A Web Designer designs, builds and modifies websites according to client needs and is both creatively and technically adept at meeting client requirements.
The Web Designer job is part creativity, part artistic understanding and part technical know-how in turning the creative/artistic ideas into user-friendly reality.
On the creative side, the Web Designer must be able to understand the client’s business, ethos and positioning and create a web presence that perfectly represents them.
On the artistic side, the Web Designer needs to create sites that are visually appealing, user-friendly and differentiated from competitors.
In technical terms, the Web Designer must be conversant enough with the latest technology and programming languages to build a website that functions, is fast, secure and easily manageable.
All in all, the Web Designer’s job will require the following skills and attributes:
- Knowledge and experience of all major programming disciplines (webpage programming, scripting, imaging, animation, multimedia design)
- Ability to think in client terms
- Ability to conceptualize from a client brief
- Ability to move from concept to execution
- Understanding of target audience, including demographics, behaviour and preferences
- Thoroughness, detail-focus and a desire for excellence in all aspects of execution
Successful Web Designers are highly sought-after resources – artistic and intuitive on the one side, yet process-driven and accurate on the other.
The work environment will range from positions in dedicated web design houses to in-house positions in larger corporates. While the Web Designer will typically report to a supervisor, career growth, based on success, can be rapid.
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What Does a Web Designer Typically Do?
A Web Designer will work with clients to conceptualize a solution that exactly meets their needs on all levels – artistic, functional and technical. Having agreed on the concept with the client, the Web Designer will then create a new site or upgrade an existing one to turn the brief into reality. This will take into account the client’s desired “look and feel”, all the functionality the client requires and the technical specifications (security, accessibility, speed etc.) necessary for the site to function sustainably and safely.
In short, the Web Designer performs the following tasks:
- Eliciting exact client requirements for look and feel, functionality and technical sophistication
- Conceptualizing solutions with the client
- Planning, designing and building the site
- Writing copy for the site
- Designing and building in visual imagery and multimedia content
- Incorporating required functionalities into the site
- Ensuring client requirements on speed, user-friendliness, accessibility and security are met
- Testing the site
- Continuously monitoring for required fixes, updates of corrections
Eliciting Exact Client Requirements
This involves intense consultation with the client in order to exactly understand their organization, their day-to-day business, their goals for the website and their technical requirements. Typically this will be a protracted process and will require great empathy from the Web Designer
This is the creative center of the Web Designer’s job, in which the Designer’s ideas must exactly match what the client is looking to achieve
Planning, Designing and Building the Site
This is the technical exercise of programming the basic site to be ready for population – complexity will vary dependent on client needs (e-commerce vs. shop-window sites, B2B vs. B2C sites)
Writing Copy for the Site
While some clients may provide copy, it often falls to the Web Designer to populate the site with the right messages, information and content as required by the client
Designing and Building in Visuals and Multimedia
Again, this may be provided by the client or may need to be created, but it must then be built into the site in a way that enhances, rather than detracts from, the site and the client’s goals
Incorporating required functionalities into the site
This is the technical exercise of building in links, functions, payment gateways etc. to client specifications – all of which must be stress-tested and safe
Ensuring speed, user-friendliness, accessibility and security specifications are met
Success here will depend on the Web Designer’s technical proficiency and skill in writing code that works, delivers to spec and does not result in a slow or cluttered site. User-friendliness also taps into the Web Designer’s ability to think as the client’s intended audience
Testing the Site
The Web Designer must be dedicated enough to crash-test every aspect of the site, ensuring a “right-first-time” handover to the client
Continuously monitoring for required fixes, updates of corrections
The successful relationship between Web Designer and client should be a long-term one, with suggestions for improvements flowing from both sides
Roles a Web Designer typically collaborates with
|Business Development Manager
Web Designer Salary
How much does a Web Designer typically make?
The national average salary for a Web Designer will typically be between $50,000 and $77,000 per annum in the US. The median is around $65,490
What is the Web Designer pay difference by location?
Average salaries for a Web Designer differ by location as follows:
|San Francisco, CA
|New York, NY
What is the Web Designer pay difference by experience level?
Depending on experience, pay will vary as follows:
|< 1 year
Web Designer Job Description Template
[Company Name] is looking for a dynamic, experienced and talented Web Designer to join our team and enhance the web design function for our clients.
As a Web Designer with [Company Name], you will be part of a talented, dynamic team driven by a passion to deliver improvements to our clients’ businesses.
You’ll be working closely with clients to understand their needs, develop concepts that excite them and deliver web presence that delivers true benefit while maintaining the highest standards of security, stability and user-friendliness.
The Web Designers tasks will include, but are not limited to:
- Working with clients to understand their exact needs
- Developing concepts that are on spec, on time and on budget
- Turning the concepts into either new sites or improved existing sites
- Ensuring that all required functionalities are incorporated as per client wishes
- Building in multimedia content to enhance the clients’ sites
- Testing to ensure functionality, security and stability of clients’ sites
- Respecting deadlines and overperforming versus expectation
Required Skill Set
The Web Designer should possess the following qualifications, skills and attributes:
- Recognised diploma in a relevant field
- Understanding of content management systems
- Experience of working across different browser platforms
- Experience of SEO principles
- Understanding of international web protocols and standards
- Excellent communications skills on all levels
- Proven creative thinking ability
- Proven ability to drive from client interface to concept to execution
- Demonstrable comfort in owning a project from cradle to grave