There are many web designer jobs available, and interested parties may find themselves wondering what exactly web designer jobs entail. The fact is, with the internet always changing and evolving, the term web designer is often used as a general catch-all for a number of different job roles and responsibilities.
At their most basic, web designer jobs involve designing, building, and maintaining a business’ presence on the internet. Web designer jobs may have all of these responsibilities wrapped into one role, or they may be distributed among a number of employees, with each one focusing on one element of web design.
As the name implies, one of the most common web designer jobs is simply design. There are two main types of web design: visual and interface. A visual web designer is responsible for the overall look of the site. They may not need to know any XHTML or CSS, and may work exclusively in a graphics program such as Photoshop. Most companies, however, even if they are only looking for a designer to handle the graphic design, want that person to have some idea of how the code works as well, so that the mockups they send to the actual coders are built to be easily implemented.
Interface designers may do some graphical design, but their primary responsibility is coming up with an architecture for the site that makes it easy to navigate and use. They decide which buttons should be where, how various widgets should operate, and generally dictate how the user experience is going to be. For smaller to mid-sized sites the bulk of the interface design is done by the same person who does the visual design, but for larger sites there will likely be a person whose main responsibility is the interface.
Once the visual design is done, the site needs to actually be built. At its most basic, this means constructing the XHTML or HTML, and building a cascading style sheet (CSS) document if necessary. Although XHTML, HTML, and CSS all require a bit of learning, they are simple enough that anyone with a bit of perseverance can learn them. A number of intuitive programs exist for building web pages, as well, so that even people who can’t learn the languages necessary can build pages off of their designs.
Web designer jobs can also include building sites in Flash, rather than writing the pages using HTML. Flash sites appeal to many traditional designers, because the Flash environment is a visual environment, and it allows much greater control over the appearance of the final site. Some people dislike Flash, however, because it has a number of usability concerns, where sites may be inaccessible to some groups of people.