Web Designer: Leader in the Digital Marketing Domain
The technology advances of today and the rate at which it is constantly changing requires a workforce that knows how to navigate today’s digital marketing domain. While there are many areas of specialization in the information technology field, there is only one specialization that covers the full spectrum of digital marketing, and that is the Web designer.
Unfortunately, the Web designer is under-appreciated in today’s market. This is because today’s market does not yet fully appreciate the attributes of a Web designer. Many people outside of the information technology field do not know what a Web design does. This article provides an overview of the activities of a Web designer. It also highlights why a Web designer is the most essential position in any organization competing in today’s marketplace.
A number of job titles are used to represent the activities of a Web designer, but this article will use the job title of “Web designer” in describing the activities of this important position. O*Net Online, describes the activities of a Web Developer (Web designer) as:
Design, create, and modify Web sites. Analyze user needs to implement Web site content, graphics, performance, and capacity. May integrate Web sites with other computer applications. May convert written, graphic, audio, and video components to compatible Web formats by using software designed to facilitate the creation of Web and multimedia content.
As evidenced by the above description, Web design is only a fraction of the activities associated with the Web designer position. There are a lot of other important activities involved in the Web design process. Web designers specialize in several areas: including Back-end Web designers, Front-end Web designers and webmasters. The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS.gov) website defines these specializations as follows:
Back-end Web developers are responsible for the overall technical construction of the website. They create the basic framework of the site and ensure that it works as expected. Back-end web developers also establish procedures for allowing others to add new pages to the website and meet with management to discuss major changes to the site.
Webmasters maintain websites and keep them updated. They ensure that websites operate correctly, and they test for errors such as broken links. Many webmasters respond to user comments as well.
The following are six major skills that a Web designer should possess to perform successfully in their positions.
- Critical Thinking
- Project Management
- Project Planning
Now that we know what a Web designer does and the skills that are required to successfully perform in their position, let’s find out why the Web designer is an essential asset for any business operating in today’s market. The following is a list of just a few of the reasons why a Web designer is essential for a successful business.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Search engine optimization techniques helps to push the website to the top of search engine results. This results in increased website visitors, and increased sales. In case you’re wondering why SEO is at the top of this list, it is because Web designers apply SEO techniques in the planning stages of the website project. The Web designer carefully selects the title, tagline, names of pages, headings, section titles, navigation links, tags, and content.
- Target Marketing – The Web designer conducts research and analysis to determine the target market for the product or service. After defining the target market, the Web designer develops strategies to reach and engage that audience.
- Visual Communication – The Web designer is a skilled visual communicator. According to published reports, website users spend an average of three minutes on a website. The Web designer knows that he/she has only seconds to grab a viewer’s attention, and three minutes to communicate the message of the business and engage the user.
- Effective Marketing – The Web designer takes the lead on how the website is presented in the marketplace. The Web designer ensures that the website design, including the colors, fonts, images and other content are appropriate for the type of business. The Web designer determines the appropriate digital platforms, including social networks that are most effective for reaching the target market.
- Social Media Marketing – The Web designer utilizes his/her knowledge of the digital world to strategically engage users of social networking platforms. According to reports, consumers that use digital devices have at least five social media accounts. Web designers know the importance of engaging with these consumers on their preferred methods of communication.
According to BLS.gov, as a result of ecommerce expansion; steady growth in online purchasing; and an increase in the use of mobile devices by consumers, the demand for Web designers will continue to grow (BLS.gov). This means that in order for organizations to compete in this technology-driven market they must regard Web designers as essential to their success.
Some organizations, especially startups say that they can’t afford to employ a Web designer. Well, considering the direction that commerce has taken as a result of advances in technology, organizations that want to succeed in today’s market, can’t afford not to have a Web designer. Investing in a Web designer may seem like a big investment for a small startup, but in the long-run it will prove to be a worthy investment that quickly launches a small organization into a prominent position in 21st century ecommerce.
Diane Penny is a full-stack Web designer, author and blogger. For more information on how to set up a professional website and stay up-to-date on current Web trends, use the Sign-up button above to subscribe to the "Tech Realm Newsletter." Also, for some great video tutorials on Web development, subscribe to the Diane Penny Web Design YouTube channel.
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Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, “Occupational Outlook Handbook.” 2016-17 Edition. Web Developers. Web. 17 Sep. 2017.
"15-1134.00." O*NET OnLine. National Center for O*NET Development, n.d. Web. 17 Sep. 2017.
Mockup. Ptra. Pixabay.com. Web. 18 Nov. 2017.