In the increasingly digitized world, it is almost obvious that web designers are celebrating a boom. In fact, the services of this professional group are currently very much in demand. And yet, many web designers are reluctant to be asked if it pays to enter the industry. Irregular revenues, modular systems, huge competition and customers who are not 100 percent satisfied even after the tenth change are helping to tarnish the image of the profession. But if you do not want to be put off and still want to become a web designer, this article will tell you everything you need to know to become a web designer.
How do you become a web designer?
The job title Web Designer is not protected in Germany (and incidentally also in Austria and Switzerland). This means that anyone who wants to be allowed to call it – regardless of which career path he can look back on.
In fact, web design is a career field that can be entered into by learning by doing. Not a few successful web designers are newcomers who have taught their skills themselves and steadily expanded.
If, despite this attractive option, you do not want to leave anything to chance and would like to demonstrate your abilities through corresponding degrees and certificates, then, of course, there is nothing against a corresponding education or a degree. The options are many. Here are three of them:
- Training as a communication designer
- Studied graphic design
- Training as a media designer
In addition, there are also opportunities to attend further education courses and evening classes as well as to expand knowledge through online offers and tutorials. Basically, as a web designer, you should always strive to develop your knowledge continuously and keep it up to date. The Internet as your “workplace” is extremely fast-paced and evolves on a daily basis. Those who rest for too long on their laurels and do not realize that they are continuing their education quickly lose their connection and thus also their customers.
What does a web designer do?
Of course, if you want to become a web designer, you also need to know what the tasks and areas of application are. In general, it can be said that web designers do “something with media”. If you take your job title verbatim (and that is actually quite useful), then you design the web. But what exactly does that mean?
As a freelance web designer, you are primarily hired to create and implement website designs. But in other areas such as e-commerce, blog and digital advertising formats, your services will be in demand.
Depending on the additional qualification, you can also support your customers in the content marketing sector – for example with explanatory films and infographics. At this point at the latest, it should have become clear how diverse the professional life of a web designer is.
Working as a web designer: creativity meets technology
For most, the most exciting thing about web design is the symbiosis of a creative and a technically oriented job. In fact, you must not shy away from both areas if you want to work and succeed in this profession.
If you want to become a web designer you have to be familiar with programs like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, and Macromedia Flash. Even you have basic programming skills.
What may be somewhat surprising for one or the other is the fact that you as a web designer do not always work exclusively online. Many designers also romp around with pen and paper to make first sketches or even finished designs.
You have to meet these requirements if you want to become a web designer
In the previous section, you already learned what professional skills you as a (prospective) web designer should bring. Dealing with common graphics programs is just as important as a creative way of working and basic programming skills.
In addition, there are a number of soft skills that are essential if you want to become a web designer.
- Communication: Without communication (with the customer), nothing works in web design. It is of the utmost importance that you are in constant communication with your clients, who record their wishes and implement them. Here it is important to communicate as simply as possible and yet to the point with each other.
- Organization: Most web designers work as freelancers (more on this in the next section). This form of work requires an extra portion of the organization and requires that you be able to structure your professional life on your own.
- Flexibility: Be it spontaneous customer requests, new developments in a particular area or the realization that the planned approach to a project does not work – as a web designer you need to be highly flexible.
- Resilience: If you want to live from web design, you have to be patient. It often takes several years to become fully established in the industry and build a solid customer base. Until then, you will have to expect financial fluctuations, order lows, and other challenges. Not everyone has grown up to this burden permanently.
Become a web designer and work as a freelancer
Most people who become web designers work as freelancers. This means that you have several clients for whom you implement various projects. Only very few web designers can exclusively live on their own projects and thus leave behind the “freelance existence”.
But do not worry, it’s not that bad to work as a Freelancer Web Designer. If you tackle this task in a structured way from the beginning and consider yourself not just a “stooge”, but your own company, then it is quite possible to succeed with this business.
In the beginning, of course, the most important task is to get as many orders ashore and build up a customer base. In order to obtain the greatest possible financial security, prefer long-term cooperation even less hourly wages.
Furthermore, you should not forget that you should also advertise your business as a freelancer. Of course, as a web designer, you have many options by which you can prove your practical skills. Other channels such as Facebook, Instagram, and a blog are ideal for free marketing. Don’t underestimate network events where you can present yourself and look out for new customers.
From freelancer to own agency
That you do not want to work as a freelancer for all eternity is quite understandable. If you have enough work experience and contacts, it may be time for the next step. Many web designers decide to set up their own agency and take over the operative tasks in the background. The actual design work then takes over their employees.