Web design entails creation and maintenance of websites. Creation of a website encompasses different aspects. Such aspects include graphic design, interface design and authoring as well as optimizing the website for the search engine. Web designers must be very creative. They rely on their creativity and technical skills to come up with a website that meets the client’s expectations and user friendly. Before they make a design, they visualize its appearance and how it will be used by the target user. One must have training on the web designs to have the necessary technical skills. According to McClelland, et al.(2000), the main responsibilities that fall on the shoulders of a web designer:
Meeting with potential clients to discuss on the requirements of the website.
Deciding the design layout of the website and how different parts link together.
Deciding the text, colours and other background features of the website.
Using the web design software to lay out pages, position buttons, links and pictures.
Adding multimedia components such as sounds, videos and animations.
Testing the website and making any necessary changes.
Uploading the created website to the server for online access.
Maintaining the website by updating it as required by the client.
McClelland, et al.(2000), further notes that there are skills that are essential for a web designer. A web designer is required to have:
An understanding of all important programming and scripting languages.
Knowledge of the working of the main web design applications.
A creative thinking.
Good problem-solving skills and logical.
Ability to work within deadlines.
A thorough understanding of the legal issues surrounding the websites and accessibility.
A willingness to learn up to date information to keep up with the changes in the world of technology.
Knowledge to work with equipments such as digital photo equipment, video and audio equipments as well as the scanners.
Basically, a web designer can work as an employee of a given firm or company on a permanent basis or on a contract basis. Sometimes, web designers work on part time basis as freelance designers. Those employed have an opportunity to climb up the ladder to a position of a website manager. However, freelance web designers have the opportunity to explore different opportunities that come their way because they are not limited to a single client. The average working hours for an employed web designer is 37 to 40 hours in a week. For a self-employed web designer, he or she has room to dictate working hours which are convenient. In the US, the starting salaries for web designers are between $20,000 and $30,000 a year. However, for the experienced designers, the salary is about $37,500 a year (Linton, H. 2000). According to Linton, specialists and senior designers can earn over $40,000 a year. Self-employed web designers set their own rates according to their marketability.
This research looks into different career opportunities in the web design industry. Of particular interest are the requirements for these careers. In addition, the responsibilities in each career position will be analyzed. Salary and other benefits associated with the career will be highlighted. Moreover, it will be important highlight the future of each particular career. In particular, five careers will be brought to focus. They include career in advertising agencies, carrier in graphic design studios, a career in e-learning institutions and companies, a career in the printing and publishing houses and a career in a television production house (Wiedemann, J. 2005).
A web designer in an advertising agency
In an advertising agency, the responsibilities of a web designer are very many. The basic role, though, is to help the company create awareness for the products and services offered to the public. Advertising entails informing the general public of what they can get from a given company. Using websites, it becomes very easy to carry out advertisement. First of all, the internet is used widely and its use is increasing through the use of modern devices such as tablets and mobile phones. When products and services are advertised using websites, one is sure that a wide population is reached.
To qualify as a web designer in an advertising agency, one must be able to develop a web page that captures the experience of the user and carries the voice of the brand that is advertised. The designer must demonstrate ability to create a website that can allow cross-browsing. The designer should be able to create a page that attracts the attention of the users. The language used should be understandable to any person. The design should allow easy navigation without problem. In other words, the web designer should be able to create a portfolio that is user-centered. The design should be able to carry large volume of content and accommodate high level of user interactions.
The duties of a web designer in an advertising agency include advising the client of the best strategies regarding advertisement as well as organizing and executing adverting campaigns on behalf of the client. In addition, it is the duty of the web designer to receive customer feedback on behalf of the client. Also, the web designer has the duty of placing advertisements and commercials on the advertising media on behalf of the client. The web designer also evaluates the effectiveness of the campaigns carried out in the light of the advertisement environment.
Salaries for the web designers in the advertising agencies vary. Freelance web designers are free to make their own salary ranges. Those that are employed are paid a fixed salary that varies from one agency to another.
A web designer in a graphic design studio
A web designer is important to a graphic design studio. In this sector, a web designer provides creative concepts and designs for print. A graphic designer has a responsibility of creating and modifying images to suit the preferences of the client. The images can later be used for advertising and in other communication media. Some duties are perform artwork and layout for logos, business cards, annual reports, brochures, posters, newsletters, magazines, signs, forms and other publications for publications (McClelland, et al., 2000). In web design, the same duties are tied to the use of the websites to broadcast the contents of the artwork. Therefore, a web designer must be able to create appealing images for the internet users.
The Activities that are carried out by the graphic designer are to meet potential clients such as creative directors of the organizations to discuss the needs of the projects. The designer then interprets the needs of the client and develops a concept that suits the purpose. He or she goes further to think creatively to produce new ideas and concepts. The designer then creates a high quality and suitable artwork for the client. The designer then uses the web designing skills to integrate the created artwork into the internet according to the specifications of the client. To accomplish all the outlined responsibilities, a web designer should have enough knowledge of new technologies and tends in the graphic design world. A web designer suitable for the graphic design studio one must be able to use Adobe Creative Suit, adobe acrobat, and web design language such as HTML. Other skills needed are ability to use MS Office, AfterEffects, DVD StudioPro and Flash programming language.
The pay range for a web designer in the graphics studio is from $24,000 to $30,000 (Vora, P. 2009). The salary depends on the organization that one gets employment and the experience one has in the field. In some companies, the workers are given other benefits such as health insurance and vacations. Working hours are between 9AM to 6PM unless otherwise stated by the firm management. On average, workers do not work for more than 50 hours in a week in most firms.
A web designer in an e-learning institution or a company
The concept of e-learning encompasses different aspects that involve the use of the computers and other electronic media. E-learning has been adopted widely in many places. Learning institutions are offering it as an option for those who do not have enough time to attend full time class sessions. Internet has become indispensable in this respect (Khosrow-Pour, M. 2002). The teacher and the learners must be able to interact online in an efficient manner. The design of the platforms that can support such interactions must be in place. That is where a web designer becomes crucial.
In e-learning platforms, the web designer must be able to create a website that can allow posting of assignments and other relevant materials. The teacher should also be able to receive feedback from the learners through the same website. Sometimes, the learning platform must accommodate use of cameras so that the teacher and the learners can see each other online in the course of the learning. Websites for e-learning must be specially designed to allow easy access and easy navigation (Khosrow-Pour, M. 2002). The website should also accommodate a lot of images in the animations.
The web designer must possess skills on the programming languages for the web pages. The created website should be able to accommodate interaction of many people simultaneously. In addition, the web designer must possess skills of MS Office, Adobe Creative Suit, adobe acrobat, and web design language such as HTML and Flash. In an e-learning platform, animations are very important. Therefore, the web designer must be able to integrate animations in the website. The website should also offer ability to be cross-linked with other websites (Belford, et al., 2010).
The working conditions for a web designer on an e-learning platform are suitable. The working hours are between 9AM to 5PM. For the web designers who are employed by the institutions are paid a salary ranging from $20,000 to $29,000 in a year (Vora, P. 2009).
A web designer in a printing and a publishing house
Printing and publishing houses are tasked with the responsibility of availing important information to the public. Traditionally, the print and publishing houses have been availing the information using hard copies. Presently, internet has revolutionized the situation. It has given an opportunity for the publishing houses to access a large base of readers online. The effectiveness of the online content is influenced by the nature and design of the platform used in the posting of the information.
Online content that is handled by web designers are the e books and the journals. These resources must be properly posted so that they are easily accessible by the target readers. The web designer must have adequate skills to create a platform that can work as a library. It should allow for easy search for the relevant documents and provide the relevant information fast. To create such designs, a web designer must have skills with the Flush and HTML programming languages. In addition, the web designer should be able to use Adobe Frame Maker, Corel Ventura and QuarkXPress software. If the web designer is responsible for creating the layout of the cover pages for the publications, he or she must be able to use CorelDraw Graphics Suit.
Duties of the web designer in this field are to interact with the clients and determine their particular needs. He or she should then interpret the needs that disturb the clients and come up with a creative solution. The designer should come up with a website that suits the needs of the clients. The website should not only allow the client post the needed publications easily, but should also be easy to use by the users. It should accommodate several users at the same time. In addition, it should be able to accommodate large volumes of content. Some publishing companies employ the web designers to create and maintain the website. In most companies, the salaries range from $25,000 to $34,000 per year (Vora, P. 2009).
A web designer in a television production house
In television production house, there is a lot of content that requires a proficient web designer. For instance, many media houses currently use the internet to disseminate their content to the outside world where broadcasting signal may be limited. It is the responsibility of a web designer to come with a suitable website that accommodates the needs of the television houses. Of particular interest is the fact that most of the television content incorporates both audio and visual content. The website should be able to accommodate both.
A web designer should be able to work with other team members in the television house to come up with the best layout of the web design for the institution. The designer must have skills of HTML and Flash programming languages. In addition, he or she should have basic knowledge on the way of handling images and videos with respect to the website. The website should be user friendly and easily accessible.
Most of the television houses have employed web designers whose responsibility is to create and maintain the websites. The salary for the web designer employees ranges from $20,000 to $34,000 per year (Vora, P. 2009). The duties of the web designer are to access the needs of the client in the matters of televising the content world-wide. The designer then analyzes different approaches of coming up with a suitable website that can cater for the needs of the client.
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Khosrow-Pour, M. (2002). Web-based instructional learning. Hershey, PA: IRM Press.