As a web designer, you’ll plan, create and code web pages, using both technical and non-technical skills to produce websites that fit your customers’ requirements.
Being involved in the technical and graphical aspects of pages, you’ll determine not only the look of the website but how it works as well. You may also be responsible for the maintenance of an existing site.
The growth in touchscreen phones and tablet devices has dictated a new way of designing websites, with the web designer needing to ensure that web pages are responsive no matter what type of device is being used. Therefore, the need to test websites at different stages of design and on a variety of devices, has become an important aspect of the job.
Salaries tend to be higher in London and the South East, depending on the size of the company and its location. A way to increase your salary is to be the first to specialise in emerging technologies.
Additional benefits might include pension schemes, an on-site restaurant, parking and life assurance, but it’s not unusual for small companies simply to offer a salary.
Income figures are intended as a guide only.
You’ll generally work 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, but you might be required to work extra hours in the evenings or on weekends to meet deadlines. Some jobs may involve being on-call to deal with unexpected problems that need solving at any time, day or night.
As the equipment required to be a web designer is simply a computer, software and high-speed internet, you can work from almost any location. This lends itself very well to freelance work, being self-employed and working from home.
What to expect
The job involves spending hours at a keyboard and demands high levels of concentration. To prevent eye strain, a bad back or other related health problems, regular breaks from the screen are recommended.
Depending upon your employer, your dress code can be informal, or more business-like for meeting clients.
This profession is currently male-dominated, but steps are being taken to redress the balance. For information and jobs geared towards women entering the industry, visit Women in Technology.
Web designers are essentially office based. Travel to client sites may be required especially when working on a large and complex project, and they may be based there for the duration of the project. Self-employed and freelance web designers will often work from home but may work in their client’s offices from time to time.
The top location for web design jobs is London, with the south east of England also providing a good number of jobs. Other hot spots include Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow and the M4 corridor around Slough and Reading.