Web designer: job description

Web designer: job description

Web designers plan, create and code internet sites and web pages, many of which combine text with sounds, pictures, graphics and video clips.

What does a web designer do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

A web designer is responsible for creating the design and layout of a website or web pages. It and can mean working on a brand new website or updating an already existing site. Their role is different to web developers, who specialise in making web designs a reality or writing code that dictates how different parts of the website fit together. However, there can be crossover between the two roles.

Responsibilities of the job include:

  • creating website designs
  • producing sample sites
  • meeting with clients to discuss requirements and/or project progress
  • demonstrating and receiving feedback about draft sites
  • keeping up to date with recent technological and software developments
  • developing skills and expertise in appropriate software/programming languages such as HTML and Javascript
  • creating products that are user-friendly, effective and appealing
  • digital retouching and image editing
  • working as part of a multidisciplinary team

There can be some pressure to meet deadlines and so extra hours may be required.

Typical employers of web designers

  • Software companies
  • IT consultancies
  • Specialist web design companies
  • Large corporate organisations
  • Any organisation that uses computer systems

Self-employment/freelance work is often possible for individuals with appropriate experience. Vacancies are advertised online, by careers services and by recruitment agencies.

Qualifications and training required

There are routes into web design for both university graduates and school leavers. For jobs advertised to graduates, employers are likely to seek a degree in digital media design or a related subject. Whether you have a related degree or not, you will need to be able to present a portfolio of your best web design work.

School leavers wanting to go into web design should look out for web designer apprenticeships and should expect to have to prove their interest, for example by having relevant work experience to talk about. To find out more about getting into IT and technology via a school leaver route, visit the IT and technology section of TARGETcareers, our website aimed at school leavers.

Key skills for web designers

  • Imagination
  • Creativity
  • Patience
  • Attention to detail
  • Analytical skills
  • Communication skills
  • Technical ability
  • Excellent IT skills
  • SEO knowledge
  • Experience of using programmes such as PhotoShop and InDesign
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