2024: Your Year to Shine in Digital Design

By Lucy Marino, executive director of the marketing and creative practice at global talent solutions firm Robert Half, which connects employers with skilled marketing, creative, digital, advertising and public relations professionals to meet their specialized recruiting needs. Marino manages strategy and operations for the company’s marketing and creative talent solutions teams across U.S. locations.


As a creative professional, are you thinking about shaking things up career-wise in 2024? Digital design might just be the exciting path you’re looking for. But why is digital design such a hot prospect, and how can you prepare to focus on it?

Recent research from Robert Half illuminates the growing importance of digital design in the marketing and creative sectors. Almost half (48%) of marketing and creative managers place digital marketing at the top of their strategic to-do list for 2024, yet a quarter of them report a lack of digital and web design and development expertise on their teams.

All of this makes the digital design realm ripe with opportunities. This applies to those ready to make the leap toward a permanent position as well as those who might consider contract roles.  More than one in four (28%) marketing and creative managers plan to hire contract talent in digital and web design and development in the first half of the year.

Here are some practical tips and insights to help you “redesign” a career in digital design.


Start Building A Digital Portfolio

Even if digital design isn’t your primary role, there’s a good chance you’ve dabbled in it. Here’s how you can leverage that experience to build a digital portfolio that pops:


  • Highlight relevant digital design projects:  Comb through your past work and identify any digital design projects you may have been involved in. These could be website designs, digital marketing materials, or social media graphics. The idea is to showcase your foundational skills in the digital realm.


  • Showcase versatility:  Your portfolio should be a mix of depth and breadth. Include varied work — from the simple and excellent logo you designed to more complex web layouts. This diversity will demonstrate your adaptability and eagerness to explore different facets of design.


  • Narrate your design journey:  Use your portfolio to tell the story of your planned transition and how you expect to apply your previous experience to digital design. What are your transferable skills? Do you have an eye for aesthetics, experience with layout or a knack for user experience? Make these connections clear in your portfolio descriptions.


  • Include descriptive captions:  For each piece, include captions that explain the project’s context, your role, the tools used and the impact of your work, such as increased user engagement or improved visual communication.


  • Demonstrate learning and growth:  If you’ve taken courses or earned certifications in digital design, mention them. This shows your commitment to learning and staying updated with industry trends.


  • Include personal projects:  These can reflect your skills and enthusiasm for digital design as effectively as professional work. If you’ve done any design work for personal blogs, volunteer organizations or just for fun, consider including these.


Keep Your Finger On The Pulse

Staying abreast of the hottest trends in digital design, especially in areas like information architecture, web and mobile design, UI/UX and interaction design, is crucial. Bookmark essential design blogs and websites for daily inspiration, join online forums for lively discussions on the latest trends, and attend webinars or workshops to refine your skills with hands-on experience.


Refocus Your Professional Development

Are you ready to stretch beyond your comfort zone? Volunteer for projects that push your boundaries and showcase your versatility. Consider cross-training in digital skills or seeking a mentor in the field for targeted guidance. Remember: professional development is not just about acquiring new skills. It’s also about adapting your mindset to embrace innovation, which sometimes includes getting comfortable with judicious risk-taking.


Assemble An Audience — And Keep Them Engaged

Platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest are where your work meets the world — digital galleries where your designs can be discovered, shared and celebrated. Embrace the power of these platforms to build a community around your work, engage with your audience in real time and showcase your adaptability to new forms of media.

But as you navigate the social media landscape, remember that creating an audience is as much about quality as quantity. Rather than casting a wide net and dabbling in a bit of everything, being the go-to person in a particular area is more beneficial. This will make your content more attractive to people who will champion your work, share it within their networks and help you grow your presence in the digital space. It’s about adding depth to your brand and creating a lasting impression that offers more value to those who follow you on social media.


Harness The Power of Artificial Intelligence

AI-powered tools can help you concentrate on the more creative aspects of digital design. By allowing AI to do the technical heavy lifting — repetitive tasks like image editing, resizing and adjusting colors — you can focus on conceptual thinking, storytelling and work that packs an emotional punch.

Transitioning to digital design in 2024 is not just following a trend; it’s a wise career choice. The industry’s appetite for digital talent is growing — embrace this chance to develop your skills, and you could find yourself in a role that’s both fulfilling and future-proof.