Web designer: job description

Last updated: 21 Jun 2023, 15:40

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

Web designer job description

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

A web designer is responsible for creating the design and layout of a website or web pages. Unlike web developers, who specialise in creating new websites' structures and the code that forms these, web designers tend to focus on the visual aspects of a site, such as its layout and its usability. However, there can be crossover between these two roles.

Typical duties include:

  • meeting clients to discuss their requirements and agree a brief
  • producing sample sites
  • keeping clients up to date with the progress
  • research user journey needs
  • testing site functionality and usability
  • demonstrating and receiving feedback about draft sites
  • keeping up to date with design trends and technological, software and accessibility developments
  • advising clients on search engine optimisation
  • designing graphics and logos
  • digital retouching and image editing
  • providing training and/or support once the site is signed off.

As a web designer, you could work in house, where you’ll work on projects for your own employer, or freelance, when you take on projects for a number of clients. In both scenarios, there can be pressure to meet deadlines and you may need to work extra hours.

Graduate salaries

According to JobTed, in-house entry-level web designers tend to earn around £19,000 and pay can increase to around £36,000 if you progress to a senior web designer role. Salaries are likely to be higher in London, according to Web Design.

Typical employers of web designers

  • Software companies.
  • IT consultancies.
  • Specialist web design companies.
  • Media and entertainment organisations.
  • Large corporate organisations.
  • Local and government organisations.
  • Charities.
  • Universities and other education providers.

Self-employment/freelance work is often possible once you have experience. You could also work as a contractor, taking on projects consecutively for a range of organisations.

Vacancies are advertised by careers services, by specialist recruitment agencies and on national and local job sites.

View our graduate IT and technology vacancies.

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, graphic design or a related subject.

If you’re a school leaver wanting to go into web design, look out for web designer apprenticeships.

Experience is important for both graduates and school leavers. Aim to create a portfolio of your best work and be ready to talk about web design projects you’ve worked on.

Key skills for web designers

  • Technical skills and enthusiasm for constantly building new ones.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Analytical skills.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Project management skills.
  • Excellent IT skills.
  • Experience of using visual design programmes such as Photoshop and Illustrator.

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