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Whether you’re in the market for a new job or looking for a web designer for your project, you may be asking the question, “what do web designers do?”

web designers working on their laptops and writing in notebooks while they sit around a conference table


What Does A Web Designer Do?

Web designers design and build all the website elements to bring it to life, from understanding the project scope to creating a structure for each web page and using templates or code (like javascript, CSS, or HTML) to understanding graphic design requirements. These steps are a part of the process that web designers use to take information and turn it into an online experience.

Most web designers understand the basics of marketing such as copywriting, branding, etc., and can do more than just code a general web page. Below, we’re diving into each of the website elements that a web designer might do during the course of building a website and the necessary skills that help them be successful.

01. Creates Visual Elements

A website is made up of many different pieces, and the visual components are critical. Before starting a website, clients should talk with their website design agency or freelance designer about these elements. At The MMC Agency, we outline the components we need to build websites on our very first call. We want to share a high-level look at the whole process, so our clients know what our web designers need to create a beautiful, functional web design.

One of the key components is the visual aspects of the website itself. This includes our client’s brand files, such as logos, submarks, photography, and graphics. If our clients don’t have these pieces, we know that it makes sense to discuss how to get started with our web designer on what’s missing.

what does a web designer do

While not all designers are also graphic designers, an experienced web designer will be able to work with design files, and most often, create them as well. Adobe Photoshop is a standard program that web designers use to create and update these files.

An experienced web designer that’s gone beyond simple freelance work has a skill set that makes them artistically and technically inclined. In other words, understanding technology, color theory, and what makes a website work is just as important as having a creative and imaginative mind to bring exciting visuals to life!

Before you hire a web designer, learn more about their skill sets. You may have to be comfortable working only with your design on the website and securing another designer for your logo and visual aspects. Most of our clients prefer to work with a team that can manage the entire project rather than needing additional copywriters, graphic designers, and more. Decide what you prefer before working with any web designer.

A Designer’s Perspective on Graphic Design

The same is true if you’re thinking of making a career change to become a web designer. Understand what skills will help make you successful! It is more than the ability to create a simple web layout. Web design work is technical and creative, and you can expect to be continually challenged as you grow your skills in this creative field.

Whether you have a degree or are self-taught, education on graphic design and visual design will serve you and your clients extremely well. Don’t overlook this helpful skill!


02. Understands Web Design Layouts

Web designers create the structure of each website. At The MMC Agency, we create what we call a site map. On the map, we outline the menu, each page, and the sections for each page. This ensures that what we create on paper will be a comprehensive, easy-to-use web design before it ever shows up on web browsers!

a website designer studies web design layouts in front of a mac computer

Anyone that you hire to create websites should have a clear understanding of what makes sites successful. As we mentioned above, many technical aspects should complement the creativity required from any web designer.

Below are just a few of the reasons web layouts are so important:

  • The layout determines exactly what the user will see online.
  • Navigational elements can be strategically assessed and included in the web layout.
  • A well-designed structure will ensure the site is user friendly.
  • A web layout can also help the web developer and client stay on track throughout the project.

Many web designers will jump into web design before thinking through web development and the layout for your site. We recommend choosing someone who understands the value of building websites with a plan in place, whether they use grid systems, site maps, or their own version.

A Designer’s Perspective on Building Functional Websites Using Layouts

How does this apply if you’re making the shift to becoming a web developer? Take the time to unpack the technical components of a working website. Learn how to build a site map and use it effectively for your clients. These technical skills can help you make a better web design and communicate with your clients throughout the project. They also help create a user interface that will elevate the online experience. UI designers know how to evaluate the user’s journey and create in a way that will improve actions that lead to a client’s online success, such as:

  • A lower bounce rate (when visitors find what they need quickly, they’ll stay on a website longer)
  • Longer website and page visits (staying on a website longer mean good content and opportunities to engage. These longer page visits mean that visitors are happy and can help a site’s Search Engine Optimization. If Google sees that users are getting what they need from a website, it can rank higher)
  • Conversions! (This one is self-explanatory and a great way to help your clients be successful)

03. Delivers High-Level Web Designs

This component is the most obvious element of a web designer’s job! Web developers and web designers are well versed in designing web pages and, ultimately, a complete website. While the goal is the same, there are many ways to complete this step. Some web designers use templates, others prefer to use a coding language, such as Javascript.

All of the unique elements, from CSS to HTML to Javascript, can be used on one site. Below is a quick breakdown of how designers use may use these elements:

Javascript

Javascript is a text based programming language that allows web designers to create interactive content on the pages by making them interactive. Static websites or static HTML pages can incorporate Javascript to make them more dynamic.

CSS

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets, and it is a style sheet language. Most websites you see today incorporate this language. CSS helps describe the presentation of things like font style, font size, colors, text, and more.

HTML

HTML means Hyper Text Markup Language, and it’s the standard language that tells browsers how to display the webpage. HTML works together with CSS and Javascript, which explains why you may see “HTML CSS” or “HTML and CSS” when looking at design coding and design software.

Ultimately, web designers focus on creating a web design that accurately represents their client’s brand and services while also delivering a seamless user experience. Web designers typically consider the ability to create a complete website as part of the essential skills for success, as do their clients!

A Designer’s Perspective on Web Design

If you’re looking for career advice, remember that knowing all of the programming languages is not necessary before getting started. Many software options make this step easier than it used to be. However, having a basic understanding of programming languages, HTML and CSS, and how they work is essential for any web designer.

Before you become a web designer, take the time to learn the basics of the technical components of a website. It doesn’t require a college degree, but it does require a basic interest and understanding. Once you have that technical knowledge, you can combine it with the graphic designer skills we covered above to deliver quality websites for your clients!


04. Provides Exceptional Customer Service

When you consider the skills a designer may acquire – from graphic design and HTML CSS knowledge to digital marketing and development of mobile apps, there is one that is simple but worth everything. That is customer service.

support specialist speaks with a customer

Web designers often prefer to work on visual design and technical development and forget that their customers also need attention. When choosing a web designer, take the time to talk with them and see how they treat you and the project you’re discussing. At The MMC Agency, each client has a dedicated project manager that is an ongoing resource throughout the project. We know that our clients may not know exactly what our designers are doing to bring a site to life. But we recognize that they’ve invested a great deal of money and trust us to deliver something to be proud of!

We have heard from many clients that web designers request money upfront without a contract, then never complete the project, or worse, disappear altogether. Customer service can be one of the most significant assets that help you feel comfortable with the web designer or web development team you choose.

A Designer’s Perspective on Providing Customer Service

While not one of the most obvious answers to “what does web designer do,” if you want to stand out, your skills must include customer service. Web designers that go above and beyond to serve their clients stand out!

Unfortunately, at The MMC Agency, we hear all the horror stories about web designers that take a client’s money, then fail to deliver, drag a project on forever, or disappear altogether. We know that our clients feel frustrated and taken advantage of when this happens. From digital marketing skills to web design, many clients don’t understand exactly what you do, and they appreciate being kept in the loop and having things explained. This level of customer service can help you take your web design business to the next level.


How to Hire A Web Designer

Start with a web design agency that has all the skills you’ll need to complete your project successfully. From web design to digital marketing support to skills or resources to help you combine text files, upload your logos and post a blog. You want a designer that will be your partner throughout the project. To find one, start with Google and read through reviews. What do other users have to say about their experience with the agency you’re considering? We also recommend starting your research with a call so you can ask questions and meet the team you’d be working with. We offer a free no-obligation meeting to ensure you feel comfortable before signing up with The MMC Agency! Book a call with us today.


Web Designer Job Search Tips

Are you looking to transition into the creative web design space? The department of labor statistics indicates that this is a growing field with plenty of opportunities for users over the coming years. That means web design jobs will continue to be available to you as you explore this space!

If you’re a new designer, do a web design (or two or three) as you get educated to become familiar with building and launching a website before starting with clients. This can help you feel comfortable with your skills and help you build a great portfolio!

Let’s Get Started

Ready to take the next step and want to work with a professional agency to complete your project? We’d love to serve you! Contact us to get started.

What Does A Web Designer Do?

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