Why Become a Professional Web Designer
Before formal Web design existed, all that could be found online was white text against a black background. Early HTML protocols were mainly used for tagging, linking or stylizing text, with no thought given to the potential for designing a more aesthetically pleasing user experience. However, as the Internet came into the mainstream in the mid to late '90s, Web design began to take a larger role in helping people and companies establish, express and brand themselves online.
Creating a website involves integrating the core factors of content, usability and appearance with the find-ability of the website by search engines.
Web designers are often accused of placing the appearance of the site before its function. Reliance on large graphic files or flash animations can often slow down the loading speed of the site and may discourage search engine rankings (since the majority of search engine robots cannot recognize images or video). A well-balanced Web design blends the principles of graphic design with those of information technology and information systems to create an experience that is aesthetically and functionally satisfying for each visitor to the website.
Mastering Web design requires learning about markup languages, multimedia and database technologies, client- and server-side scripting and style sheet languages. Other disciplines involved in Web page design may include search engine optimization, animation, interactive design, marketing, typography, photography and multimedia technologies to create static or dynamic website designs. Designers must also be familiar with Web design software, as well as vector-based graphic programs like Adobe Illustrator.
Many Web designers are self-taught and learn by doing. They have a passion for the Web and study tutorials and other sites online while applying what they've learned to building sites for themselves or their friends.
While it is possible to learn Website design this way, don't under estimate the advantages of learning from a Web design school instead. You'll learn in an organized manner and significantly cut down on the frustration you experience. Plus, having credentials from a recognized institution will assist you in finding work as a Web designer, as well as allow you to command a higher salary. Many college programs offer internship opportunities to help students get their foot in the door with a Web design company.
Web designer salaries range from $47,000 to $71,500 per year.