Web design

Today, it’s relatively easy for anyone to build their own basic website. But if a business wants a site that stands out from the rest, they will probably need the services of a professional web designer.

Web design involves planning the look of a site and the experience the user has when moving around it. It’s about choosing the colours, typefaces, images, navigation and all the other features that guide people to the information they need and create the impression the site owner wants to give.

Work activities

The work of a web designer involves a combination of design and programming. The balance between these two elements can differ, but most web designers can use HTML and CSS to build a site. Many will also work with programmers on more complicated sites that have a lot going on behind the scenes.

A web designer begins by finding out exactly what the client wants to achieve and what resources are available. This usually involves meeting the client and providing sample pages and prototype versions of the site for discussion. Often, a web designer will be able to tell a client about new features that are available.

As a web designer, you would use applications such as Flash, Fireworks, Illustrator and Photoshop to build a site.

It’s important to remember that websites are marketing tools. They are built for clients who want to sell goods or services or publicise ideas or information. A web designer needs to know how to design a site so that it will appeal to the target audience and also be picked up by search engines.

Entry requirements

Some web designers start as graphic designers, learning the extra skills they need as they go.

Others have taught themselves how to design and code and get work purely on the basis of sites they have already built. A good portfolio that shows the range of what you can do is essential for any web designer.

It’s also possible to take a degree in web design and this would be a useful start for anyone.

A potential employer would also look for evidence that you understand the basics of marketing and that you communicate well with other people.

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