Overview – Web Designer
A Web designer is involved in the process of designing or creating a website which includes planning, user interface, information architecture, navigation, website structure, website layout, fonts, color schemes, graphics, videos and e-commerce facilities. Though, every web designer uses different methods and tools for web designing but the goal is same that the website must be user-friendly and no user should confuse about where to go to find information on a specific website.
Of recent importance is website accessibility; this refers to creating web pages that are accessible to anyone, no matter what device they are using. Website accessibility also stresses the importance of making a website accessible to those with any kind of disability.
It is important to know that what are the duties and responsibilities in web designing before opting web designing career. A web designer can work on entire website or can work on individual pages only. Duties and responsibilities in web designing should vary according to the part of website is to be handle by an individual web designer. In addition to this, there are number of operations in web designing, i.e. information architecture, programming language, layout of web pages, search engine optimization (SEO), server management, web strategy and marketing, e-commerce solutions, graphics, videos, audios, updating contents and much more. Obviously, an individual web designer could not handle all the operations. Hence, the duties and responsibilities in web designing also vary with the role of a web designer.
A typical Web designer should have the following working knowledge, skills and experience, in the least:
- An in-depth understanding of the Web Architecture and its components
- Strong hand-coding of semantic and standards-compliant HTML markup & CSS code.
- In depth knowledge of current coding techniques and best practices.
- Knowledge of using AdobeDreamweaver, Photoshop, Fireworks & Illustrator.
- creating web site designs & producing sample sites
- Artistic skills and exceptional creativity
- Analytical and Problem solving
- UX Design & Prototyping
- Attention to detail
- Innovativeness, flexibility and adaptability
- Good communication skills
- Good typing speed (approx. 40-60 words per minute)
- Extensive knowledge of at least one CMS (Worpress, Drupal, Joomla, etc)
- Search Engine Optimization best practices
- Understanding of web usability issues and information architecture.
- Great typography and layout skills
- Understanding of Google Analytics (installing, tracking and establishing Goals)
- Understanding of Campaign Monitor, MailChimp and coding email HTML for email marketing platforms
- Strong focus on front-end design and modern web practices to create an efficient user-experience.
- Ability to build mobile compliant web sites with a good understanding of mobile operating systems debugging.
- A good understanding of cross-browser issues and debugging.
- Design and Template integration into the WordPress/Joomla/Drupal CMS
- Maintenance of existing client portfolio within their respective frameworks.
- Ability to work independently or as part of a multi-disciplinary team.
- Project management
Note: In most cases, a Web designer won’t be asked to build Web programs or applications or maintain databases for data driven websites.
Common duties & responsibilities of a Web Developer;
- Consult with clients to develop and document web site requirements
- Prepare mock-ups and storyboards
- Translating a client’s marketing or informational content into a functional website.
- Mapping or outlining a website’s structural content.
- Creating or editing images and graphics for website use.
- Coordinating with web developers and programmers for specialized scripts.
- Assist with maintenance and additions to the website.
- Apply current design trends and techniques in web designing.
- Working collaboratively with all layers and departments of the corporation that includes business unit leaders, editorial staff, sales marketing, IT and 3rd party service providers working.
Education for Web Designers
It is a frequently asked question that which educational courses for web designing are available in today’s world so that an aspirant can learn web designing properly.
- Bachelor’s degree in computer science is one of the available education courses for web designing. Eligibility for this course is similar as any other bachelor’s degree. Generally admissions are based on merit basis of the last qualified exam rather than separate entrance exam.
- Master’s degree in computer science is an advanced educational course for web designing. Eligibility for this course is Bachelor’s degree in computer science.
- Some diploma and certificate courses focused on a specific area of web designing are also available and popular because generally every area of web designing is very vast and nobody could be a master of all.
Becoming a Web Designer
There are a couple of common ways to become a Web Designer:
A diploma program or advanced degree program that leads to a position as a Web Designer. Any internships or small consulting projects you can complete to get practical experience will help enormously when it comes time to land your first full time job.
Web Designers that are self-taught and end up working in a corporate environment often don’t start with the company as a Web Designer. You may start out in a marketing, administrative, or other role and take on web design duties as needed. This will sometimes end up as a full time Web Design position, or may lead to a position with a different company.
Most companies will hire a Web Designer based on their portfolio, so it is important to get some real world experience to showcase. These can be small, personal projects, volunteer projects for a school or community group, or projects someone paid you to complete.
Web Design & Development is an ever evolving industry and as a Web Designer, it is your responsibility to make sure you keep up and understand new technologies by regularly upgrading your skills.
Salary Package for Web Designing
Salary package for web designing field is definitely vary with the education, skills, experience and geographical location similar to any other career option but salary package for web designing also vary with the role, i.e. the web designer is an expert of information architecture or graphic designs or search engine optimization techniques or many other areas of web designing.
According to a global survey, generally salary package for web designing for a fresher varies between $25,000 and $40,000. A good news for youngsters is that the age is not a criteria of salary package for web designing. Problem solving aptitude and creativity are most important ingredients for good salary package for web designing.
Here are additional skills a Web Designer will need to learn to become a bonafide Front-end Web Developer;
- DOM Scripting
- Debugging tools like Firebug
- Understand Object Oriented Programming
- AJAX Technology
- Data Formats (XML & JSON)
- FTP & HTTP Protocols
- Mobile UX/UI
- Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)
- HTML email coding
- Content Management System Architecture & Templating
- Strong understanding of Progressive Enhancement & Graceful Degradation
Web designing and development is an integral part of today’s IT industry. Therefore, career prospects in web designing are very wide and bright. Millions of websites and blogs are publishing daily on the world of internet. Hence, semi-skilled to professional web designers are required in the industry in huge number. Career in web designing is very secure and continuously growing option for all, whether programmers, designers, graphics experts, marketing experts or advertising masters.
Self employment is also a very good career prospect in web designing. Many websites are also there which provide web designing projects to the professionals with secure payment services.