When someone says, “I’m a web designer,” what do they mean? I guarantee the definition differs from the person who says, “I need a web designer”.
When someone says they are looking for a web designer, they generally mean they’re looking for someone to do everything associated with the design of a website.
A Web Designer, by Definition
A web designer, by definition, focuses on aesthetics, layout, typography, and colour schemes to make the site visually appealing. Additionally, responsive design ensures the website functions seamlessly on various devices and screen sizes, which is crucial for an optimal user experience.
In truth, however, a web designer not part of an agency team must be so much more.
For example, if Joe Blow comes to me and says he needs a web designer to build a site to sell his tailored socks online, I know he’s looking for more than a web designer. In reality, he’s looking for a one-stop shop that covers all aspects to get his project from concept to sales.
Before Joe can start selling his wares online, I need to consider the following:
- Does he want a new website or a site redesign?
- Has Joe considered a colour scheme, or has he evaluated other sites he likes the look of?
- Is new branding (logo, etc.) required, or does it need revamping?
- Has Joe bought a domain name, hosting, SSL certificate, and premium DNS? Or do I need to do this for him?
- Do I need to create the site’s content? Or has Joe already hired a copywriter?
- How is the information going to be displayed to be easily accessible?
- Has SEO been given thought to? How will Google rank Joe’s site?
- Does Joe have professional images of his range of tailored socks in the various sizes required by multiple web platforms?
- How does Joe want to interact with his site when completed? Will he edit prices, product range, out-of-stock items, etc? Or will I be responsible?
- Has a Google account been created to create an Analytics account?
- Will Joe require after-launch support/site adjustments?
These are just some aspects required to get a site from concept to live. So, in essence, a web designer is responsible for more than the first two steps.
1 – 2: Web Design.
3: Graphic Design.
4: Technical Support/acquisition.
6: UX (User Experience) Design.
7: SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) specialist.
8: Photographer (or image sourcing).
9: Web Developer – using the appropriate CMS platform.
10: Analytics analysis.
11: Technical Support.
As you can see, a Web Designer wears many hats, at least of which 9 are disciplines in their own right. Luckily, most web designers love what they do and are apt at the above skill sets, but few are masters of each.