A web designer is a specialist who develops and designs the appearance of the pages of a website or mobile application. It is the representatives of this profession that make the pages on the network beautiful and convenient.
The word “design” came about relatively recently. From Italian, ”disegno” translates as “drawing”, but also has many other meanings: pattern, sketch, diagram, drawing, template, sketch, composition, and so on.
With the development of technology, the concept of “design” has acquired a broader meaning. Now this is not a specific subject, but a whole direction applicable in many areas of human activity. One such area is web design.
The main tasks of web design are to create a positive impression for users about the product presented on the site, and to create a simple and clear site structure, easy navigation, and an intuitive interface for the user.
Web design is a fairly young, but progressive direction. It was fully formed in 2005, but began to develop actively since 2007, when mobile content began to gain momentum.
Web designers are in high demand right now due to the popularity of visual technologies. But the competition is as high as the demand is wide, because you can learn web design on your own (and not in 5-7 years, as in a university, but much faster).
Who is a web designer?
A web designer is a person who determines how the site will look and how it will be perceived by users. But such design can be called more informational than graphic. Because the site designer determines where and what elements will be located, and how they will change from user interaction. For example, how a menu will collapse if you zoom out on the page, or how a button will look when you hover over it.
Previously, the main task of a web designer was to make the site attractive, now it is more important to make it user-friendly. Of course, design aesthetics play an important role, but if there is no intuitive interface and no attention to detail, then it will not matter.
In the course of work, the web designer does the following:
- determines the goals and objectives of site visitors;
- designs and plans the site structure;
- develops the interface and thinks through navigation;
- cares about how the user will interact with the system;
- prepares content and conducts quality control.
Developing a design for websites, a specialist solves issues from several areas at once. Therefore, a web designer should also have a basic knowledge of programming and at least a little understanding of Internet marketing.
When designing a website, the specialist additionally takes into account:
- specific content of the site;
- technical parameters of the site;
- features of site promotion in search engines.
All details (logo, banners, images) on the site must meet standard requirements, that is, be optimized and adaptive for different devices: computers, tablets and mobile phones. When creating a design, a web designer must take into account the loading time of the site, not overload it with too “heavy” elements.
Creating interactive (those with which you can interact) blocks on the site is the highest aerobatics for a specialist. To master this kind of skill, you need not only to have a developed sense of beauty, but also to know “classical” programming, as well as to understand databases.
Although there are many technical aspects in the work of a web designer, creativity and creativity play an important role, because the design must be unique and recognizable.
By the way, web designers develop not only the design of sites, but also banners, Internet postcards and electronic presentations.
Pros of being a web designer
The main plus of the profession of a web designer is demand. Now everything is moving to an online format, and almost every company has its own website. There are a lot of various resources on the network – they all need high-quality design (including for attracting and retaining customers).
A web designer can work anywhere and anytime. Most specialists in this field work remotely without coming to the office. Moreover, you can work both for hire, for a certain company, and for yourself, fulfilling various orders.
High salary is another plus of this profession. The quality work of a web designer is paid accordingly. Of course, there are customers who pay little, but give difficult work. But there are those who can appreciate the work of a specialist at its true worth.
Cons of being a web designer
The main disadvantage of a career in web design is a lot of competition. It attracts many: interesting tasks, high demand and good income – in this situation it is difficult to remain indifferent. In addition, you can learn everything you need on your own, as long as you have a computer with Internet access and the very desire to learn. That’s why so many people try web design, but some beginners can’t stand it and leave. To achieve success, perhaps, as in any field, is difficult, but not unrealistic. The main thing that a beginner should take care of is to collect an excellent portfolio.
Another disadvantage of the profession of a web designer is sedentary work. After many hours of work at the computer, the shoulders and back begin to hurt, the eyes get tired. Therefore, periodically you need to warm up, do exercises for the eyes, switch from one activity to another, so as not to “burn out”.
Remote work and a free schedule are not an advantage for everyone. The office has a clear routine, established and known in advance working hours, control of superiors. When working remotely, you need to plan your own time and develop good self-discipline. This job is not for everyone.
Web design is a profession that you cannot learn even in the best university. This direction is relatively new, and fresh information on it appears quickly – the program in educational institutions simply would not have time to update. Universities can only teach skills that are offered by related fields, such as graphic design.
In fact, a higher education diploma is not so important in a web design career. The presence of practical experience is much more valued. A specialist’s portfolio can tell more about him than education documents.
The most suitable and prestigious educational institution is the British Higher School of Design. Here you can learn product interface design. But you can’t do it from scratch. The requirements are:
- skills in working with a graphic editor;
- experience in a digital environment (desirable) – a designer, developer, product analyst, and so on;
- basic knowledge of English to work with documentation.
Learning in online courses will be faster and more efficient. A good bonus at the end will be a ready-made portfolio and assistance with employment.
A sociological survey of employers conducted by Russian analysts in 2018 showed that IT workers (social network administrators, programmers, web designers and other specialists) are now considered the most in demand.
The demand for these specialties is explained by the fact that society is now increasingly moving into the sphere of virtual space, which is becoming a functional tool and a convenient platform for both simple communication and business.
Employment and career
Web designers work in:
- studios and digital agencies;
- IT companies (the most famous of the large ones are Google and Yandex);
- advertising agencies.
Often, entrepreneurs and individuals resort to the services of web designers to create a personal website.
For a novice specialist, while there is little experience, it is better to think about a career in a web studio. Improving the acquired skills in teamwork is what a beginner needs. You can find a job on stock exchanges, thematic forums, sites with vacancies, and so on. The highest rung of the career ladder in this case is the lead designer and art director.
As for freelancing, growth in it is due to the accumulated experience in large projects for well-known customers. Of course, you are unlikely to receive such orders right away, but each, even a small, completed project is a plus in the treasury of experience.
Knowledge in related fields, obtained by a web designer during his studies and work, allows, if desired, to change profession and become a programmer or network administrator.
Prospects for the future
Clubs, firms, studios, shops, restaurants, industrial companies – any business needs its own website to post information about their services. Programmers are engaged in the direct creation of Internet pages, and web designers are engaged in their stylistic design. Therefore, you can be sure that this specialty will be relevant as long as the Internet exists.