Web Designer

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What does a Web Designer do?

This post is another addition to our series of posts about the most demanded IT professions. Here we are going to talk about the Web Designer profession. We will discuss the needed skills, qualifications, and median salaries.

Who is a Web Designer?

A Web Designer is a person with artistic taste and knowledge of Internet technology who creates layouts for web pages, landing pages, and whole websites. He or she can also specialize in designing interfaces for online services and apps, layouts for email newsletters, online ads, banners, ad campaigns for different brands and occasions. The main task of a professional is to design an Internet project so that it would attract and interest as many visitors/users as possible.

Web page design is more about information and not graphic design. Web Designers solve multiple tasks that highly influence the success of the developed product. These tasks include:

  1. Identification of the goals and needs of the website visitors;
  2. Planning and designing of the website structure;
  3. Website interface development;
  4. Website navigation development;
  5. Taking care of user interaction with the system;
  6. Structuring and preparation of the content and control of its quality.

The usual Web Designer's workflow looks like this:

  1. The client addresses the designer or the manager of the company and explains what product he or she needs, explaining how it should work and who is the target audience. Sometimes, a customer isn’t sure about these points, so a designer or a manager, who communicates with the client, has to clarify such details by asking multiple questions. The client’s answers are then documented in a signed brief.
  2. Web Designer creates sketches or prototypes of the future site on paper or using special software. At this stage, the prototypes are purely schematic and include only the position of the main web page parts.
  3. Based on the prototypes, the designer creates a coloured layout. Here he or she adds animation, chooses main fonts, colour combinations, etc., i.e., creates the final layout.
  4. The ready layout is then given to the client for approval or a team of web developers who will transform the web design into a functional website or app.

Web Designer skills

To apply for the Web Designer positions, you need the following skills:

  1. Proficiency working in Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, CorelDraw, Axure, and other graphic editors;
  2. Basic knowledge of HTML and CSS.
  3. Ability to design and implement prototypes (including interactive ones);
  4. Knowledge and skills in the implementation of usability principles, i.e., the basics for a user-friendly interface development;
  5. Comprehension of how users use a website or an app. Ability to create easy-to-use interfaces for audiences with different backgrounds, knowledge, skills, etc.
  6. Comprehension of technical limitations, i.e., what design solutions can be realized and what cannot.
  7. Basic knowledge of Internet marketing;
  8. Impeccable sense of style.

Desirable skills and knowledge:

  1. Knowledge and experience in website creation and promotion.
  2. Website testing experience.
  3. A broad outlook, a desire to constantly grasp new knowledge and master new things.
  4. Art education or a degree

Web Designer requirements

The basic requirements to get your first Web Designer job are:

  • Proficiency in Photoshop, Illustrator, CorelDraw, Flash (occasionally, other graphics programs).
  • Ability to create icons, illustrations, and banners.
  • Portfolio or at least several examples of your work;
  • Basic HTML and CSS knowledge for the comprehension of how graphic design is transformed into code;
  • Ability to create website prototypes in such software as Figma and others.

Some job descriptions also include such requirements as:

  • Knowledge of website/apps usability principles;
  • Experience designing and creating visualizations of user interfaces;
  • Knowledge and experience working with layouts for iOS and Android.
  • Ability to design and draw infographics;
  • The ability to draw by hand.

Web Designer qualifications

You don’t need any special qualifications or certificates to apply for Web Designer positions. A portfolio of 5-10 websites is usually sufficient to get hired if you have the skills and sense of style suitable for the employer. The skills of working with graphic editors and creating a portfolio can be obtained on your own in 5-8 months. If you want to speed up the process, you can enrol in a short web design course. And as for the speed of work, it all comes with experience. The more projects you realize, the faster you can create new ones. In order to become a highly paid specialist, you need to develop additional skills besides working with visual design. It means that you need to understand usability and know how to make the interface understandable and easy to use for the end customer.

Web Designer vs Web Developer

Many people don’t understand what the difference between these two professions is. Indeed, they both participate in the website creation but implement a bit of different functions. Web Designer is accountable for the creation of a design project, a layout that will be used for the future website. He or she doesn’t write the code but uses only graphic editors. However, the basic knowledge of HTML and CSS still is highly preferable. And Web Developer transforms the layout into a functional website through coding. Besides, there are different kinds of web developers. The Front-end developer is accountable for the user interface design and functionality implementation, while the Back-end developer works with the server, storage, cloud, and other “backstage” areas of the website or app. There are also Full-stack developers, who can do all development work. But usually, they work with the product prototypes, and for the final version, separate specialists are invited.

Web Designer Salary

An average salary of a Web Designer in the USA is $51,000 a year. A young specialist with less than one year of experience usually receives around $43,000 annually. A specialist with several years of experience can expect a pay of $49,000. The specialists with 5-10 years of experience get an annual pay of around $60,000. In Canada, the same positions, on average, are rewarded with C$48,000 or around $40,000 a year. Entry-level specialists receive around C$40,000 or $33,000 a year. Specialists with less than 5 years of experience are paid $46,000 or $38,000 annually. And experts with 5-10 years of experience earn on average C$55,000 or $45,000 a year.
In India, the average annual Web Designer salary is ₹276,000 or $3,800. A young specialist with minimum experience can count on around ₹196,000 or $2,700 a year. A specialist with less than 5 years of experience receives around ₹250,000 or $3,400 annually. And a specialist with 5-10 years of experience, on average, is paid around ₹500,000 or $6,800 a year.

The major IT companies offer the following salaries to Web Designers:

  • Microsoft pays the specialists in this position on average $48,000 a year.
  • Google pays Web Designers on average $53,000 annually.
  • An average salary of a Web Designer working at Amazon is around $55,000 a year.

As for the salaries these companies offer for Web Designers who work for them from India, we couldn’t find reliable information. However, based on the research for other IT positions outsourced from the country, we can say that they are a little above the average of the national salary level for the same positions at other companies.

Responsibilities of Web Designer
Creation of brief/terms of reference based on the client’s needs, requirements
Creation of the website prototype
Creation of the website pages layouts
Creation and optimization of Front-end code using JavaScript and HTML
Development of the convenient website or web page navigation
Revision of the design of the existing pages
Preparation of the layouts for the transformation into the functional website by programmers
Creation of the terms of reference for the website developer
Selection of the website color scheme
Designing of web interfaces
Designing of web and mobile banners
Designing styles for social networks, i.e., the creation of avatars, covers, teasers, banners, etc.
Checking the layout after it has been transferred into the functional website
Salary of Web Designer
junior 250000-400000
middle 400000-500000
senior 500000-1000000