How to be a Website Designer
- 26th June 2014
- Posted by: Juan van Niekerk
- Category: Web Design
In order to become a website designer it is beneficial to have a set of skills and personal attributes, along with the relevant qualifications and business flair, which will assist you in manipulating the visual elements of a website whilst ensuring it is user friendly.
These visual elements of websites, the ones you find yourself poring over, are what get you wondering how people create such amazing platforms. The colours, the images, videos and sound all appeal to your senses and creative flair. You also perhaps find yourself wanting to be a part of this tech savvy group that make the internet an aesthetically pleasing place. But how do you get from browsing to creating, from consumer to creator?
To understand how to become a website designer, let’s look at what kind of person is a website designer.
Website Designer Attributes
A website designer is someone who possesses some or all of the following attributes:
- Creative Flair
- Attention to detail
- Excellent Communicator
- Ability to work under pressure
- A passion for the internet and social media
These can be considered soft skills which are required of website designers in the working world. However, on top of soft skills, it’s also important to have the relevant technical skills.
Website Designer Skill Set
Website design professionals are among the most sought after in the IT industry. Therefore proficiency in the following areas is imperative for web design:
- Graphic design: Photoshop and Illustrator
- Strong writing skills
- UX : User experience
- SEO, marketing and social media
In order to be able to acquire such skills you need to study the correct courses which can give you a competitive edge in the work place. Web design is a field which is constantly being updated with new information and designers need to keep up with these trends.
Consequently it may seem a daunting task to decide what it is that you should study or where to begin studying in the field of web design. The following gives a starting point for those who wish to lay the foundation of their website design studies.
What kind of Education do you need to be a Website Designer
A good place to begin, or upgrade your skill set, is by opting for CIW.
What is the CIW Certification?
|Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW) is an internationally recognised set of courses and exams which certifies a person to be capable of website design. It is an IT and Web technology education and certification program that has trained more than 1 million people worldwide.|
Once you have qualified unfortunately it is not guaranteed that you will receive employment. Part of free lancing is being able to sell your skills to respective employers. If you do happen to be employed, there is more to web design than just applying your technical skills.
Successful Website Designers have Business Flair
|Being a web designer is multi-faceted and demands quite a fair amount of all round skill. However there’s still one more area you need to master to really shine as a web designer. It’s important to have an understanding of how to incorporate the needs of the business in to a website.|
4 Points that Website Designers need to Consider;
- Financial practicality
Whether you decide to become a freelancer, or work for a company, website design is often centred on supporting financial gain.
- Ability to promote
One of the main purposes of a website is often to promote a client’s business. A web designer has to consider all the facets of the business when he is designing the site in order to increase their online presence.
- Customer centric solutions
Often websites are created to entice customers to purchase a business’s products or services. It’s important for website designers to be able to design websites that are able to capture data from potential customers and turn that data into customer centric solutions for the business.
- Personal branding
If you are considering freelancing, it’s advised that a website designer should create a personal brand which he/she can use to secure employment or business opportunities. A good way of marketing yourself is by creating a portfolio which showcases the websites you have worked on.
Portfolio as a Means of Showcasing your Skills
|In order to show your experience, most designers have a portfolio which showcases their work and can be used as a means to attract clients for freelance opportunities or for gaining employment opportunities. It shows future employers what you’re capable of.|
So you need to have all the right attributes, correct skill set, international credentials and business flair. Did I mention you need to be a wizard too? Just kidding.
If by this stage the task of web design seems daunting, I hope the next paragraph paints a prettier picture of how you can reap the rewards of your wizard like skills.
What is the Salary of a Website Designer?
It can be expected that more than often website designers receive competitive salaries. However self-employed free-lancers set their own rates.
As you can see from the following graph when one decides to enter this field it can be expected that with time and experience as you make your way up the corporate ladder, so your salary increases.
So in order to cash in on this salary, there are a few daily tasks that will be required of you.
Website Designer Daily Tasks
The two main tasks of a website designer is to make sure that the layout of the website is user friendly, as well as ensuring that the overall impression of the website is visually appealing.
It also requires good team work, communication skills and problem solving abilities.
The following outlines what you can expect on a day to day basis:
- Meeting with clients to discuss their requirements for the website
Designing the structure, look and feel of the website
Working closely with the development team to build the website
Uploading content to the site
Ensuring that the site meets all functionality requirements
As we can see from the above list the duties of a web designer range from client meetings to checking the functionality of websites.
Having up-to-date qualifications and a portfolio that can showcase your creative abilities is always a good foundation to have when it comes to this career choice. So if you’re looking for a rewarding role in IT, which offers both financial and career satisfaction look no further than a career in web design.