Just a while ago I came upon this idea about the importance of consulting skill for a designer, and based upon my experience on handling design projects, I could not agree more:
“Being a good designer is not enough to ensure business success. The most effective designers are also effective consultants. What separates them from the rest is the thinking that precedes and wraps the design, their ability to lead the engagement, to mitigate risk for the client and to consistently lead the client to high-quality outcomes. Better clients pay a significant premium for this and always will.” ~ 16 Brief Points of Free Pitching
As you might have noticed, the title itself was not related directly to the skill requirements to become a good designer (it’s related to the pro and contra against spec job or free pitching), but some of the points are related to the more general and fundamental issue of how to become a good designer:
You cannot survive based on your design skills alone!
Yes a good design skill is vital, but knowing how to address your client’s need effectively, or even how to find out about their real needs, relies more on your consulting skills more than your wizardry with Photoshop or Dreamweaver. (byms)
Question mark image from from http://stockphotolicense.com