Web Designer job description

What is a Web Designer?

Web designers are responsible for creating websites that engage current and potential customers in order to enhance a company’s online presence. They do a lot more than just "design"; they coordinate with other members of their teams, including copywriters and graphic designers, to conceptualize web pages in order to most effectively organize, convey and present both word- and graphic-based content. They also maintain their site’s appearance by developing and enforcing companywide standards, and they upgrade the site as necessary.

At Paladin Staffing, we specialize in helping web designers combine with great companies throughout the country. If you’re looking to break into the industry, or if you are looking for your next great position, browse our jobs or apply online today!

The Web Designer’s skill set

  • Strong communication abilities to interact with colleagues and clients
  • Excellent eye for design and intimate understanding of design elements
  • Proficiency in Adobe Dreamweaver and other web design programs
  • Ability to write in a variety of computer languages, such as HTML or Java
  • CSS, HTML, PHP and Java coding skills
  • Basic database administration skills for MySQL, Access and SQL
  • Expert-level understanding of Flash and ActionScript for programming
  • Familiarity with SEO principles
  • Excellent multimedia content development abilities

Related job titles: Web Designer (Entry-Level, Associate, Senior), Web Developer, Web Illustrator. Web Programmer

Education

There is no uniform course of study for becoming a professional web designer. However, many companies look for candidates with backgrounds in design (more so than web content). That’s because traditional design skills — graphics, layout, color theory, composition, use of white space, etc. — are all transferable and valuable on the web while technical skills can be taught, as needed.

Related certifications & qualifications

Web designers hail from all backgrounds, but to stay at the forefront of their craft, they need to continually hone their skills. Fortunately, there are a host of workshops and continuing-education courses offered throughout the country.

Three types of Web Designers

People working in web design generally work in one of the three categories: In-house, Agency, or Freelance. For both the employee and the employer, each category comes with its own set of implications, as well as pros and cons. Before accepting work, the web designer will have to decide if their job type will fit their lifestyle and personal preferences. One safe way to navigate this decision is to accept a few temp jobs in web design so you can try out a few different work environments and see what’s right for you.

In-House Web Designer

As an in-house web designer, you will work for a specific company (or group of companies) as part of their marketing department. You’ll gain an intimate understanding of the businesses’ industry, as well as its competitors and customers. Using this in-depth knowledge, you can work from a position of strength to create the most engaging web experience possible for your audience.

Companies that utilize in-house web designers do so to ensure their websites are maintained, updated and optimized 24/7. In-house web designers provide instant troubleshooting and issue resolution, as well as ongoing recommendations for improvement and enhancements.

Agency Web Designer

Agencies are a wonderful place to put your design skills to work. That’s because you will be surrounded by people who think as creatively as you do. Plus, you’ll be able to create websites for a wide range of companies and industries to expand your portfolio and your skills at the same time.

However, in an agency, collaboration is especially important. You must be able to take cues and direction from others who may have different ideas on design, layout, and content presentation.

Freelance Web Designer

As a freelance web designer, you’re in charge of your own success — and, unfortunately, your own failures. In addition to all of the responsibilities of a web designer, you will also take on all of the responsibilities of a CEO, including budgeting, marketing, advertising, billing and, of course, earning a profit. You’ll also have to incur your own expenses for keeping your skills and your equipment current.

Prepare for these 10 job interview questions

When preparing to interview for a web designer position, do your homework. Get a solid understanding of the company and the industry by exploring websites, collateral, social networks and other sources. Be ready to discuss what you like about their existing web design approach and how you can improve it.

Here are some questions you should prepare for:

  • What is your preferred approach to mobile optimization, a dedicated mobile site or a responsible layout, and why?
  • How familiar are you with web accessibility guidelines such as WCAG?
  • When you receive a new project, how do you approach it? What is your thought process and your creative process?
  • What is the most critical aspect of a design that must be correct in order for a website to be successful?
  • Tell me about a time when a project you were working on hit a road block, or didn’t go as planned. What did you do? How did you handle the situation? How did the project turn out?
  • What coding environments are you familiar with? Provide examples.
  • How do you keep your Web design knowledge and skills up to date?
  • What websites do you look to for inspiration?
  • What is the best project you ever worked on? What made it so successful?
  • How would you improve our current site?

In addition to an interview, you should expect to be asked to participate in tests and evaluations to gauge your aptitude and comfort with coding and design.

Brush up on your Web Design knowledge

Every day, thousands of new websites launch and thousands more are redesigned. Every company is looking to gain an edge when it comes to attracting customers online, and they need their web designers to make it happen.

To give yourself an edge, we recommend checking out these blogs and events.

Top Web Design Blogs:

Web Design Conventions & Training Events:

Apply for Web Design jobs with Paladin Staffing

If you’re looking for the next step in your career, Paladin Staffing is ready to connect you with an excellent Web Design opportunity in your area. Launch the next stage of your career by browsing our job listings or apply online to connect with one of or recruiters today!