Are you looking for a career that integrates both technical and creative skills? Then working as a Web Designer may be an excellent choice. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates the job market for Web Designers to grow 13% through 2030, which is faster than the national average for all occupations. This equates to around 17,900 job openings each year, showing there is no better time than now to make a career change to web design. This article will cover important information on working in web design and some steps to follow if you want to switch into this bustling field.
What Does a Web Designer Do?
A Web Designer is a graphic artist that designs the layout and visual appearance of a website. These professionals combine creative form and technical function fundamentals to develop a user-friendly interface design. In addition to the visual aesthetics, these designers should also understand how the website works. While some web designers focus on designing websites for desktop browsers, the need for web designers that can create sites for mobile browsers continues to grow.
Learn Fundamental Web Design Skills
Web Design is a career that requires an understanding of both soft and technical skills. Working in this field requires a broad knowledge of different specialized work areas, such as typography and coding. While many of these technical skills are learned during training courses, being naturally creative or artistically inclined may help. Web design classes are an excellent way to master the technical skills needed to excel in this field while strengthening any creative skills. Though there is no requirement to obtain a degree or complete a certificate course, this can help Web Designers to stand out from the crowd.
Some essential web design skills include:
- Visual communication
- Design principles
- Spatial awareness
- UX research
- Color theory
- Content management systems (CMS)
- Attention to detail
Master the Software
Build a Portfolio
Once you have some web design experience and samples of your work, you can build a portfolio to showcase your unique skill set. You should research top portfolio hosting platforms to see what options align with your professional goals and creative style. If you are just starting out in the field and have minimal experience, it can feel challenging to create a portfolio that feels polished and accurately represents your capabilities. Some of the most popular platforms for Web Designers include Adobe Portfolio, which offers unlimited pages, and WordPress, which has plug-ins and versatile customization options.
Network With Other Web Designers
Another excellent way to jump-start your career change to web design is to reach out and network with other professionals in the field. Many Web Designers use traditional networking sites like LinkedIn to connect with others, while others prefer platforms like Dribbble that combine networking and portfolio concepts. Dribbble allows users to browse through designers’ work from across the globe and creates an opportunity for open communication or feedback. It’s an excellent platform to gain inspiration and learn from others who have experience in the design industry.
Work as a Freelancer
While it’s common for Web Designers to seek full-time employment, another popular route is to work on a project-by-project basis as a freelancer. Freelancing typically entails working on projects directly with clients, which can help provide experience and portfolio content.
If you are working independently to find new clients and secure new projects, utilizing social media is extremely helpful for marketing efforts and building an online presence as a freelancer. There are even tools that can automate social media posts and provide content curated specifically for your audience.
Apply for an Internship
If you want to gain even more experience in the web design industry, securing an internship is an excellent way to take on new challenges and network with other Web Designers. Internships are also a great choice for those who want to try working in a specific role before committing to a full-time position. It can be challenging to find a design internship, especially if you are not currently enrolled in some type of training or degree program. You can try researching options from trusted organizations like AIGA, reaching out to a mentor, or communicating with your educational institution to see if there are any resources available for those who have completed their training.
Stay Current With Trends
Regardless of whether you are just transitioning into a web design career or have years of experience working in this field, staying current with any industry trends or practices is crucial for success. Technology is constantly evolving, meaning design software and any relevant processes will continue to change over time as well. Many creative professionals choose to obtain a Web Design Certificate to ensure they have well-rounded training and are up to date with any trends. This type of class has immersive training that covers fundamental skills, relevant software, and coding languages like HTML and CSS.
Another excellent option for those just starting a career in web design is the live online web design bootcamp from Noble Desktop. These classes have an in-depth curriculum designed to prepare students for a career in web design. Live online classes are virtual, meaning you can take them from the comfort of your own home. They provide an opportunity to build a portfolio of experience and gain hands-on experience working on projects. Many students who complete a web design bootcamp go on to work as designers or front end developers. If you are ready to get started, search for live online web design bootcamps in your area.