Visual Designers

Image by Firmbee from Pixabay

Most times when I tell someone that I worked as a visual designer, they tell me that they don’t know what that means. “What do you do?” (I would get the same reaction when I said I was working as an instructional designer.)

Here is one way to approach answering about visual design.  I saw a posting on Google’s job site for a visual designer and it includes things like knowing user-centered design principles, producing high-quality visuals from concept to execution across many platforms. Google puts visual designers in with other UX jobs. They look for people who can collaborate with fellow designers.

Having worked on developing and designing “digital experiences” (e.g., websites), and graphic design (e.g., typography, layout, and art direction) and design tools like Figma, Sketch, Adobe Suite, etc.

I know a designer who originally was a motion designer specializing in Flash and working on commercials, animations, logos and branding packages. He still works on things like that sometimes (though no more Flash) but he works on much more.

Some jobs are quite specific. For example, a posting for a Senior Visual Designer on the Fitbit Device Software team will work on

Most times when I tell someone that I worked as a visual designer, they tell me that they don’t know what that means. “What do you do?” I would get the same reaction when I said I was working as an instructional designer.

Here is one way to approach answering about visual design.  I saw a posting on Google’s job site for a visual designer and it includes things like knowing user-centered design principles, producing high-quality visuals from concept to execution across many platforms. Google puts visual designers in with other UX jobs. They look for people who can collaborate with fellow designers.

Having worked on developing and designing “digital experiences” (e.g., websites), and graphic design (e.g., typography, layout, and art direction) and design tools like Figma, Sketch, Adobe Suite, etc. 

I know a designer who originally was a motion designer specializing in Flash and working on commercials, animations, logos and branding packages. He still works on things like that sometimes (though no more Flash) but he works on much more.

Some jobs are quite specific. For example, a posting for a Senior Visual Designer on the Fitbit Device Software team, you will work with a team of

Most times when I tell someone that I worked as a visual designer, they tell me that they don’t know what that means. “What do you do?” I would get the same reaction when I said I was working as an instructional designer.

Here is one way to approach answering about visual design.  I saw a posting on Google’s job site for a visual designer and it includes things like knowing user-centered design principles, producing high-quality visuals from concept to execution across many platforms. Google puts visual designers in with other UX jobs. They look for people who can collaborate with fellow designers.

Having worked on developing and designing “digital experiences” (e.g., websites), and graphic design (e.g., typography, layout, and art direction) and design tools like Figma, Sketch, Adobe Suite, etc. 

I know a designer who originally was a motion designer specializing in Flash and working on commercials, animations, logos and branding packages. He still works on things like that sometimes (though no more Flash) but he works on much more.

Some jobs are quite specific. For example, a posting for a Senior Visual Designer on the Fitbit Device Software team works with a visual, motion, and interaction designers on smartwatches, trackers, and a smart scale. That’s not typical web or graphic design experiences. They will need to “weave space, typography, color, iconography, and texture together to help people successfully navigate products.

Visual design is hard to define because it is many things. I also taught visual design and it was a very full syllabus. 

Be Mobile First

mobile user

Most people are searching, at least via Google, using a mobile device. Still, many people and many ranking systems, and even some designers typically look at the desktop version of a site as the main or perhaps the best version. This can be a problem.

Pages and entire sites can look great on that designer’s 30-inch monitor but fall short on that smartphone. It is a problem for ranking sites, like Google search, which admits that when the mobile version of a page has less content than the desktop page their algorithms are not evaluating the actual page that is seen by a mobile searcher.

They have been trying out ways to make results more mobile-first for the past 5 years or so. I know that Google tells me about issues with sites and many of those issues are about mobile views. The Google Search Console search.google.com/search-console/ will be primarily using the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site. That means you need to have a mobile-first mindset.