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Is Web Design Right For Me?

Aspiring designers and creative types may be interested in web design but are unsure if it is the right career path for them. In general, web design work is great for creatives who are hoping for a structured work environment where they can flex their creative muscles and make use of a wide variety of different skills in their regular work. Web Designers, particularly in their early careers, will work on a variety of different projects and be tasked to balance a number of different aspects of the design process, ranging from visual design to programming. There are a few things to consider before entering a career in web design, and these are important questions to ask before committing to a long-term career plan.

What is a Web Designer?

Web Designers are creative professionals who are tasked with designing the layout and assets for web pages and mobile applications. They are creative professionals who are responsible for designing evocative and visually appealing web designs for their clients, and they will work on a diverse range of different projects. They tend to be well-rounded creatives who use both creative software applications and programming knowledge to design and build web applications. Using software applications such as Figma or Adobe XD, web designers will construct the appearance and feel of both the visual and functional elements of a webpage before handing that design off to web developers who will make the design a reality. At smaller firms, a Web Designer may also be expected to work on the programming side of a web design project, so most Web Designers learn the basics of HTML/CSS and JavaScript.

Web designers are most commonly employed by design firms that contract their service to clients, though many work as self-employed freelancers or work in-house for large businesses that are regularly building or updating web applications. They will most frequently work as part of large teams of designers and developers when working on large projects, but they may also find themselves working on individual smaller assignments, particularly if they are working as freelancers. Web Designers may specialize in working on specific elements or aspects of webpages or digital applications, such as building user interfaces or working on the tactile elements of a webpage to build a positive user experience.

Why Become a Web Designer?

There are a lot of reasons why becoming a Web Designer can be a good career choice. The most notable is that it is a job that combines a number of creative and technical skills, meaning that you will be consistently working on new and unique projects, and you will be able to leverage your personal skills into better job opportunities. In many firms, it will involve a combination of coding and design work, so you are less likely to fall into a rut, and you can eventually begin to specialize in certain aspects of the job in order to improve your long-term earning potential. The diverse job titles for web design work mean that you can constantly learn new skills and position yourself to find better employment opportunities in the future.

This versatility ties neatly into the other major reason to become a Web Designer. Every second, approximately three new webpages are created. Every company, start-up, organization, and institution understands the value of a strong web presence, so they are constantly looking for more talented Web Designers to help them build one. Web Designers of all stripes are in high demand, and the demand for these jobs is only looking to increase. By laying the groundwork to work in the field of web design, you will be entering into a diverse, in-demand career field that affords you plenty of opportunities to find the long-term job that is right for you.

Blending Creative and Technical Design

As a Web Designer, you’ll have a great opportunity to work on compelling and evocative visual designs for projects, and you will likely be able to see those projects through to completion since most Web Designers have coding experience. This means that the day-to-day work of a Web Designer will vary greatly depending on the type of project you are working on and the stage of the project you are at. This can be a real boon for anyone who wants to ensure that they don’t feel like they are falling into a rut doing the same thing every day. It also will mean that Web Designers will have greater opportunities to get on-the-job training and be more aware of their options and desires if they opt to specialize in one specific element of the web design process. Finally, it means that Web Designers will have the entirety of the digital canvas upon which to paint, which can be a tremendous boon for creatives seeking to leave their mark on the world.

Aspiring creatives will need to consider how much they are willing to deal with the technical limitations imposed on their designs. Since Web Designers are building practical, interactive, digital applications, it will be important to consider everything from the challenges involved in coding a specific element of a webpage all the way to whether or not a feature is even workable or possible to build. For some designers, this limitation is empowering and it can spur creativity. However, some designers may find this to be constricting, particularly if they are working for a firm that isn’t fully investing in the technical side of the design process, which can force the designers to work extra hard in order to compensate.

Building Accessible Web Pages

Unlike many creative projects, Web Designers are tasked with designing products and applications that users will interact with directly rather than simply viewing. This means that designers, particularly those specializing in User Experience Design, will be able to build web pages that are not merely visually appealing but are also built to maximize user engagement and accessibility. Web pages need to be built with the end user in mind, and in many cases, this means making design concessions to make the webpage more accessible for all users. While this can be viewed as a challenge, many talented designers understand that this is an incredibly important part of the design process, particularly for designers working in important industries such as the healthcare industry. Accounting for your users' behavior to make a webpage more accessible is an aspect of the design process that many find very rewarding, especially as this knowledge proliferates and the whole of the internet gets a little easier to use.

Web design is also a field you can enter to simply work on making web pages more user-friendly. This may not be an accessibility issue, but as more and more web pages are utilized by young people who have not known a world defined by the internet, ease of navigation and use is becoming increasingly important. Working in the field of web design will teach you to account for user behavior and model that into your designs, whether that be something as simple as making page layouts intuitive or as elaborate as redesigning entire systems for better mobile display optimization.

Possible Crunch

Web design is a very deadline-focused field, so whether you work as an in-house designer, for a studio, or as a freelancer, you’ll need to be aware of the importance of meeting deadlines. This means that as project deadlines start to loom, you may find yourself needing to do extra work (or even work overtime) in order to ensure that a project is completed on time. Since there are so many different stages involved in a web design project, the most intense crunch may fall on the designers and developers writing the code since this is often the last aspect of the process. This will be more common on larger projects and, in particular, will be the most common in fields like consumer software or digital marketing since these projects tend to have the most strict deadlines relative to the size of the project.

For studio and in-house designers, one of the minor consolations is that you are likely to know well ahead of time whether or not a project has fallen behind schedule and whether or not you or your team will need to work overtime in order to get a project completed. This often comes down to the makeup of the studio and the project. For example, a firm with a dedicated web development team probably won’t involve the visual and creative sides of the project but they may be far more demanding on the creative side to avoid delays that will cause things to be backed-up.

Freelance designers will have a different relationship with crunch time. Since they will be working on their own projects, they are far more likely to have unexpected events delay a project, resulting in them having to deal with more sudden crunch than a studio designer. However, they are less likely to need to do massive amounts of crunch work since their projects will, generally, be smaller than large studio design work.

Iterative Design

An important aspect of working in web design is that you are almost always going to build webpages to someone else’s specifications, particularly at the start of their careers. Web Designers will need to be attentive to how their clients or managers want an element of web page designed, even if they don’t necessarily think that this is the best route to take. As such, Web Designers need to be able to accept criticism of their work, respond to feedback, and take the desires of multiple different stakeholders into account when they are working on a project. As you move up the hierarchy in a firm, you’ll have greater control over the creative vision of projects, but at the start, it can feel disempowering.

In addition, entry-level designers are unlikely to have a great deal of control over the kinds of projects that they are working on. If your studio is contracted to build a webpage for a specialty, direct-to-consumer, soap company and you are assigned to create a working dropdown menu, that is the project you may need to spend a few days to weeks working on, even if it doesn’t seem creatively fulfilling. This is especially true for freelancers, who may need to take on any and all clients during the early stages of their careers. Over time, designers will have greater control over the work they take on, but aspiring designers should be aware that this will take time before they have the experience to start being more selective with their work.


Another important question to ask yourself is whether or not you think that you would prefer to work for a design studio/ in-house design team or if you want to consider freelancing. Freelancing gives designers a lot more freedom to develop their own voice and niche in the marketplace. Freelance designers will be able to pick and choose their clients more liberally than other professional designers, and they will be able to take greater advantage of their time spent networking with potential clients. Experienced freelancers will eventually reach the point where clients seek out them because they want to find the perfect designer whose creative talents match what they want in the finished product.

The drawbacks to freelancing are that it places an additional administrative burden on a designer, forcing them to do work that would normally be handled by a specialist in any given company. For example, they will have to find clients, negotiate terms, invoice fees, and keep financial records in accordance with state and federal laws. In addition, at the start of their careers, they will need to find a pool of clients in an already crowded marketplace and they will need to strike a balance between finding enough work and undercharging for their services. These are all manageable aspects of the process, but they are important to consider when deciding how you want to start your career in web design.

Do I Need a Degree to Become a Web Designer?

Most Web Designers will enter the job market with a four-year degree either in web design or in a related field, such as graphic design, multimedia development, or another creative field. Some Web Designers may enter the workforce with a degree in a field far flung from web design, but they will need to have either a minor in computer science/design or they will need to demonstrate their technical skills through other means.

However, there are a few paths to enter into the field of professional web design without getting a four-year degree. The best way is to receive career-focused skills training through accelerated professional training programs, such as the Web Design Certificate program offered by Noble Desktop. Courses like these will catch students up on the kinds of technical skills training that they need to find work in the industry. These courses also provide students with professionalization resources and seminars built to help catch them up to designers who gained a great deal of networking experience in their degree program.

Another way to become a Web Designer without a degree is to simply start freelancing and build a name and reputation for your work. This will be the hardest and least guided process, but it may also be the best option for students who have the technical training and design skills, but don’t have the accredited diplomas or certificates to demonstrate these skills on a resume.

Learn the Skills to Become a Web Designer at Noble Desktop

Students looking to build the technical skills they need to become Web Designers may want to consider the options available to them for professional training and skills development through Noble Desktop. These classes provide students with live training from expert instructors and include hands-on training and practical experience using real-world design samples. These classes are available at Noble’s Manhattan Campus or through live online instruction. No matter the delivery method, class sizes are kept small so students won’t have to compete with one another for their instructor’s attention. As a bonus, every Noble course comes with a free retake option, meaning you can take the class again within a year. This is ideal for students who want to receive more instruction and for students who want more time to gain hands-on experience that they can parlay into better job opportunities.

Students interested in becoming professional Web Designers will need a lot of skills training. For novices, Noble offers a Web Design Certificate program that will teach students how to use common web design software applications, how to code their designs in basic HTML/CSS and JavaScript, and how to use WordPress for more advanced web page design. In addition, students enrolled in this class will receive one-on-one career mentoring assistance and professional development seminars, including portfolio-building exercises. This is an ideal course for any student who wants to start a new career in the field of web design. Noble also offers more targeted programs, such as the UX/UI Design Certificate program, which prepares students to design interactive interfaces for digital applications and products. This focused career-program de-emphasizes the importance of learning to code and emphasizes the importance of tactile user experience design.

Students who have a measure of professional training and are seeking to expand their skills may want to instead consider enrolling in one of Noble’s skills bootcamps. For example, in Noble’s Figma Bootcamp, students will learn how to use Adobe’s Figma software application to build interactive prototypes of web designs in order to test their functionality before beginning the coding process. This is an invaluable tool for any Web Designer to know how to use, and in a bootcamp, you can focus on learning individual skills to improve your own career standing.

Key Takeaways

  • Web design is a great field to enter if you are a creative person interested in building visually evocative and functional designs.
  • Web design blends creative and technical skills, making it an ideal field for someone who wants to work on a lot of different kinds of projects.
  • Entry-level Web Designers will have minimal say over the kinds of projects that they work on, and they may need to respond to substantive design feedback or work crunch time to complete a project to a client’s specifications.
  • Freelance web design offers an alternative to studio work, but it will require that designers take on more administrative roles in their work.
  • If life as a Web Designer sounds good to you, one way to make that a reality is to enroll in a comprehensive web design course through Noble Desktop. Classes are available in person or in live, online classrooms.

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