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Web Designer Job Titles

Web design is an incredibly varied career field, and as a result, there are a lot of different job titles and specializations that will impact your responsibilities and job requirements. These different job titles are important to research because they will shape the day-to-day work of a Web Designer, and importantly, it will affect their starting salaries. Specializing in web development, for instance, means that you will work with more programming projects, but you won’t need to worry about learning design skills.

What is a Web Designer?

Web Designers are creative professionals who are tasked with designing the layout and assets for web pages and mobile applications. They are creative professionals who are responsible for designing evocative and visually appealing web designs for their clients, and they will work on a diverse range of different projects. They tend to be well-rounded creatives who use both creative software applications and programming knowledge to design and build web applications. Using software applications such as Figma or Adobe XD, web designers will construct the appearance and feel of both the visual and functional elements of a webpage before handing that design off to web developers who will make the design a reality. At smaller firms, a Web Designer may also be expected to work on the programming side of a web design project, so most Web Designers learn the basics of HTML/CSS and JavaScript.

Web designers are most commonly employed by design firms that contract their service to clients, though many work as self-employed freelancers or work in-house for large businesses that are regularly building or updating web applications. They will most frequently work as part of large teams of designers and developers when working on large projects, but they may also find themselves working on individual smaller assignments, particularly if they are working as freelancers. Web Designers may specialize in working on specific elements or aspects of webpages or digital applications, such as building user interfaces or working on the tactile elements of a webpage to build a positive user experience.

Web Designer Skills

Being a Web Designer will demand a combination of soft skills and technical skills. Designers will need to hone their creative eye, build teamwork-related skills, and they will need proficiency in an array of technical skills. These technical skills include creative design applications like the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of software, web design tools such as Figma or Adobe XD, and programming skills such as proficiency in HTML/CSS and JavaScript. All of these skills produce well-rounded professional Web Designers and are pillars of getting a job.

Beyond this, there are a lot of important soft skills that can help Web Designers meet their career goals. Most Web Designers will need to build the people skills necessary to work alongside team members on large projects. These same skills will be important for freelancers who will regularly need to work with clients and contractors. In addition, Web Designers will need to be deadline-oriented in order to make sure that assignments are completed on time, and they will need to be able to receive feedback and iterate their designs with a client’s needs in mind. More advanced Web Designers may be tasked with leading teams of designers or interfacing with clients more directly, making these soft skills even more important for anyone hoping to climb the corporate ladder.

Web Designer

Web Designer is a catch-all title that encompasses things like Associate Web Designer, Junior Web Designer and plain old Web Designer. These are the rank-and-file designers who are essential to making everyday web design projects operate. They work on small, discrete tasks, and sometimes they will work with a team of other designers to build individual elements of larger projects. This is an entry-level position and these Web Designers rarely have too much control over the larger picture of a design project, so they will report to managers and team leaders to keep all of the work relatively uniform with a client or a department’s needs.

This is also an ideal entry-level job title for Web Designers who are yet to complete the training they need to specialize in a subfield or who need the work experience to aim for a higher-paying job. Most designers who don’t freelance will work in a position like this at some point, especially if they are aiming to work in a more managerial role at some point in the future.

Design Director

Designer Director similarly covers a wide range of mid-level and upper management positions that oversee design projects. For some, this will mean working to manage teams of designers to complete large elements of a web design or digital design project that comes down from upper management. These designers will need to have the soft skills necessary to manage the human and financial elements of a project in addition to managing the design aspects. For others, this position will involve being part of the team of upper management that makes the major creative decisions concerning the look and feel of any given project. These managers will be more closely involved in the early development stages of a design project and may consult with everyone from programmers to market researchers to clients or shareholders.

For designers taking this route, the upper-level management positions include things like Creative Director or Chief Creative Officer. These are high-level, high-paying jobs, and they are responsible for making the large creative decisions that guide a firm or company’s online presence. They tend to be very experienced designers, and they are brought in to shape and mold the way that a brand presents itself in digital spaces. They will do fairly little technical design work, but they will oversee all of the work being done in order to ensure that massive design projects go off without a hitch

User Experience Designer

User Experience Designers are an important part of any successful design project. Whereas most designers are concerned with how a digital application or webpage looks, UX Designers are concerned with how it feels and how users interact with that design once it is in their hands. They are responsible for taking a design project that is far enough along to have a reasonable working prototype and testing it through processes like user feedback surveys or focus groups. They will then interpret this data and make recommendations or decisions on ways to improve the user experience of a web design project.

User Experience Designers will be involved in the early development stages of a project because they will be expected to have a firm understanding of common trends or patterns of user behavior that they can apply to a design project before teams begin working on it. In addition, they will need to be involved with creatives, market research, and stakeholders to ensure that they are providing advice and feedback on designs that align with the overall vision of a particular project. They will need to learn research-oriented skills, and they will need to know how to work closely with consumers in order to fully understand how users are behaving when they interact with a specific piece of software or a specific webpage.

Front End Developer

Front End Developers are web design specialists who take the completed design prototypes for a webpage or digital application and bring it to life using computer science. Front End Developers will use programming languages such as HTML/CSS and JavaScript to create the client-facing elements of a webpage. These designers rarely deal with the prototyping and design stages of the project, save for helping limit the creatives to only design what they think is possible to program. Front End Developers may need to learn more advanced elements of these programming languages, such as specific JavaScript frameworks or other, more advanced programming languages.

Front End Developers may also eventually advance on their career path to the point that they are overseeing teams of developers. On large projects, there may be millions of lines of code to compile and ensure are accurate. These developers will have a more direct role in the overall management and development of a project since they will need to manage their own aspect of the human element, and they will work more directly with stakeholders and clients. These designers may also end up working more closely with other team managers, UX Designers, and market researchers to shape the final goals of any given project.

JavaScript Developer

JavaScript Developers are highly specialized Front End Developers who work closely on web design projects that make extensive use of the JavaScript programming language. These projects will include both standard webpages but also projects that make use of JavaScript libraries like Node.js that intend to allow devices to run JavaScript code outside of a web browser. For example, any web application with significant streaming components will likely be designed using this language, so a specialized JavaScript Developer will be brought on to help bring the project to completion.

Some JavaScript Developers may be brought onto a project to integrate the web design aspect of the project with a mobile application or a digital assistant tool. They may also be brought onto projects that want to use JavaScript frameworks to build a full stack web application rather than only a front end application. Finally, rarely, JavaScript Developers will be brought onto a project to work on building new coding functionality into the language itself in order to plug a gap in the programming capabilities of a given web application.

Why Become a Web Designer?

There are a lot of reasons why becoming a Web Designer can be a good career choice. The most notable is that it is a job that combines a number of creative and technical skills, meaning that you will be consistently working on new and unique projects, and you will be able to leverage your personal skills into better job opportunities. In many firms, it will involve a combination of coding and design work, so you are less likely to fall into a rut, and you can eventually begin to specialize in certain aspects of the job in order to improve your long-term earning potential. The diverse job titles for web design work mean that you can constantly learn new skills and position yourself to find better employment opportunities in the future.

This versatility ties neatly into the other major reason to become a Web Designer. Every second, approximately three new webpages are created. Every company, start-up, organization, and institution understands the value of a strong web presence, so they are constantly looking for more talented Web Designers to help them build one. Web Designers of all stripes are in high demand, and the demand for these jobs is only looking to increase. By laying the groundwork to work in the field of web design, you will be entering into a diverse, in-demand career field that affords you plenty of opportunities to find the long-term job that is right for you.

Learn the Skills to Become a Web Designer at Noble Desktop

Students looking to build the technical skills they need to become Web Designers may want to consider the options available to them for professional training and skills development through Noble Desktop. These classes provide students with live training from expert instructors and include hands-on training and practical experience using real-world design samples. These classes are available at Noble’s Manhattan Campus or through live online instruction. No matter the delivery method, class sizes are kept small so students won’t have to compete with one another for their instructor’s attention. As a bonus, every Noble course comes with a free retake option, meaning you can take the class again within a year. This is ideal for students who want to receive more instruction and for students who want more time to gain hands-on experience that they can parlay into better job opportunities.

Students interested in becoming professional Web Designers will need a lot of skills training. For novices, Noble offers a Web Design Certificate program that will teach students how to use common web design software applications, how to code their designs in basic HTML/CSS and JavaScript, and how to use WordPress for more advanced webpage design. In addition, students enrolled in this class will receive one-on-one career mentoring assistance and professional development seminars, including portfolio-building exercises. This is an ideal course for any student who wants to start a new career in the field of web design. Noble also offers more targeted programs, such as the UX/UI Design Certificate program, which prepares students to design interactive interfaces for digital applications and products. This focused career-program de-emphasizes the importance of learning to code and emphasizes the importance of tactile user experience design.

Students who have a measure of professional training and are seeking to expand their skills may want to instead consider enrolling in one of Noble’s skills bootcamps. For example, in Noble’s Figma Bootcamp, students will learn how to use Adobe’s Figma software application to build interactive prototypes of web designs in order to test their functionality before beginning the coding process. This is an invaluable tool for any Web Designer to know how to use, and in a bootcamp, you can focus on learning individual skills to improve your own career standing.

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