What is web design? Web design covers a variety of disciplines and skills in the creation and maintenance of web sites. The various fields of web design span the entire gamut of website development and design. The different disciplines of web design encompass web graphic design; web user interface design; multimedia design; creative technology, including Adobe Photoshop; and search engine optimizing. In addition to these disciplines, web designers also have to learn about database designing, web publishing, and commerce.
The majority of professional website designers are employed by web development companies. There are many individuals who work from home as freelance web designers and there are a small number who work for specific companies, such as Google, which employ only web developers. Generally speaking, web developers make and implement the applications that support the business of a website. Web developers use several software tools, such as Adobe Dreamweaver, FrontPage, and PHP, to facilitate web page creation and application development.
Web developers are often called “web designers” or “USP” (user experience designers). User experience (US) designers focus on creating websites that are user-friendly. User interface (UI) designers focus on enhancing the user experience through the creation of interfaces. Web content writers write web content such as articles, reviews, technical manuals, and newsletters. Web masters, or developers, are responsible for the management of content.
Currently, there is a great deal of job opportunity for web designers. According to a 2020 edition of the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) web designer employment outlook survey, “Ten years ago, this field was considered a recession-proof industry…The actual number of job openings was very low when compared to the growing number of people with computer knowledge and internet access.” In response to this negative forecast, the web designer employment market has actually “boasted a net gain of approximately thirteen thousand positions over the last two years, and this pace is expected to continue.”
The job market for web designers and developers has also increased because “there are more people who recognize the potential profit and benefit of the web design process.” This recognition is particularly true for companies that are embarking on the “green” movement. Because the Internet has become so integral to many people’s daily lives, it makes sense for businesses to take full advantage of the technology by creating websites and other online applications that make their products and services accessible to more people. The more user-friendly a site is, the more likely visitors will be to buy.
Web designers create websites for a number of different types of clients. For example, they may work for non-profit organizations that want to create websites for fundraisers, political campaign initiatives, and nonprofit organizations. Similarly, websites created by web designers are often used by businesses to promote themselves by online journalists to generate traffic, and by advertising agencies as a method of driving up sales.
In addition to working on a freelance basis, web designers must build websites based on a client’s specific needs and specifications. For instance, if a homeowner wants to display his or her photographs, then a web designer would not just select templates from a photo gallery and place them on a home page. Rather, a homeowner would be expected to fill out an online form detailing his or her lifestyle, preferences in clothing, and goals. This form will then be sent to various web applications, such as social networking sites, and requests for photos will be submitted through email.
Most web designers find that their income increases dramatically when they begin to develop websites in conjunction with other professionals, such as advertising agencies. This practice is referred to as team building, and web designers must develop websites alongside their designers, submitting their portfolios and discussing their projects in depth with their colleagues. Web portfolios are often used by professional graphic and web designers as reference materials in order to apply for jobs in design-heavy industries, such as advertising agencies.