Once you’ve decided you want to become a web designer, you may be confused at what steps to take next. Regardless of your background, current skills and abilities, you may be wondering where to begin. Starting a career can be exciting and thrilling – it’s a wonderful career to get into. You must have have a solid grasp on traditional design fundamentals, as well as knowledge of current technologies that will help you perform more efficiently. Starting on your path, you want to give yourself the best start to your budding career.
The responsibilities can range greatly depending on the design agency. Although there are many jobs you could possibly be doing, here is a list of the most common job responsibilities to expect as a web designer:
– Work with art directors to prototype and design websites
– Wire framing interfaces
– Meet with clients to discuss how you can best communicate their vision
– Strong knowledge of Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.
Even if you don’t have some of the above skills, don’t worry. All of these skills are easily attainable by getting a good design degree. The responsibilities won’t be as demanding as a senior position. Working in a real-world environment at your first job as a web designer will give you an invaluable experience by providing you with skills you wouldn’t necessarily learn in school.
Get a Good Education
Getting a degree will naturally be the next step in progressing your career as a junior web designer. Having a degree is a typical stepping stone in your progress. Many design schools have the technology and resources to give you a curriculum that will provide you with a solid foundation for success. One of the biggest advantages of attending school is that you are exposed to a wide variety of art and design courses that will be beneficial to your overall education. Even though you think that some of these classes may be a waste of time, it is important to always create connections back to design and how it will help you in your career.
Finding the appropriate education will help you develop a solid design process, discipline, time management and communication skills and different methods to approaching different design problems. Pursuing a career in the industry is both challenging, but satisfying. If you are willing to put in the effort, then becoming designer will be a good career path for you.
There are a variety of skills you’re going to have to learn (depending on whether you want to specialize in design or development). If you specialize in one or two areas, you’re more likely to be successful. It is pretty to focus your skills in one or two disciplines, than spreading yourself thin over many and being mediocre at all of them.
– Exemplifying passion and eagerness to learn
– Ability to multitask in fast-paced environment
– Great time management skills
– Excellent communication skills, both oral and written
– Attention to detail
– Follows through on projects and ask appropriate questions
– Proactive and detail oriented
– Team player and has ability to be a team player
– Works well independently
Often times, employers will hire a junior web designer based on these skills because it means they show potential. Many employers are looking for someone who is easy to work with because technical web design skills can always be taught. Not everyone will be good at both design and programming. However, have a basic knowledge of parallel skills will make you ten times more valuable to employers.
Work on Your Resume & Portfolio
A solid web design portfolio is your doorway to success as a web designer. Building a solid portfolio will not only convince possible employers, but if you plan on doing any freelance, it will attract the type of clientele you want to work with. Your portfolio must be creative and reflect your personality and style. Prospective clients and agencies need to see what kind of work you have previously worked on so they have a general idea of what you can offer them in terms of your web design.
Building your resume is mainly getting as much experience as you can. Having a web design degree on your resume will be a major bonus, but it also looks good to participate in extra curricular activities and web design internships. Having a solid web design resume will be very attractive to employers – since many web design students don’t have much experience.
As a junior web designer, it is very common for individuals to work their way up within an design agency. Patience is an important virtue when progressing as a junior web designer. Don’t expect to know everything overnight – it takes years to build up skills that are considered at a “professional” level. Starting out takes time, but if you have the passion to become successful is it a reachable and very attainable goal. If you work on all the above skills, requirements, portfolio and resume building and career progression, you’ll be well on your way.