Updated: 11 / 07 / 2022

Web designer: what it is, profiles and skills

Bruno Díaz Marketing Manager
Bruno Díaz
Marketing Manager
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Web designer: a definition

We could define a web designer as a professional who designs web pages. This is a very basic definition, although we believe it is clear enough. Let's break down the elements below.

  1. Professional: a person specialized in a type of task. It implies that he/she has had specific training and work experience. We would not include in this list people who have training in other areas or who have no experience in the field, those friends or relatives who with good will do the best they can.
  2. Designer: a person with knowledge of design. Possessing a certain aesthetic taste, and able to create elements, choose them, compose them and that as a whole have harmony and coherence with the purpose.
  3. Web pages: websites have a series of technical, functional and navigational aspects that must be known in order to create a design that works.

Difference between a graphic designer and a web designer

Following on from the above, it is worth developing this point. In our web design and development agency, we often receive projects in which the web design comes from an external source, and the task of developing and programming the website falls on us. And on many occasions we receive designs for web pages that are very beautiful, but that do not work at the web level. They have probably been designed by an excellent graphic designer, but he is not a web designer. And that will be fatal for the resulting page.

A graphic designer masters aspects such as color management, composition, hierarchies or the use of typographies, among many other aspects. These designs are perfectly applicable to paper formats such as books, magazines, posters, flyers or business cards, but they will not work on a website. You may even be able to design digital applications such as banners or creativities for social networks, but what you propose will not work for the web.

A web designer, although he knows all the basic elements of design as well as a graphic designer, is specialized in the design applied to web pages. He takes into account very genuine aspects at the level of web structure (header, menu, sliders, banners, shopping carts...), he also knows the conventions and common practices in the sector (the logo is on the left, the mobile menu appears in hamburger...), he also knows what at web level works and pleases the user (Web Usability), positions (SEO) and adapts to all screens and devices (responsive). Without having a very deep knowledge of these aspects, with their implications and limits, it is possible that the design that is proposed cannot be programmed, users do not understand it and are not able to navigate, or that search engines like Google do not position it.

Difference between a web designer and a web programmer

This is also an important point to differentiate. Often many clients think that they can just ask a web designer to build a website as a whole, and this is not the case. Clearly, a web designer may have knowledge of programming or CMS use, but will not have the knowledge to build a technically robust website.

A programmer or web developer has programming skills in any of the programming languages that have a web application. Not all programming languages are suitable for web, and consequently not all programmers will be able to make web pages. A web developer has knowledge of PHP, CSS, Javascript and other technologies that affect functionalities in web pages and their navigation: that a page loads, that a form is submitted or that a product is added to the e-commerce cart are examples of programming tasks. These are people with technical and often abstract knowledge, which does not necessarily translate to the design level (and they often do not have the best judgment in that area).

A web designer should have a general knowledge of the technologies that are applied on the web and the implications at the level of page design. But a web designer cannot program a website, nor can he or she make it work. Although there are people with many skills, the worlds of web design and development are sufficiently disparate that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to find a professional who can program and design websites to perfection.

Do I need a web designer to make a website?

Yes. if you want a website that attracts attention, builds trust, positions itself on the Internet and generates sales and attracts customers, then you need a product that is up to the task. In that case we do recommend a good web designer, who will understand the specifics of your business, the desires of your future customers, and will propose a unique and success-oriented web design. In addition, it is desirable that this web project includes other professionals who will provide complementary knowledge and approaches: specialists in web development, SEO positioning, servers and systems or web usability will make up the team needed to build a round web in all aspects. A multidisciplinary team with synergies of various types, such as La Teva Web.

Training to become a web designer

There are many paths that can lead to the profession of web designer. Although the most usual and desirable is to find a person with intermediate or higher studies in design and a subsequent specialization in web design, in many cases this will not be the case.  There are also cases in which a person has had an academic training in design, and through work experience has ended up specializing in web design.

If you want to train as a web designer, there are a multitude of courses, degrees or masters at your disposal. As you know, in recent years there has been an explosion of public and private training options. In any case, what we advise you is that, regardless of the degree and type of institution chosen, the training program should be strongly oriented to web design, and the teachers should be people active in the private sector, i.e. who are currently designing websites for active clients, to ensure that they have practical and updated knowledge.

The salary of a web designer

The fees of a web designer are very disparate depending on their job position, experience and portfolio. While in general, graphic designers are not in a buoyant position in terms of salaries, web designers, having a technological component, are a step above. For reference, according to talent.com the average salary in Spain for a web designer in 2022 is 22,500€ gross per year. A professional web designer should start his career around €18,000, and a very experienced one can reach around €36,000. Those who choose to be freelance instead of salaried, as in other fields, enjoy a much higher hourly fee, but at the same time involves certain risks and instability inherent in the self-employed regime.

The best web designers in Barcelona

At La Teva Web we have been building websites for companies of all sizes and sectors for more than 20 years. We offer a premium and customized project, where design plays a fundamental and differential role. Our team of web designers will listen to you, research your industry and project, and propose a design just for what you need. As in clothing, you can opt for pieces with a predefined pattern, or you can order a custom dress according to your needs. It will fit you like a glove.

Work as a web designer in Barcelona

If you have experience in web design and you want to work with us, you can fill out our form. We will obviously value your academic and work CV, but we will also need to see your portfolio ;)

Bruno Díaz Marketing Manager
About the author
Bruno Díaz — Marketing Manager
Professional with a long career as a communication and digital marketing consultant, specializing in SEO, SEM and web projects. As Marketing Manager of the agency, I coordinate a great team of digital marketing technicians of which I am very proud.

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