A Web designer plans and fabricates the pages of websites, integrating various applications into sites and pages. They are responsible for the layout and workability of all content on a Web page whether these elements are static (text, images and background patterns) or active (links, forms or audio and video elements).
Web design is a do-it-yourself art form learned primarily through the hands-on activity of site building. In the developing landscape of Web 2.0, the tools and techniques for creating websites have grown considerably more complex. Do you have what it takes to be a Web designer?
A bachelor’s degree and solid knowledge of computer design software — particularly Animator, Illustrator, CGI and Flash — are the keys to enhancing your job prospects in this field of Web design. To accommodate this increased complexity of both technology and design, a number of college degree programs have been established to train aspiring Web creators.
In the corporate world, a bachelor’s degree is the bare minimum for most entry-level Web designer positions, but some smaller organizations might accept an associate degree combined with a portfolio of relevant work experience.
The standards for design and functionality have evolved from simply having a Web presence to a demand that the site be eye-catching, purposeful, SEO friendly and an excellent visitor experience. To accomplish this goal, Web designers typically meet with clients to determine the purpose, extent and content of a proposed website. In a larger company, the Web designer might also take direction from the marketing or publicity departments.
To stand out as a Web designer, several technical skills are vital, including the following computer programs and languages:
The Web designer should have a good eye for color schemes, type fonts and harmonious layouts, keeping close watch on the functionality of the site and the user experience.
Employment prospects for Web designers should grow about as fast as the average for all occupations into the next decade. Competition for these positions is expected to increase, however, as many talented artists are attracted to this high-profile career.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average annual salary for a Web designer was about $67,370 in 2006. According to Robert Half International, a staffing services firm, the salary range for Web designers in 2007 ran from $47,000 to $71,500 per year.