Web designers are an integral part of the web design process. Their creativity is needed to make a website look good and function well. In this article, we will discuss what does a web designer do, qualifications for being a web designer, salary levels in various regions of the UK and more!
what does a web designer do?
A typical day in the life of a web designer can involve many things. It may involve some or all of the below:
- Talking to clients and evaluating their requirements for a job
- Translating the requirements into a design
- Working with other team members to bring the designs to life. This may include web developers and SEO experts, for example
- Testing your website on various devices and browsers to ensure it works as intended. Web designers should always try out their websites in multiple browsers and different mobile operating systems such as iOS or Android, because not all browsers and platforms are equal
- Keeping up with new technologies to ensure that you can always deliver cutting edge websites for your clients. This could involve learning about various front-end web technologies such as AngularJS, Node.js or React
- Reviewing other people’s code and providing constructive feedback to help them do their job better. For example, you may be asked by a developer to review the CSS they wrote for your website
- Participating in meetings with clients to discuss progress on a project or changes that need to be made
junior web designer salary uk
If you are starting out as a web designer in the UK, how much could you expect to earn as a starting salary? Let’s assume you are coming out of college or university with a design qualification, be that a degree or HND. You could expect to earn a starting salary of around £18,000 to £25k. This salary will vary depending on your location and the type of company you work for. For example, a junior web designer working in London may earn more than one working outside the capital city
As an entry-level Junior Web Designer, you should expect to be involved in all aspects of design including wireframing, creating style tiles, working on user experience design and prototyping.
You may also need to learn some development skills to be able to create your designs using HTML & CSS or other web programming languages such as PHP or Java. This should only take you a few months once you have the right training in place
As time goes by and you gain more experience in web design, your salary will rise.
If you choose the right company and add value with your abilities by working hard, it’s possible to climb up the pay scale.
senior web designer salary uK
At the other end of the scale, a web designer may be considered senior after at least five years of industry experience in the boiler room as it were. A senior web designer can expect to earn a salary of around £26,000 to £40k. This salary will vary depending on your location and the type of company you work for
As a senior web designer, your responsibilities may include leading projects from end-to-end including design – using the latest technologies – coding – user experience and front-end development too. You should also be able to provide high-level direction or mentoring to more junior team members.
Do bear in mind that salaries may vary depending on whether they are employed by an agency or work ‘in-house’ for a company, for example in the creative department of a large organisation such as a bank.
freelance web designer salary uk
But what if you want to go it alone and work as a freelance web designer? How much could you earn? Firstly, it should be stated that freelancing is not for the faint-hearted. It can involve pitches to potential clients that can take up a lot of time and effort, it can be dispiriting and it can be lonely if you’re doing it on your own.
But what could you earn? A freelance web designer in the UK could expect to earn between £20k and £35k.
If you are a freelance web designer, it’s likely that most of your work will be for existing clients with whom you have built up good relationships over time. You may even choose to specialise in one particular niche or industry such as e-commerce websites, creative agencies or digital agencies. This can be good for business as you will probably become known in the industry and your clients may come back to you time after time
What about freelance web design rates? For smaller or one-off projects, a freelancer might charge between £25 per hour up to around £100 an hour depending on their experience level. Larger, more complex projects could be priced at around £250 an hour.
As with any freelance work, it’s important to manage your cash flow carefully and set aside time for chasing invoices that are due to be paid. You should also factor in the cost of things like web hosting, website maintenance packages or building a new website from scratch.
The good news is that it’s possible to earn a reasonable income as a freelance web designer. Just bear in mind the drawbacks before you take the plunge!
web designer qualifications uk
to get started as a web designer, you should hold a qualification or have some experience in web design.
In terms of academic qualifications, A Level or Higher level Art is crucial, along with English. Many higher education colleges are today offering industry-specific courses. A design degree from a university or art college will also be highly appropriate.
From here, it’s possible to move on to more specialised courses such as UX Design which gives you an understanding of how users interact with websites across different devices and platforms.
When it comes to actually finding a job, most web designers will often find that entry-level jobs can be found at agencies and employers who focus on digital design work. The more senior roles with responsibility for leading projects or managing clients will require at least five years of experience in a web design role learning the ropes.
Web design is a job that didn’t exist even twenty years ago. And in its short life span, it has changed and shifted with new technologies. One of the most important aspects in this field is always to keep up with the latest trends and innovations. You can do this by reading websites such as Clickz https://www.clickz.com/ Search Engine Land https://searchengineland.com/ and by joining Facebook groups that cater to your own particular niche. I find Facebook groups to be invaluable in terms of getting help and feedback for issues I may be having on the web.
Web design is a great area to get involved in – and the demand for this role is only likely to continue to grow as the internet and web usage increase.