Let’s discover together the secrets of this digital work and let’s answer together with the questions that many of you ask me on social networks: what does the web designer do? And above all, what should be studied? If you too have asked yourself these questions, read on!
I started working as a web designer six years ago and, like most digital strategy professionals, I’ve always been asked to explain my work. They are new and ever-changing realities, so it is normal to ask yourself these questions.
Especially since a job like that of the web designer is much more complex and layered than it might seem.
Let’s see together how!
Web Designer: What does it do?
A web designer plans designs and creates websites. Anyone wishing to have their own site can contact us to make their project a reality.
Whether it’s for companies or people, it takes care of the project from start to finish, accompanying you step by step.
The web designer must therefore combine different skills, some more technical and others more creative.
The importance of having a website grows more and more, as does their complexity.
If years ago they could have been simple platforms with a classic design, to be able to convince web users it is now necessary to design beautiful, captivating sites that work on different devices.
The web designer must therefore have the technical knowledge of a developer in order to be able to build customized and rich sites and at the same time fully understand usability – that is, the strategies that improve user engagement.
The attention of customers and search engines has in fact shifted a lot on the user experience. To be able to have a site that really works, it needs to give an optimal experience to those who surf, which convinces users to stay on the site as long as possible.
A good web designer must therefore have knowledge of IT, design, and UX that he must put at the service of his customers to be able to transform their ideas into a concrete project.
The importance of having your own site
However, I have left out a very important component of my work, the most important for me.
The mission of every good web designer must be to create the digital identity of their client.
We all rely more and more on the internet to shop, stay informed about the world, and make tons of decisions.
A website is our business card, a tool that allows us not only to be present but to be so professional.
A digital identity is a complex concept, which does not end only with a website, but this is certainly the first step. Not only that, it is our personal space, a place only ours, where we can express ourselves and our brand.
Lately, we have seen several moments in which social networks have not worked, sending many profiles that rely on different platforms into crisis. Having a website keeps us safe from these events!
Creating a website for me means laying the foundations for a good digital strategy.
What are the most important steps to design a website?
Creating a website is a long and varied job and, depending on your needs, it can take one or more months to see the light!
Each project is different as well as each client is different, but there are some steps that I believe are fundamental:
Listen to the customer
The first fundamental step is to really understand who I have in front of me. When I am contacted by a new customer I have to understand in detail, even before his requests for him, who he is.
As I said before, the website is our business card, and if we do not understand the person and the project, it will hardly be able to express its full potential!
For example, my goal is to create websites for ambitious professionals and entrepreneurs, who want to grow their business 100% online by exploiting its full potential.
Understanding their ideas, values, the path that led them to contact me is essential to be able to achieve these goals.
Only in this way will I be able to create sites that fully reflect them and that convince users!
2. Plan the site layout
After choosing the type of site, whether for example showcase or e-commerce, normally you continue with the creation of a layout. The various pages that will be present on the site and their structure are outlined. We plan the architecture, the link between the pages, and what information can be found on each page.
If the customer likes the idea, let’s move on to the design of the actual site!
3. Take care of the graphics
The work of the web designer does not stop at the development of the site! We are the main curators of the visual communication of our client’s brands. This means that we must immediately choose, together with the customer, all the graphic elements that will be present on the site.
To create a good digital strategy you need to be consistent. And visual characteristics are just as important as language because they allow us to be recognized everywhere.
For this reason, colors are studied together from the very beginning, which is also fundamental because they help convey our message, the graphics, and the logo that will be present on the site.
Many web designers create these elements themselves or rely on specialized graphic designers.
4. Create the actual site
There are several ways to create a website:
Code can be written directly – HTML or other
You can use CSMs like WordPress, Wix, Shopify, etc, and their programs.
I personally chose to use WordPress because it allows the creation of sites that can be customized to the maximum and with a focus on content optimization – that is SEO.
Also in this step, two different situations can occur:
You create a site from scratch and, once finished, you publish
If a website already exists and the customer wants a restyling, the so-called internship site can be created which will take the place of the first once the work is finished.
SEO and websites
Owning a website is important but to really be able to build your online brand, it must be optimized from an SEO perspective.
But what does this mean?
SEO is a strategy that aims to optimize the site for search engines. When we do a Google search, different results appear in front of us. The order in which they are chosen is not random, but the result of a precise algorithm.
SEO deals with creating a site that follows precise guidelines to appear at the top of the search page. 80% of searches stop on the first page of Google, while 60% are in the first 3 places, so having a well-optimized site is essential for attracting the right customers!
This is a complex strategy that, like web design, includes various realities, some more technical and others based on the creation of content, useful to readers. The goal is common: to create a site that can offer the best possible user experience.
Also, in this case, some web designers can take care of the SEO of a site, both the technical part and the content creation, while other times the work is entrusted to an SEO specialist who works alongside us.
How do you become a web designer?
There is no single path to becoming a web designer. As we have seen it is a multifaceted job, where a lot of different knowledge is required, obtainable in many ways.
There are online courses that allow you to study independently or in specific schools.
For example, I studied at the Academy of Fine Arts with a specialization in Graphic Design,
During the web design lessons, I realize that I really like this field and I start studying the code by myself. I learned in the field by gaining experience in the various agencies between Palermo and Milan.
A path perhaps not linear but which allowed me to train in the round! Experience in this field is essential, it is necessary to practice, test and study continuously.
If these premises don’t scare you, it’s a wonderful job!
I hope he answered your questions about the web designer and what he does, but any questions I will be happy to answer!
If you want to design your website, come and take a look at my website creation services!