A website designer is often responsible for the layout, color scheme, and general design of a website. Designing a website is not just about making said website aesthetically pleasing, though. Skilled website designers must also make a website easy to navigate, so visitors can find exactly what they need as soon as possible. Website designers must also know how to help a website rank in a search engine and where to place advertisements so they are effective.
Web design encompasses many different skills and disciplines in the production and maintenance of websites. The different areas of web design include web graphic design; interface design; authoring, including standardised code and proprietary software; user experience design; and search engine optimization. Often many individuals will work in teams covering different aspects of the design process, although some designers will cover them all. The term web design is normally used to describe the design process relating to the front-end (client side) design of a website including writing mark up. Web design partially overlaps web engineering in the broader scope of web development. Web designers are expected to have an awareness of usability and if their role involves creating mark up then they are also expected to be up to date with web accessibility guidelines.
Website designers are usually creative types, but extensive knowledge of computers is also necessary. Even designers who use simple website design software should have at least some computer programming and coding knowledge.
There are no set education requirements to become a website designers, and some motivated individuals may be able to break into this field simply by learning design and programming skills on their own. Website design is a rapidly growing and highly competitive industry, however, and successful website designers usually have at least a few years of post-secondary school under their belts.
A website designer needs to be artistic as well as computer savvy. Therefore, most website design degree programs focus on combining digital media courses with computer and web programming courses. At the very least, website designers should know basic web programming languages, particularly HTML and CSS.
More and more traditional universities are offering website design programs, as are many online universities. Students interested in a degree in website design may also want to consider art schools as well as technical institutes.