Web design is an area of the creative arts that is growing in demand. A web designer has the job of arranging how a website is setup. This means that that they are in charge of both how a website looks and how it functions. This means that the website’s visual appeal cannot overpower the actual functionality of the site.
However if you want people to pay attention to the site and respect it, it is also important to make it look attractive, as well. This is where a web design career becomes difficult, or at least complicated. How does one balance a page’s aesthetic appeal with usability? Years of training go into this, as well as having the natural ability to think creatively and also work with software that is constantly updating.
First is to work with the software pre-training. This is best for people aspiring to become web designers. Before you have a chance to start your real training learn some of the basics. One trying to get into a web design career could start by learning some of the basics of HTML. While this knowledge may not be directly used in modern projects it can be an essential tool for anyone with a web design career to know. It is much like learning the basics of any language.
Understanding how to use HTML is the first step in web design. Next play around with whatever modern editor you can get your hands on. Learning on a variety of softwares is good, especially when this includes the software used by professionals. Perhaps try a few sample projects from online tutorials, or ‘fun projects’ just for the practice.
Next is to get formal training. This means finding a certification or degree program that covers web design. Be sure to get a certification or program that is specific to web design. From here you must take the path that most professionals take, which is internship. This will entail working with existing web designers in order to learn even more about web design, which especially includes learning how to work in a real life web design office, with all the complications that come along with that.
There is an alternative to all of this formal training however. This is self-training, and is a faster, but less ‘safe’ path for those hoping to begin a web design career. This entails entirely self-taught web design skills. You will not likely be able to find an actual job as a web designer at first. When comparing your resume to others who have certifications, yours will seem quite lacking. Thus you must build it by working in other areas such as marketing or administration where you will have web design responsibilities.
It is notable that these are not really equal paths in getting into a web design career. While it is possible to be an excellent and very hirable self-taught designer, it is unlikely. Often this is done when people have already started in one area and then change into web design, usually still with a focus on their original field. A real certification program will always be the best way to get into a web design career.
There are 3 levels of web design careers. First is a junior designer. This is the lowest level of graduated designer, and is the title given to designers from the time they leave school up until their third year of work. From here you become a ‘real’ web designer. This is the full-fledged job with individual projects. Finally, there is the senior web designer, who will be in charge of large teams of designers and will train junior designers. Of course, each promotion will bring more money than the previous one, starting at about $21 an hour for a junior designer and ending at about $36 an hour at median for a senior designer.
A web design career is a lucrative and rewarding one. But in this same way it is a demanding one, with training, talent and creativity all being important considerations.