Twenty years ago, web design was wrapped up in developing. When creating a website, the focus was on coding the website and creating algorithms. Over time, design took precedence as more people learned to create webpages. Many developers evolved into designers and focused on user experience. The role grew as consumers responded to the changes.
The importance of a web designer is apparent as you read this article. Every aspect of this page — the font, images, layout and more — has been tweaked to ensure maximum readability and design quality.
A web designer’s role continues to evolve. Web designers are creating content beyond the desktop experience. Companies are reaching customers in multiple ways, including tablets, mobile devices and car screens. Each platform has different design requirements, and optimizing what the customer sees is crucial. Having the right person in charge of a company’s web design could determine the website’s success.
Skills and Responsibilities of a Web Designer
Web designers, sometimes referred to as front-end web developers, are responsible for how the website looks, so having strong creative skills is important. They plan and create the webpage’s layout, integrate graphics and other content, such as applications (apps). Web designers tend to work on tight deadlines and juggle multiple projects.
Often, designers will create multiple versions of a website depending on how a consumer will access it (i.e. mobile version and browser version). This could also extend to apps. Apps are a delicate balance of form and function, and the designer will often need to test the codes to ensure a good user experience.
Web designers need to have skills on the latest in technology and software development. A good web designer would have experience with the following:
- Web design programs: Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Fireworks and Flash
- Writing code: Part of their job is to write programs using HTML, CSS or HTML5.
Web Designer Salary Opportunities
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a web developer’s average annual salary (including UI and UX design specialists) in 2017 was nearly $68,000. Figures from Payscale.com show a lower annual average web designer salary, but with a note that cash bonuses are paid to web designers. This is not included in the annual salary range of between $30,000 and $80,000.
If you plan to work in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles or other big cities where web design is in high demand, you’ll likely see a higher salary ranges to offset higher costs of living.
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Web Designer: Education and Experience
What type of education is expected for a web designer? Today’s employers generally expect that a web designer should have at least bachelor’s degree. The types of courses that a student would take on the path to becoming a web designer would include computer mathematics, multimedia design, computer networking, computer programming, database management and web design, among others.
Become a Web Designer at Avila University
Develop the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the professional tech world. Avila University’s fully online software engineering degree helps you gain an understanding of programming, technical systems analysis, data structures, web design, management systems and more.