Website design is the process of assimilating ideas, arranging, implementing and presenting them aesthetically on electronic web pages. Like all the other types of design, website designing uses the key visual elements like layout (the way graphics, ads and text are arranged), colour, graphics (website design enhancers like logos, photos, clipart and icons) andfonts.
Website designers are responsible for creating user-friendly websites with easy navigation and including relevant audio and video insertions to encourage customers to spend more time on the webpages. The websites must also be compatible with other browsers and operating systems, as well as be interactive and technology driven to give the webpages a more dynamic and professional feel.
Website designers must also know to effectively use content to enhance the message of the website through a combination of visuals and text. By incorporating relevant keywords, the content must be optimized for search engines.
The terms website design and web development are often used together. And although they are interdependent on each other, there is a difference. Website designers create user experience on a website while web developers actually build the systems that hold the website on the internet. Naturally, there is a difference in the curriculum of both the programs. The coursework in website designing involves user interface, graphic design, a few coding languages, etc. while programming, database integration and server-side languages form the core of the web development courses. Website designers and developers need a working knowledge of each other’s work. Hence, most website design courses include a segment on web development and vice versa.
Website designing courses can be pursued after high school (grade 12). Many colleges in India offer a 3 years BSc. in Multimedia and Website design undergraduate course, as well as 1-2 years diploma courses. Following are some of the typical diploma courses available in India:
Diploma in Website designing/ Multimedia &Website Designing/ Website Designing& Software Development Advanced Diploma in Website designing/ Multimedia &Website designing/ Office Automation &Website designing/ Internet &Website designing The 2 years master’s programme in India offers courses like
Post Graduate Diploma in Website designing Msc. in E-commerce & Website design The short-term website designing courses can be finished in 6 months to a year. Certificate courses are available in website designing, multimedia website designing, internet & website designing, office automation & website designing, and application software & website designing.
The basic course structure of these programs include digital image design for websites, web writing, introduction to computer systems, digital and strategic marketing, online retailing & fundamentals of networking, cybersecurity, internet and website architecture, graphic design, drawing, animation, and the basics of HTML, CSS, PHP, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Word press, Joomla, and Magneto.
The National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad offers a 4 years Bachelors of Graphic Design course. The ZEE Institute of Creative Arts, Mumbai has a 3 years Bachelor in 3D Animation Visual Effects program and the Symbiosis Institute of Design, Pune offers a 4 years B Des. in Communication Design course.
The UK is one of the best countries abroad to pursue courses in website designing. The University of Kent has a 3 years B. Sc. Multimedia Technology and Design (Hons.) as well as a B. Sc. Multimedia Technology and Design (Hons.) program with a year of internship. The Leeds College of Art offers an undergraduate program – BA (Hons.) Graphic Design. The University of Huddersfield has a 3 years full-time and a 4 years (includes a placement year) undergraduate program in website designing. The University of Central Lancashire offers a 3 years full time and 5 years part-time BSc. (Hons) Website Design and Development program. The University of Northampton also has a BSc (Hons) Business Computing (Website Design) course.
In the US, the Carnegie Mellon University’s Bachelor of Computer Science and Arts (BCSA) course, and the Art Center College of Design’s (Pasadena, California) 3 years Bachelors of Fine Arts in Graphic Design course (BFA Graphic Design) are some of the best programs to pursue for a career in this field.
The website design industry has grown at the rate of 2.7% per year for the last few years causing a total global impact of $20 billion. Almost one-third of the websites live at any given time uses some aspect of the website design industry. There are more than 200 million active websites on the internet right now of which 150,000 businesses exist in the US alone.
A significant 67.8% of websites don’t have a web content management system at all. And with the increase in the number of smartphone users, there is a huge demand for mobile-ready websites. In short, website designers have great career growth prospects globally.
Following are some of the industries that employ website designers:
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A website designer's job responsibilities cover all activities around creating a website. Once the requirement is understood from the client, website designers amongst other things conceptualize the original website design, determine technical requirements to relay to the web developer, design the webpage layouts and other required visual designs. They also create wireframes, storyboards, user and process flows as well as sitemaps to communicate the interaction and design ideas. Website designers are also responsible for establishing and promoting best practices for design guidelines and standards.
Since the investment to become a freelance website designer is minimal (a computer with high-speed internet access & relevant computer software programs), while many website designers work full-time, a large number of them are also self-employed and freelancers.
Website designers can secure jobs in profiles like:
Some of the top companies in India that have employed fashion stylists are:
An entry-level website designer with less than 5 years of work experience makes around $3,700 a month. Website designers with 5 to 10 years of experience make an average of $4,400 a month. Senior website designers make an average salary of $6,700 a month. In India, for the less experienced, the average monthly pay of website designers ranges from Rs.8,500 to Rs.20,000 and can go up to Rs.100,000 a month for senior website designers. Gurgaon, Delhi, Bangalore, New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Coimbatore and Pune are the best cities in India for professionals in this field.
From a client’s perspective, website designers must be quality conscious, objective, adaptable and have the ability and insight to understand the motivations of clients. Imagination, creativity, good communication and organizational skills, and a sense of business acumen are some of the top skills necessary to succeed in this line of work. Following are some advantages of being a website designer:
Known for coining the term ‘responsive website design,’ which describes new ways of designing websites in the changing web world, Ethan Marcotte is an independent website designer from Boston, Massachusetts. The author of a popular book for website designers - Responsive Website design and Responsive Design: Patterns and Principles, Ethan has also been a featured speaker at conferences like An Event Apart, Webstock and SXSW Interactive. His clients include the Boston Globe, the New York Magazine, the Sundance Film Festival and People Magazine.
A professional user experience designer, Karen McGrane is also a content strategist, speaker and professor with over 15 years of experience in making websites. Some of her top clients are The Atlantic, The New York Times, Condé Nast, and Time Inc. Karen is currently the managing partner of Bond Art + Science. She also teaches Design Management at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan and has authored the book - Content Strategy for Mobile.
A famous CSS expert and HTML guru, Chris Coyier buildCSS-Tricks, a website that is about building websites. He is also the co-founder of CodePen, a platform for front-end website designers and developers. Chris is the co-host of a podcast named ShopTalk which is a show about building websites.He has also spoken at various conferences like the Smashing Conference, Webstock and An Event Apart. Chris has authored two books: Practical SVG and Digging into WordPress.
1990 HTML - the building blocks for webpagesis launched
1991 The first website using HTML is created
1992 Table based website design is introduced and becomes instantly popular
1994 The World Wide Web consortium is established
1998 PHP3 is released which makes webpages more dynamic
2003 More than 38 million websites are online
2008 Ready to use open source software becomes popular
2010 HTML5 introduces upgrades making it easily readable by humans and consistently understood by computers and other devices
2015 Web building tools are introduced that makes it easier for amateurs to make websites
2017 Two-thirds of cell phone users say they access the web/email from their device