Web design encompasses a variety of disciplines and skills in the creation and maintenance of web sites. The various disciplines of web design include web graphics design; web user interface design; information architecture; authoring, which includes standardised coding and proprietary applications; and online search engine optimisation. The most common misconception is that web design is simply about creating websites. Whilst there are certainly web designers who produce only websites, web development and maintenance is also a very important part of the web designer/developer’s job portfolio. A website is only as good as the maintenance and support it receives, so web designers need to be able to deliver quality websites that are regularly updated with relevant and engaging content.
For the website to be both functional and appealing, and for it to be easy to navigate and use, the web designer must have excellent code/design code, and a thorough understanding of usability principles. A good web designer code will be: stable; well commented; error free; and properly documented. The importance of error-free code is that it enables the end-user to understand the system and navigate easily. It also means that if a mistake is made, the end-user will be able to easily repair the problem.
Good web designers also understand the importance of usability for a website. This can be broken down into two key areas. Firstly, the web designer must create a website that is intuitive and clearly displays the intended message to the viewer. This is achieved through a balance between graphical elements that are used to convey the message, clear and strong navigation that the viewer is able to follow, and effective color schemes and contrast. The overall design of the site needs to create an attractive and easily navigable interface.
Secondly, the web designer needs to ensure that the website is effectively able to meet the users’ needs. For this, usability experts will conduct usability tests on the site to determine the needs of the visitors. These tests will help the designers to identify the problems that the users are having with the website and what they want to achieve from it. Based on the identified problems, the designers will be able to develop solutions that will make the problem solving process easier for them. Usability testing is a very important part of the whole process, as this will help to ensure that the website can be fully utilised by the end user.
Finally, web designers work with developers to code the website, which includes the HTML code, images, video files, and any type of interactive content that the designers wish to include. Web designers are responsible for ensuring that the coding works as intended and that there are no issues with the website when it goes live. Some web designers work solely with developers, while others are outsourced.
Another important job function for web designers is to submit to web design specifications to outside sources for review and comment. The submitted specifications will need to go through a quality control process with the intention of making sure that they are as close to the clients’ needs as possible. In addition, the web designers will need to make sure that the submitted specifications satisfy any legal requirements. The final step involves testing these specifications and seeing if they have passed the acceptance phase before they are added to the developers’ site.
Web designers are in charge of providing visual content for the website. In addition to this, they will often work with developers to code the website’s interface. Web developers are responsible for adding, editing, and sometimes managing the code. In some cases, web designers and developers work together to complete the technical aspects of the website. When this happens, they are usually referred to as web designers and/or web developers.
Web designers usually start as interns under a particular company. Once they graduate from their internships, they will be required to hire their own staff. However, in some cases the company may hire them straight out of their internships. Once they have established themselves, they will be promoted to full-time employees. Web developers will continue to work on the project until its completion or until another position becomes available.