One of the first things to note is this type of role could be split into two areas – Web Designer and Web Developer. It’s not necessarily how it always works, you may meet those who work on the full process but often you will find those with specialties in one of those areas.
Those with a more creative flair often find themselves working on the web design side of things. They work from the brief received from the client and create the visual look and feel of the website pages. They then present these ideas back to the client for them to review and feedback on, and so forth, until the concept is ready to be built.
Once the look of the site has been agreed upon, this is where the web developers may step in. They will build and program the functionality of the site page by page and make it into a functional, operational website. Once tested and everyone is happy, the site is then launched and the developers will then also maintain the site once live to ensure it stays operational.
What skills and training should a good web designer have?
The skillsets vary depending on whether you want to work as a web designer or developer.
One of the key attributes you will need is a good understanding of what makes a good website. A website is one of the most important tools a company has; it is their “shop front” and needs to create an excellent first impression. There is a lot of information to communicate to their customers in a relatively small space.
Project management is another vital skill you’ll be required to demonstrate. Quite often there’ll be tight deadlines to meet throughout the process. Communication is another key skill. You’ll need to be able to communicate timescales and project updates effectively with your client and team so everyone is aware of progress on the work.
You will also need:
- Good attention to detail
- Creative flair
- Enthusiasm to keep up to date with the latest technological developments
Formal training is not necessarily always required but it would be hugely advantageous to your prospects. If you’re self-taught and looking for a way into this industry, the best way to build your experience and reputation is to gain some practical real-life experience by maybe doing some freelance work which you can then build on and compile into a portfolio to show potential employers.
Where can I work in web design?
Opportunities in this industry are wide-ranging though competition for roles is tough. Often, you may find that you enter the organisation at a relatively junior level and work your way up to full-fledged web designer or developer.
For those with great, proven experience there are many opportunities in companies such as design consultancies and digital agencies. You could also look to work in-house for a large organisation where they often employ people to manage and maintain their websites. Alternatively, you may decide that you want to work on a self-employed or freelance basis to create a wider portfolio of work you have undertaken.
One of the great things about this industry is its flexibility. As one of the main things required for this role is an internet connection, the flexibility to work from home or the office is sometimes available depending on the organisation.
What kind of salary can a web designer expect to earn?
The salary range for this type of role is quite wide-ranging depending not only on the region you live in but also on experience, ability, etc.
Junior-level web designers can expect a starting salary of around £28,000 – £52,000, increasing to in excess of £30,000.