Opinions & Lessons

How to Get Started with a Career in Web Design

Web design is a career choice that’s gaining in popularity with men and women alike. As the need for digital skills increases and companies struggle to find suitable people to fill open positions, web designers are finding themselves in demand. But what’s required to get started in web design and make a career out of it? This is what we will discuss below. 

Are You Naturally Creative?

If you’re naturally overflowing with creative ideas and are comfortable in the digital world, then the role of a graphic designer may be ideal for you. While designers will often dabble in code too, it won’t usually be something too advanced. The use of coding is typically in support of the graphical design, rather than being abstract. Therefore, code might be written to avoid refreshing the page when loading new visuals to it, to create a parallax scrolling effect, or something else equally impressive. On the other hand, if you’re less creative and more technically minded, then a web developer role might be better for you.  

Web Design Agencies: What Do They Like to See in Recruits?

A web design agency needs to stand out with original design concepts and impressive production sites for clients. When their portfolio fails to impress, they’ll regularly lose potential deals due to companies expecting more than they’re delivering. The market’s need for creativity coupled with having a flair for picking up new design trends and running with them serves web designers well. For instance, anyone working for the Webheads web design agency needs to match the quality of their top-tier brand-name clients like Budweiser, WeWork, Planet Hollywood, and the NHS. It sets a high bar that their designers must reach, and the same goes for recruits too. 

Do Qualifications Help?

To work as a graphic designer, qualifications support that goal to some extent. What companies want to see is the ability to produce eye-catching visuals for an online audience. This can be learned via a short, structured course, or by taking a degree. It can also be self-taught through reading books, watching YouTube videos, and a great deal of trial and error. 

A one-year professional certification course like the Web Design Specialist Training program through e-Careers provides the essential knowledge, as well as the ability to develop design skills, and learn about basic programming for the web (XHTML, JavaScript, Metadata, etc.). It also provides proof of what you’ve learned to date. 

What About a Portfolio of Work?

When having previously worked for a design agency, it can be difficult to confirm the projects that you’ve worked on. Most sites are collaborative and often include multiple designers, so potential employers aren’t always clear how developed your design skills are. 

Therefore, building a separate, distinctive portfolio of graphical work is essential. These could be logo designs, corporate letterheads, site headers, and site concepts from digital wireframes through to a live site. They can be personal projects or completed work for private design clients. Either way, it should be obvious that you were solely responsible for their creation and amply demonstrate your creativity. 

While it’s possible to get started in web design in a junior position with a small portfolio and a basic educational background in design, greater opportunities go to better qualified, more talented designers. Also, investing in your career is key to getting started and progressing quickly to more senior designer positions too. 

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