A web designer is someone who designs the design of websites. The software that provides the functionality of a website is created by a web programmer. Design and functionality are completed by various fields.
While almost anyone can create a website with a wysiwyg editor, the meaning of the word web designer is most commonly seen in the professional sense. This has to do with the professionalisation of the profession.
Given the increased importance of the internet in commerce, creating and maintaining a website is increasingly outsourced to an agency with professional web designers, who have to weigh up the wishes of the customer with the technological possibilities during the creative process. He or she must also integrate the corporate identity of the company in question, taking into account reading patterns, marketing models, expected heat maps, clarity of the pages and layout, expansion options, and so on.
A web designer can work as a freelancer, but also as a staff member of an internet agency or company specialized in web design.
Where ten years ago someone who was handy with a computer, who knew programming languages and specific programs, could make websites for his profession, nowadays there are several possibilities to follow practical training courses that lead to the diploma Webdesigner, both from general bodies, educational authorities, and from software makers themselves. Various tools have also become available, both for professional web designers and hobbyists, such as so-called templates or ready-made websites where only the text and technology need to be filled in.
Some competences that a web designer must possess are:
- Graphic, technical and internet knowledge
- Artistry and creativity
- Empathy (target group and use of a website)
- Communication skills (what are the wishes of the customer)
- Stay informed of current developments
As the technological developments continue to progress, the demands placed on a web designer are also increasing. With only knowledge of an HTML editor and a graphic program, people no longer get there, the customer asks for interactive websites using Cascading Style Sheets, a database as a backend, and sometimes Flash or HTML5 for presentation purposes. People often look for a web designer specialized in a specific part of a website as part of a team.