Careers in Web Design

Summary: Web designers determine the most effective way to present Web pages. To be successful in a career in Web design, you must be creative and artistic, understand technology, and be knowledgeable about business.

What is a Web designer?

Today most companies and millions of individuals have websites. Web designers determine the most effective and attractive way to present information on the Web. They must be creative and artistic, understand technology, and be knowledgeable about business.

Some Web designers do their own coding by using scripting and programming languages such as XHTML, JavaScript, and PHP and databases such as MySQL. Other designers work in conjunction with programmers. They use software such as Fireworks or Dreamweaver to prepare their designs, and a programmer does the coding. Many websites have a commercial purpose; hence, knowledge about business, especially Web-based business, is a desirable characteristic for a Web designer.

Where do Web designers work?

Self-Employed

Web design can easily be done from home; as a result, many Web designers work as freelancers. They may have started by creating their own Web site and then moved to creating Web sites for paying customers. Many freelancers specialize in a particular type of business or industry, such as nonprofits, religious organizations, or small businesses.

Consulting Firms

Some information-technology consulting firms offer Web design services. Businesses contract with these firms to design their websites.

Business, Industry, and Government

Large companies and federal, state, and local governments usually have their own Web development teams that consist of programmers, designers, and writers. The programmers do the coding, the designers do the graphics and layout, and the writers write the content.

What do Web designers do?

Requirements Analysis

Web designers meet with clients to gain an understanding of their needs. They then prepare sample designs and layouts. With the assistance of the Web designer, the client selects the best design for the company.

Artwork Creation

Web designers are responsible for making websites visually appealing. They create the graphics and artwork that appear on the site.

Page Coding

Using scripting languages such as XHTML, programming languages such as PHP, and databases such as MySQL, the Web designer codes the pages or works with a programmer who codes the pages.

Testing

After the pages are coded, the designer tests them to ensure that links and graphics function properly. The Web designer may be responsible for maintaining the web pages.

What are the educational requirements for becoming a Web designer?

You do not need a college degree to be a Web designer. However, you may want to attend college or take training courses to obtain the skills you need.

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