Interested in how to become a web designer? You’re not alone. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment among web designers and digital developers is on track to grow a staggering 13 percent over the next decade, with over 17,000 new jobs hitting the market each year.
The organization attributes this growth to businesses moving online and increased usage of mobile devices. The need to replace individuals who have transferred to other occupations or are getting ready to retire also comes into play.
Check out the article below for important steps on how to become a successful web designer in 2023!
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What Does a Web Designer Do?
Web designers plan, create, and code websites and specific web pages. They are responsible for the layout and specific design elements, including text, sound, graphics, and video.
They may also be tasked with meeting and liaising with clients, tracking performance, website hosting responsibilities, and making updates to existing web pages.
10 Tips for Aspiring Web Designers
Although certain employers will require a bachelor’s degree to begin work, the truth is that there is a wide range of requirements for aspiring web designers. Some folks have managed to break into the web design industry with an associate’s degree, while others have been able to pull it off with just a high school diploma.
What matters most is that you master a few critical skills before beginning the job hunt. Read on for more information about what it takes to become a professional web designer.
1. Learn Web Design Theory
Web design theory revolves around how information is presented on the page. This involves proportions, grid systems, color theory, and more. Successful web designers will understand the different principles that contribute to a successful interaction with a website. They’ll know which elements to use to grab the audience’s attention and help them navigate your webpage.
3. Learn How to Code
All web designers should have a solid grasp of programming languages. Coding knowledge will allow them to dodge the restrictions that website building programs often present.
4. Get Familiar With Web Design Tools
Web professionals should also maintain an understanding of related fields to perform their jobs effectively. Designers can lean on various design software used for graphic design to create and edit images for new projects.
They should also be familiar with popular Content Management System (CMS) software. Having some hands-on experience with WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal will help with making adjustments to the site’s design.
5. Get Educated on SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) refers to a digital marketing technique site owners use to ensure their website maintains a strong virtual presence. A more in-depth understanding of the practice will help web designers make their site more friendly to users and search engine bots alike.
6. Pay Attention to User Experience
Web designers should understand the UX design principles needed to keep users on a page. This means making sure pages load quickly and are responsive to different devices and screen sizes, otherwise known as “responsive design.” It also means making sure users can easily find all necessary information on your site in as few steps as possible.
7. Learn to Prototype
Website prototypes provide a mock-up of what the website will look like once it goes live. They are an essential part of the design process. These models should include HTML and additional code to provide a more hands-on experience for the clients. You can present them to clients for feedback before moving things forward.
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8. Keep Up With Metrics & Analysis
Sure, website creation is a big part of the job. But tracking how well those sites perform is also part of the description. Web designers should get familiar with the tools needed to track key metrics and ROI. This information can be used when deciding how to proceed with your website strategy.
9. Follow the Trends
Technology changes rapidly, and anyone involved in web design needs to keep up with the latest trends. Stay on top of industry news to see what kinds of developments are taking place. Check in with popular online communities, attend networking events, and keep up with other web designers to learn more about critical updates.
10. Create a Strong Portfolio
Creating a portfolio is a great way to help you along in your web design journey. After all, talented web designers should know how to show off their skills. Potential clients will appreciate the opportunity to see your work before handing over their business. T
Portfolios may include full web pages, prototypes, apps, templates, themes, and more. You can even put together your own website to help advertise your services and demonstrate your skills.
Other Important Skills for Web Developers
The steps listed above are a great way to get started as a web designer. However, to secure a successful career in the industry, it’s important to maintain some additional skills. Check out the list below to learn more.
Individuals should master the foundational skills before pursuing a career in web design. They’ll need to know how to navigate different technical aspects of the job, from basic coding skills to different types of design software.
More often than not, web designers work as part of a team, and they’ll need to align themselves with other developers, UX designers, SEO managers, and more. It’s also important to check in with clients to keep them updated on how their websites are performing and if any changes need to be made.
The ability to communicate effectively will go a long way in job interviews as well.
Time Management Skills
Whether you work a standard 9-5 or spend most of your time with freelance web design, time management is essential. Web designers often work on multiple projects at once, so it’s important to make sure you’re progressing with each one.
Task lists and calendar apps can help you track productivity and keep tabs on projects that may need some special attention.
Work Environment and Salary Expectations
The work environment for web designers varies significantly from person to person. According to the BLS, 18% of all web designers work for self-employed individuals. Other leading employers include computer systems design services, the publishing industry, advertising agencies, and technical consultants.
Top Web Design Certifications in 2023
While you don’t necessarily need a degree to get into web design, certain initiatives can help propel your career forward.
Getting certified in digital design software or marketing analytics is a great way to prepare for a job in the field, stand out from the competition, and demand higher compensation. Listed below are a few of the most popular certifications for web designers.
Adobe Certified Expert
The Adobe Certified Expert Certification demonstrates proficiency across Adobe’s graphic design and digital communication products. This certification can be pursued by either graphic designers or web developers and can be achieved by passing one or more product-specific Adobe certification exams.
You don’t need any formal training to sit for the exam, but some experience with the Adobe platform will definitely help improve your performance. Review the exam questions listed in their certification guide to better assess your skills. Online tests are also available to help you gauge your knowledge.
Google Mobile Web Specialist
The Google Mobile Web Specialist Certification has become increasingly popular among web developers over the years. Professionals can distinguish themselves from the competition by demonstrating their skills in computer programming languages, site infrastructure, and cache strategy.
The certification exam revolves around writing code in a timed, performance-based exam. The $99 exam fee includes three exam attempts. Those who pass will also be granted access to program benefits to help increase your visibility as a certified developer.
General Assembly Bootcamp
The 10-week course is offered both online or at one of the organization’s many institutions around the globe. Global Assembly has an employer sponsorship package, where part-time students can receive tuition reimbursement from their companies.
A GA certificate also provides access to practitioners and peers who can help graduates succeed through their global alumni network.
Relevant Web Design Jobs
Completing these Bootcamps and certificate programs won’t just prepare you for a career as a web designer, but a number of adjacent professions as well. The technical knowledge and design skills gained during these programs qualify you for other entry-to-mid-level positions, depending on your experience. Some of the most closely related job titles include:
- Front-End Developer
- Front-End Designer
- UX Designer
- Product Manager
- Mobile Developer
- Graphic Designer
- SEO Technical Specialist
- Multimedia Programmer
Web development requires specific technical skills and an interest in emerging technologies. It’s not always easy, but it certainly is rewarding. It also happens to be one of the fastest-growing careers in the United States, with over 150,000 new jobs expected to hit the market by 2030.
The New England Institute of Technology is happy to help you kick off your career in website design. Our comprehensive associate degree program will introduce core visual communication skills, including digital photography and computer graphics.
Graduates will be qualified for careers as web developers, graphic artists, multimedia designers, or art directors. Students can also choose to further their education. With our bachelor’s degree program, students will master cross-media content delivery via ePub and mobile devices and create a “branded” portfolio to use during the job search.
Fill out this form to get more information, or call us at 401-467-7744.
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What tools do web designers and web developers use?
Web designers and developers use a wide range of tools; these may include but are not limited to Adobe Photoshop, Wix, WordPress, InVision Studio, Sketch, Marvel, Figma, and more. Learn more about web design tools now.
Web designer vs. graphic designer. What’s the difference?
Web designers plan, create, and maintain new or existing websites. The job includes both how the website looks and how it’s structured. On the other hand, graphic designers focus more on graphics and illustrations to present ideas.
They spend more time working with logos, posters, brochures, or packaging. More recently, graphic designers started incorporating digital assets into their list of responsibilities. Even still, out of the two, web designers maintain the most technical skills.
How long does it take to become a web designer?
The answer largely depends on what path you take to becoming a web developer. Those who go at it on their own can learn the skills in software in just six months. Meanwhile, an associate’s degree in web design takes about two years to complete, while bachelor’s degree programs typically last around four years.
What is a web designing salary?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, web designers earn an annual median wage of $77,200. However, this rate may vary depending on education, experience, and location. The organization confirms that the highest ten percent of earners made over $146,000 annually while the lowest ten percent pocket just over $40,000 per year.