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Web Design Reference Guide

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Web Designer

Last updated Oct 17, 2003.

Web designers work to create Web sites based on the needs and goals of the visitors' personas and organization behind the site. Web designers do many things depending on the organization's size and resources. Simply put, they design Web sites from concept to reality.

Using eBay as an example, Web designers create the look-and-feel of the site—including the logo, navigation, colors, and banners—leaving spots for interaction, which is taken care of by Web developers.

Web designers also work with the marketing team to ensure the site includes the appropriate branding and conveys the right message. In some instances, marketing and Web design are integrated. Marketing knows the market, product, and audience, while design concentrates on the usability and look-and-feel that fits the needs of the information marketing provides.

Often, Web designers create the front-end of a site, known as the interface. Such work requires knowledge of graphic design, colors, markup languages, and software such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, and Flash. Web designers work with the clients to ask and answer questions regarding the Web site's goals and objectives ensuring agreement on the project and avoiding assumptions. In the process, designers usually create storyboards, wire frames, and prototypes before presenting the final interface to the client.

The skills required by a Web designer depend on the company and the role. One company may demand that its Web designer be a Flash expert with ActionScript experience; another may need someone who's proficient in HTML and CSS; yet another may require a Web designer who is talented in all of the above and more. Like a snowflake, no two Web design positions are alike.