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A web designer is someone who is both creative and technically inclined, and uses both these attributes to build or redesign websites. The web designer has the ability to understand what is needed to make a website functional and easy to use, but at the same time make it aesthetically appealing to the user.
Web design is a relatively new industry, having been created with the advent of the internet, and is gaining popularity in particular over the last ten years, as digital media has become a major part of many people's lives. Most people rely on the web for their communications, information, shopping, social life and more. The demand for web designers has been growing rapidly and the industry is currently considered a good one with relation to job prospects and future growth.
A web designer's main job is to design web pages. There is a lot to consider in the design of websites which may not be immediately apparent when looking at a webpage for the first time.
The aesthetic aspect is an important one and selecting the appropriate colours, font, layout and images creates the whole personality of the website. In addition to considering aesthetic aspects, the usability of the website has to be a priority. It is important to create a page that the target market can relate to.
For example, a website aimed at children needs to hold their attention, and might use bright colours and an easy-to-read font, with a lot of images and not too much text. This would make it fun, attractive and easy to understand. The layout and structure must be easy to follow, and most pages should not be too many clicks deep into the website in order to keep the information easy to access. Contrarily, a professional website aimed at physicians must convey a different kind of image, but must still be easy to read and the information organized in a format that is easy to access.
The web designer is in control of the entire website and must understand how to create the appropriate image while ensuring the website is easy to use and the information is easy to access.
The workplace will depend on the specific type of company the designer is working for. A web design company tends to be part of the creative industries and will typically have a contemporary approach to office space. These types of companies often employ ideas thought to enhance the creative process and aim to create open offices where ideas and inspiration can be shared. This type of workplace is likely to have a casual dress code and attract a younger worker. It may be acceptable to work from home and flexible work hours might be offered.
Some large corporations that rely on their web presence for a lot of their business may have in-house web designers and this kind of workplace is likely to be a bit more traditional.
A lot of web designers do freelance work and will work from home. Their home office will be set up entirely as they choose, although they may have to be prepared to travel to consult with clients, and work environments may vary depending on the type of client or company they are working with. This option gives a lot of freedom with regards to working hours and location, and is a great option.
There are many courses available offering qualifications in web design. A more general degree will provide a good foundation upon which to build more specific knowledge.
Most web designers will have an interest in computers and possibly in programming language, which will be great for the technical aspect of the job. It is also necessary to have a creative side in order to ensure success when it comes to the design side of things. Becoming a web designer is a great career choice for someone with an interest in art and design, and a love of technology.
Personal attributes and skills required include:
Below is a timeline of a typical day for me and the different applications I deal with at certain times.
Chris Poel, freelance web designer and owner of USP Networks, explains how his average working day shapes up.
Web design is often an appealing career choice for artistic and creative people. It’s seen as a potentially lucrative opportunity to be creative on a daily basis. But there are drawbacks that many people don’t realize going into the field.
In this post the last thing I want to do is to paint all designers with a broad brush, but I do want to get to the bottom of what makes being a web designer so appealing to so many of us.
The following questions detail some of the common aspects of working as a Web designer for a company (not freelancing). The more of the questions that you can honestly answer "yes" to the more suited Web design is to you as a profession...
If we want to be successful in this highly competitive world, we will have to work smarter rather than longer. This is a lesson I have had to learn from experience since starting as a web designer back in 1994.
There are many people out there who want to become freelance web designers. However, freelancing is not all rainbows and unicorns, since you have to promote yourself, get clients, manage those clients, and, of course, get things done.