What is a Web Designer Responsible For?
Who is a web designer? What is a web designer responsible for?
Depending on whom you ask this question, the answer can vary quite significantly.
That is because the role of website designer has evolved tremendously over the last few years. As the internet became more common and expanded into popularity, more and more businesses with varying needs joined the fray.
Because of unique challenges that a variety of businesses have faced and continue to face, the role of web designers has also been consistently evolving.
In this article, we will take a look at who web designers are and what are some of the important things that they are usually responsible for.
Who are Web Designers?
Simply put, web designers are those smart folks who help create and design websites. This is the all-encompassing definition we generally use when defining who web designers are.
The truth, however, is usually more complicated and nuanced because web designers wear multiple hats, as we will see below.
What Do We Mean by Web Design?
Before we try to understand web designers and their responsibilities, it is important to first establish the definition of web design.
The term web design generally refers to the aesthetic and visuals of a website. It deals with:
- How a web page looks,
- How content is arranged on a page,
- Designing the different elements of a page,
- How those elements interact and look along with each other,
- How those elements contribute to the overall functionality and visual appeal of the page,
- Reflecting the tone, brand, and brand values of the business via design, and
- Creating, maintaining, and ensuring consistency of the brand’s visual language on the website.
What are Web Designers Responsible For?
Now that we have a basic idea of who web designers are, and what we mean by the term web design, we have a solid foundation to understand the various responsibilities of a web designer.
Please note that the following are some of the more common and important areas a web designer may be responsible for. Depending on their role in the company and the challenges a business faces, they may be responsible for other areas as well:
- Visual Design
Perhaps the most important and common responsibility for web designers is to create the visual design for the website and ensure its consistency across different pages, channels, and mediums.
This may include selecting the right fonts, colour scheme, and overall visual language of the brand.
- Website Layout
This part generally refers to the layout of the website and all the different elements on the page.
For example, where does the CTA button reside on the page? What does the main menu look like? Where does the related posts widget go on the website?
Note that web designers aren’t typically responsible for identifying what type of pages you will need. That is known as website architecture.
- Mobile-Friendly Web Design
Mobile is more important than ever now. It is also the web designer’s responsibility to ensure that their design is translated to smaller mobile devices equally well.
Wireframes, sometimes also known as mock-ups, are commonly used to show a rough layout, content, and functionality of the website or mobile app.
This is usually one of the first steps when it comes to designing or redesigning a website. It is also the responsibility of a web designer to come up with a wireframe.
- Image Editing
One of the more common responsibilities of a website designer is to edit images and compress images for the web,
- Website UI/UX Strategy and Research
Although UI/UX has become a bit more of a specialist role in modern times, it is usually expected of web designers to fulfil that responsibility.
The role includes conducting in-depth market research and analysing internal data and analytics to identify how users interact and engage with the website.
This analysis guides new design decisions, especially during a rebrand or redesign.
Apart from the above-mentioned responsibilities, sometimes web designers are also expected to have a few other skills. Here are some of them:
- Video editing
- A basic understanding of how SEO works and is affected by website design
- Web development and front-end coding
Contrary to popular belief, website designers aren’t responsible for everything website related. However, that in no way diminishes their importance as they plan a crucial role in defining the web design and visual language of the brand.
In today’s day and age, web designers also benefit if they have a few extra skills, e.g., web development, coding, and SEO.