have and ensures that everyone can have a seamless user experience.