Careers

Career paths

What is a Web Designer?

A web designer is someone who is both creative and technically inclined, and uses both these attributes to build or redesign websites. The web designer has the ability to understand what is needed to make a website functional and easy to use, but at the same time make it aesthetically appealing to the user.

The term Web Designer is often incorrectly interchanged with the term Web Developer and vice versa. A web developer is often more likely to be a software developer who works with programming languages to create a higher level of interactions on a website such as the integration with a database system.

Most people rely on the web for their communications, information, shopping, social life and more. The demand for web designers has been growing rapidly and the industry is currently considered a good one with relation to job prospects and future growth.

Web Designer

What does a web designer do?

A web designer's main job is to design web pages. There is a lot to consider in the design of websites which may not be immediately apparent when looking at a webpage for the first time.

The aesthetic aspect is an important one and selecting the appropriate colors, font, layout and images creates the whole personality of the website. In addition to considering aesthetic aspects, the usability of the website has to be a priority. It is important to create a page that the target market can relate to.

For example, a website aimed at children needs to hold their attention, and might use bright colors and an easy-to-read font, with a lot of images and not too much text. This would make it fun, attractive and easy to understand.

The layout and structure must be easy to follow, and most pages should not be too many clicks deep into the website in order to keep the information easy to access. Contrarily, a professional website aimed at physicians must convey a different kind of image, but must still be easy to read and the information organised in a format that is easy to access.

The web designer is in control of the entire website and must understand how to create the appropriate image while ensuring the website is easy to use and the information is easy to access.


What skills do I need?

To get a job as a web designer you do not always need any formal qualifications. Many web designers however do have experience in other design fields or have taken training in web design software either formally through college or through self-teaching.

  • Good working knowledge of one or more of the following web designer packages: Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Illustrator
  • The ability to create compliant XHTML and CSS, not always using one of the packages shown above
  • An understanding of scripting languages such as JavaScript, PHP and .NET is often desirable
  • The ability to work to tight deadlines
  • Strong creative skills
  • Up-to-date skills inline with technology and software developments

What is the average Salary for a web designer?

The average salary for a Web Designer in South Africa is R127,775.

A Web Designer typically makes between
R59k - R366k.