Website designers, sometimes known as web authors,
design the pages that make up a website. They use a
combination of programming techniques and web design
software to build a new site or enhance an existing one.
A good web designer will need knowledge of 'front end'
concepts (how the site looks), and 'back end' systems
(how it works). In other words, they need to be
technically proficient but also creatively minded.
Initially, a web designer works with a client, discussing their requirements to find out exactly what they want their site to do. This could be anything from an interactive site for educational purposes to a commercial site selling consumer goods. It is important that designers gain a clear understanding of the target audience.
Consultations include decisions on how the site is to be organised, the size of text, text (font) style, colours and colour combinations, page backgrounds, and the style, size and positioning of command buttons and hyperlinks. Many sites also include sound, graphics, animation and video, as well as order forms, search facilities, surveys and security features.Designers draw up a draft working version of the website using both general and specialised authoring software, and web coding and formatting techniques such as HTML (HyperText Mark-up Language), Dynamic HTML, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and, increasingly, XML (Extensible Mark-up Language) for greater control over functionality and appearance. They continually discuss and test refinements with the client.
When a site has been completed, designers carry out checks to make sure the finished product is fully functional and meets all the requirements of the client. Once the client is satisfied, the site is uploaded to a server for 'live' publication on the internet.
Some designers continue to maintain a client's website once it is up and running.
Website designers working for a company normally work 37 to 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. They may have to work some evenings and/or weekends to meet deadlines or when problems arise. Self-employed designers work the hours necessary to complete assignments on time.
Designers work indoors in an office or home environment. They may be based at one site or travel to visit clients, in which case a driving licence may be helpful.
As a web designer, you should:
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