Graphic and Web design offer excellent career opportunities and many wonder what the day to day tasks of a Web designer includes. If you’ve ever gone to a website and saw stunning graphics, pictures and designs, you’ve seen first-hand what Web designers do. Along with Web developers, Web designers are the masterminds behind everything we see on a website from designing the layout and writing content to updating websites and creating codes. Websites are generally created to sell something, and Web designers are the ones who help promote the products and services through their designs and creations.
What Web Designers Do
Web designers are the artists who design websites. When they’re creating a website, it generally consists of the following steps.
- Designing the layout of the webpage – This involves putting together letters, graphics, numbers and animations the client might desire.
- Adding content – Once the designer and customer have decided what should be included on the site, the designer has to code it, which is where a background in computer programming becomes useful. Correctly writing and editing content is a major part of Web design.
- Setting technical requirements – The designer must check out any technical requirements such as fees, available space and any security that may be needed.
- Updating the site – In order for a website to be effective and profitable, it needs to be updated regularly so potential clients know the owner is still in business.
- Fixing coding issues – Even the best-laid coding may have glitches from time to time. It’s important that coding is regularly checked and fixed as necessary.
Web Designers vs Web Developers
The terms Web designers and Web developers are often used interchangeably and considered the same individual. While they both use their knowledge of Web design, graphic design and computer programming to create websites, they are two different individuals with different duties. The Web designers develop the graphic designs, create pictures and logos to be put on the website, but it is the Web developer who actually inserts them on the site.
A good comparison is a home contractor and a home builder with the Web designer being the contractor and the Web developer being the home builder. The contractor puts together the designs of how a home should be built, and the builder builds the home.
How to Become a Web Designer
To become a Web designer, an individual should have at least a bachelor’s degree, although, some may be hired with an associate’s degree if they have a background in and knowledge of computer programming, graphic design or computer science. The most popular degree choice for aspiring Web designers is the Bachelor of Science in Web Design and Development.
This program, which typically takes four years to complete, includes some general education courses and several degree-specific courses like computer science, computer programming, Web design, server-side languages, applied design tools and software applications. Students are often also required to complete a capstone project that requires them to create a Web design portfolio.
The need for qualified Web designers will continue into the future as the Internet is here to stay. As of a July 2018 report by Salary.com, Web designers earned an average yearly salary of $74,728. Many talented individuals, upon learning what exactly a Web designer does, realize it’s a career they can not only become experts in but one that brings satisfaction and pride.