What do web designers actually do?

As a web designer, you are responsible for making general decisions, such as the menus that appear on the site, and the smallest details, such as what font, color, and graphics to use. A web designer creates the layout and design of a website. In simple terms, a website designer makes a site look good. Depending on who you ask, web designers seem to do it all these days.

This is because the term “web designer” is often used as an integral label for anyone who creates websites. The truth is a little more complicated than that. It takes a lot of planning, content creation, artistic effort, coding, and hiring specialists to make a website a reality. Web designers are one of those specialists, but they tend to play a very specific role in the whole process.

Whether you want to become a web designer or want to hire one, it's important to familiarize yourself with what web designers do and don't exactly do. Otherwise, you could end up wasting time and money. With that in mind, let's look at the typical responsibilities of a web designer and where they fit into the web development process.

web design

is the process of establishing the aesthetic appearance of a web page, including how the content is organized and how the elements of the design are implemented.

Web designers often focus on what is called the “front end” of the website, the part of the website that users actually see and interact with (as opposed to the “background code” that makes the website work). That said, web designers are generally not responsible for creating a website that works, but rather they focus only on establishing the visual design. Developers write the code that makes websites work, and website development requires a different set of skills and sensitivities than design. To understand what a web designer does, let's briefly review the most common roles involved in the steps of creating a website.

In short, a web designer refers to the goals set by a website strategist and the outline of a UX designer, and combines the content of graphic designers, copywriters and user interface designers into a finished web page mockup. Developers then take that design mockup file, separate and export the graphical elements, and use the code to turn it into a live web page. All of this means that if you're looking to hire a web designer, you should have your strategy and most of your website content ready or finished. With all that said, take these job descriptions with a grain of salt.

They are generalizations and describe the traditional definitions of these roles. As mentioned earlier, many people use the term “web designer” broadly, so it can mean different things to different people. There can be overlap between the functions that most web designers do their own market research, have graphic design and UX, and some can even function as developers (especially on the front end). It's also not uncommon for companies (or customers) to combine roles and responsibilities based on their budget.

Before starting a project, always make sure you're in line with your expectations for the position. Let's go into a step-by-step breakdown of everything a web designer generally has to be responsible for creating finished web pages. If you're thinking about becoming a web designer, you should consider the type of skills you'll need to set yourself up for success. While a college degree is certainly not a bad idea, it's becoming more and more common today for designers to be self-taught, and there are plenty of web design tutorials available online.

At the end of the day, web designers are designers, and even if they're not creating logos, they should know how to combine text, text, images, and color in a way that's visually pleasing. In particular, they should know how to strategically leverage design principles to create the desired effect on the viewer. This also includes knowing the history of design, knowing which design trends are still useful, and which are exaggerated and tiring. Although coding should normally be left to a developer, creating a website is a technical task, regardless of how you divide it.

Web designers need to be aware of technical capabilities and limitations, so it's often helpful to be familiar with the code to know which design options will work and which won't. Some design effects or textures can be difficult to implement with code, and some can result in file sizes that slow down the loading of a web page. If you need to hire a web designer or are curious about the options web designers have to find work, there are several possibilities. Many work in agencies and can be found through references from previous employers or other colleagues.

A common place to find web designers looking for work are professional networks and job sites such as LinkedIn. Web designers have a role to play in creating a website, but contrary to popular opinion, they don't do everything. They are largely responsible for the visual construction of a web page. But considering that images are the part of the website that users interact with, it's a great job worthy of a dedicated position.

To achieve a web design that stands out, make sure you work with a web designer who knows what they do and how to do it. Web designers are not primarily responsible for knowing how the code works, but for making sure that it is aesthetically pleasing and easy to use for website visitors. They will use graphic design software that includes products such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Inkscape (a great alternative to Photoshop) and GIMP. Ultimately, they will design the website design through the construction of prototypes and wireframes.

Designers control the flow of information and may even be responsible for website analysis. Web designers often create mockups of their designs using software such as Adobe Photoshop or Sketch. These mockups can be presented to customers for feedback before the designer starts working on the actual website. A web designer is responsible for creating the design and layout of a website or web pages.

And it can mean working on a new website or updating an existing site. Their role is different from that of web developers, who specialize in making web designs a reality or writing code that dictates how the different parts of the website fit together. However, there may be a cross between the two functions. As these technologies become more widespread, web designers will need to be prepared to design for them.

When negotiating with a company about pricing, web designers need to know what competitor prices are and market their services competitively relative to their level of experience and location. It will ask you four to five simple questions and use your answers to match the web design offerings that make the most sense. You'll even learn how to find, get and complete your first paid web design project in a matter of months. To be successful as a web designer, one needs to have a polished, professional and eye-catching portfolio to showcase the past projects that you are most proud of and show any prospective client or employer that you can do the same magic for them.

UX design is about being an advocate for users and improving usability while trying to use that extensive user research to identify opportunities and support overall business objectives. Web designers can use programming languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, they will use graphic design software that includes products such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and GIMP to help create eye-catching designs, and they will test their designs through prototyping and wireframe construction. These websites offer the ability to showcase designers' expertise in color schemes, graphic design skills, and creativity. As you can see, there's nothing mysterious or mind-blowing about the skills you need to be a web designer, but then there's the question of where and how to learn them.

These tools often allow web designers to focus on the general elements of their websites instead of getting stuck in the weeds and worrying about smaller tasks. Web design has been an established career path for more than two decades, and over time a number of design conventions and standard practices have been established. The part-time User Experience (UX) Design course was developed for professionals interested in UX design. Learning visual design means creating idea boards and type hierarchies, and experimenting with web fonts and color palettes.

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Juan Panzarella
Juan Panzarella

Freelance zombie junkie. Passionate social media junkie. Total pop culture practitioner. General creator. Incurable food practitioner.