Website designers create a website’s layout and designs it. In other words, a website designer’s job is to make a site look good. A website designer uses design programs to come up or produce visual elements. They are knowledgeable in UI (user interface), so you know they are capable of designing a website that’s not only intuitive but user-friendly.
How your website looks can have a direct impact on user’s opinion towards it and the company it represents. Therefore, your work as a web designer could have a huge impact on a company’s reputation. Research reveals that it only takes one second for website visitors to judge or size up a website, and the first impression usually extends to the brand it represents as well. This is the reason why more and more companies focus on improving their website design, and this demand reflects well in the job market.
For those exploring a job opportunity in this field, not only will you experience growth in it, but you’ll also be paid well. If you’re interested in becoming a web designer, let’s take a deeper look into this career and see what it takes to become one.
What Does a Web Designer Do?
Before we talk about the level of education or skills needed to become a web designer, let’s try to look into the day-to-day tasks involved in this job so you can see if it’s something that matches your interest. A web designer will regularly:
- Layout and design websites
- Improve site navigation for optimal user experience
- Design sample pages and create models/replicas
- Create graphics, visuals and animations using Adobe programs
- Register web domains
- Organize files/documents
- Collaborating on web updates
- Work together with writers and other designers to create a site
What Kind of Skills Do You Need to Become a Website Designer?
If you’re interested in becoming web designer, there are some specific skills you need to develop to jumpstart your career in this industry. Below are some workplace and technical skills that you need to have and develop:
- Communication –web designers need to be able to communicate with a company. They should be able to discuss things such as what the company wants, what the designer has in mind, who the intended audience are, and ideas to make the site more effective. Communication is just the beginning; companies want a web designer that’s responsive as well. A responsive designer not only provides the company regular updates, but also explains the issues that come up and discuss deadlines.
- Time Management –as a web designer, you have a choice to work freelance—where you work with different companies at the same time—or you can work for only one company. Either way, you must be able to manage your time effectively to avoid stalling multiple projects.
- Collaboration –website designers mostly work with other people in creating a site. They work together with a copywriter, graphic designer, and IT staff in creating a website. For this reason, you should be a ‘team player,’ that is you must be able to listen, collaborate, and be open to constructive criticism.
- Visual Design –one of the main tasks of a web designer is to create visual elements for a website. Therefore, it is important that you have a good grasp of design principles. Visual design combines different design practices that focus on symmetry, typography, colors, proportions, and color systems.
- UX –or otherwise called User Experience, refers to how a visitor feels when they are on the site. It is a designer’s job to create a layout that is not only visually pleasing but is easy to navigate. The result? Better user experience! A website designer usually conducts research on the target market and current trends to build a website experience that is consistent to the brand’s image and appeals to their target market.
- Design Programs Expertise –website designers must be knowledgeable in design programs such as CorelDraw Graphics Suite, Adobe Creative Cloud and Inkscape. These are the programs often used to produce mock-ups, visual elements and image manipulations, which are all necessary in web design.
- Coding Knowledge –while it is not a web designer’s job to write the code in order for the site to work, it doesn’t hurt to have some knowledge or understanding of HTML or CSS to make minor adjustments to a site. Even with basic knowledge, you’ll be able to edit templates, improve fonts, or adjust placements of things on the site.
Do You Need a Degree to Work as Web Designer?
Most website designers graduated with a bachelor’s degree in website design or a related course. But a four-year degree isn’t the only way for you to get into this creative career. Getting certifications is one way to do it too.
There are 4-year degree programs that you can take to get the proper training to become a web designer. Here’s a couple of options you might want to look into:
- Bachelor’s Degree in Website Design –this focuses on design skills and layout principles taught together with technical programs used by web designers.
- Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science –this provides you with a well-rounded knowledge in computing skills, design work, and problems solving.
Getting a bachelor’s degree isn’t the only way for you to get into website designing, you can also explore certification programs or enroll in courses to build your skills in web design. Below are some courses you can take on Coursera:
- UI/UX Design Specialization
- Google UX Design Professional Certificate
- Responsive Website Development and Design Specialization
So, What’s the Next Step?
A career in website design can be exciting and there is just plenty of opportunities for creative individuals to grow and improve in this industry. If you’re interested in it, why not take the next step forward? It’s time to work your way towards your dream career. It’s not too late to start, and who knows? Not only will you enjoy it, but it will also be a fulfilling career option for you.