What is a Web Designer? (With Duties, Salary and Skills)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 17 March 2023

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If you are technically savvy with strong creative skills, then you may consider a career in web design. In this career field, you can help companies create functional and aesthetically pleasing websites. Learning more about this position, including the typical duties, average salary and career steps, could help you determine whether it is a career you want to pursue. In this article, we explain what a web designer is, what they do and how you can become one.

Related: Pros And Cons Of Being A Web Designer (And Essential Skills)

What is a web designer?

To gain a better understanding of what is a web designer, it's important to know that a web designer is a professional who produces attractive and functional websites. They focus on making a positive experience for individuals who visit the website. A web designer's job is to encourage users to spend a longer time on the website and to create more traffic overall. These professionals analyse the latest trends in web design to learn more about what visitors want. They may also focus on creating web pages that reflect their clients' brands.

A web designer plans, designs and structures the layout of a website. This includes selecting the graphics, texts and images. They may build a new website or update an existing one to make it more efficient or attractive.

Related: How To Get the Job You Want

What does a web designer do?

Web designers may specialise in different areas, but their common duties include:

  • formatting websites using programming languages like HTML, CSS and PHP

  • designing the website in such a way that it looks visually appealing by selecting the layout, graphics and images

  • selecting the wireframes, or the schematic plans, and site maps for a new website

  • arranging the content on the website in a way that reflects a certain brand or experience

  • planning the layout and look of mobile apps

  • creating mock-up image files that show clients what the final project may look like

  • editing graphic images and media for the website

Web designer roles

Web design is a broad career field with many opportunities. A web designer can work on the entire website, or they may specialise in a certain area. Some specialities within the role of web designer include:

UI designer

A UI designer is a type of web designer that focuses on user interaction. They make sure that the users visiting the website can interact with the distinct elements on the website smoothly. A UI designer focuses on making the user interface, or the design a visitor sees when visiting a web page, easily accessible for all visitors.

UX designer

A user experience, or UX, designer's job is to ensure users actively engage with a website. A UX designer measures data and optimises the website to enhance usability and customer experience. They ensure the website matches the client's needs while trying to increase user activity. They may also help solve problems with the site by conducting tests and revising the website.

Graphic designer

A web designer may specialise in graphic design. In this role, they focus primarily on creating visual elements, such as the logo, icons or colour scheme. They may also select images for the website and work on the overall layout to ensure it is aesthetically pleasing.

How to become a web designer

If you are interested in becoming a web designer, consider following these steps:

1. Develop your skills

Find ways to build your skills and knowledge. While there are no specific degree requirements for this field, a course in web design could help you gain technical knowledge. Consider exploring courses online or at a local school in web design, graphic design or coding to help you develop your abilities.

Related: Computer Skills: Definition and Example

2. Earn a certificate

Complete a certification programme. A certificate is optional for this career, but it may help you qualify for more advanced roles. Earning certification shows employers you have developed technical skills and knowledge. There are various certifications you can consider. You may earn a certificate in a special software program, a programming language such as HTML or a general concept like web animation or web design.

Consider your interests and what software you may work with when selecting a certificate course. Typically, you can earn certification by completing an online course and taking an exam. You may also explore certification options at a local university.

3. Build your own website

When you have the necessary skills, consider creating a website for your business. This site can help showcase your skills to potential clients. Additionally, interested clients can learn about your abilities, availability and rates through this site. If you hope to find a contract or full-time position, you might also use the website to show a prospective employer your skills and creativity.

4. Apply for entry-level roles

After you have gained some practice designing websites, consider applying for entry-level roles. When searching, look for positions in overall web design, user experience or graphic design to help you develop your technical skills. You may also begin your career by finding freelance opportunities. As a freelancer, you work as a contracted employee for individual clients. This can help you develop your skills and technical knowledge.

5. Develop a portfolio

As you gain more clients and get involved in more work, consider creating a portfolio showcasing your work and specialities. You may include examples of your work and positive client feedback. Show your portfolio to prospective employers or clients to show your creative talents and experience. You might want to link your portfolio to your main business website.

6. Stay updated on design trends

As technology changes, web design techniques and tools can change too. Create a plan to stay updated on the latest design trends. This can help you find more clients and build your web design portfolio. Consider attending conferences, conducting individual research or taking courses at a local university to help you remain current on the latest developments, tools and trends in the field.

Related: HTML Interview Questions and Answers for Professionals

Skills required to become a web designer

A web designer needs a specialised set of technical skills. Here are some of the most important skills you might use in this career:

  • Software design: as a web designer, you should have basic knowledge about how to operate some designing tools. These tools can vary depending on your speciality and focus but may include layout programs or graphic design tools.

  • Basic web programming: you may need some basic understanding of web development languages like HTML, CSS and PHP.

  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): optimisation is an important part of web designing. Web designers use SEO knowledge and skills to make their websites easier to find, which can increase user traffic.

  • UI/UX designing: UI/UX designing skills can help you create user-friendly designs.

  • Digital marketing: as a web designer, you might also work on the digital marketing of your website to generate more traffic or increase user engagement.

  • Time management: time management skills are essential for web designers. Many web designers work in a fast-paced environment and have to keep track of numerous deadlines for their various projects.

  • Communication: communication skills are important in this career because they help you discuss goals with clients and collaborate with team members.

Related: How To Improve Communication Skills

Web designer average salary

The average national salary for web designers is ₹2,52,255 per year. Your salary can depend upon your geographic location, skills, experience and speciality. Having a strong portfolio with examples of your work can also help you attract more clients, which could lead to a higher salary.

FAQs about web designers

Here are some frequently asked questions about becoming a web designer:

What is the difference between a web designer and a web developer?

A web developer is a software professional who codes websites and integrates database systems. Web developers focus more on functionality while web designers pay more attention to aesthetics and user experience. Web designers and web developers often collaborate to create websites that function smoothly, look great and generate user traffic.

Is it hard to be a web designer?

Many aspiring web designers can learn the basics of HTML, graphic design and other web design skills within a few months. However, it may take you a longer time to refine your skills and develop more visually complex or pleasing websites. If you are willing to develop your skills and stay up-to-date with the latest trends, then you may be more likely to find web design a rewarding career.

Can I learn web design on my own?

It is possible to learn how to design websites on your own. There are many websites, books and other resources that can help you learn about web design and hone your skills. You can also practise web design skills as you learn them by creating sample websites or graphic designs.

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