Web design is an industry that demands talent as well as a very diverse set of skills. A web designer needs to be computer savvy, creative and knowledgeable. Some designers focus more on illustration and work with programmers to bring their designs to life, while other designers focus purely on programming and have their art assets created by illustrators. However, the majority of designers are jacks of all trades that understand the essential aspects of both programming and design to create and modify websites.
Web designers are usually self-employed but occasionally work for a web design company. Designers that work on their own may also be called upon to write content for their websites or even optimize websites for search engines. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, web designers make a median of $62,500 annually. Web design is a quickly growing industry and offers a lot of job security.
What Does a Web Designer Do?
Web designers will usually begin by discussing a client’s needs with them. Many designers will create mockup versions of websites to present to their clients. The clients will then go through these mockups and choose a design that suits them. Web designers will use illustrative programs to create the art assets they need, and they will program the functionality of the website as well. There are also many publishing systems that allow web designers to create websites without having to program it themselves, but this takes away much of the control a web designer has.
Different web designers use different models of production: some will create the art and programming at the same time, and others will develop one before the other. The industry of web design offers a lot of freedom, which enables web designers to operate however they choose. Regardless, the end result of the project will be a completed website that operates as the client desires. The web designer will usually test this website thoroughly until the client is satisfied.
How Do You Become a Web Designer?
Many web designers are entirely self-trained, though there are degree programs available for those that want to be current with all the technology in the industry. Web designers need to learn about all of the programs that are normally used through web development, as well as be fluent with the applicable programming languages. Those that want to program fully functional websites will need to learn complex programming languages such as ASP or PHP. They will also need to learn about SQL and databases.
The degrees that a web designer can obtain for the development of their career includes graphic design, programming and computer science. Web designers can acquire Associate’s Degrees or Bachelor’s Degrees depending on what they desire. There are many online programs available for those interested in the industry.
How Do You Advance as a Web Designer?
Web designers will often develop their own companies and grow these companies by hiring more programmers and designers. As mentioned in O*Net Online, some of the related occupations include computer systems analysts, software developers and database administrators. Most of these occupations are very highly paid, and can be moved into by a qualified web designer.
Web designers that focus on art rather than programming can often move into other areas of graphic design, such as video game development or graphic art. Web designers that work on their own can build their client base through advertising and satisfied clients. Many web designers are also able to operate as web administrators and quality assurance testers.