Web designer: how to become one, salary and skills

How to be a Web Designer? What do you do and how much do you earn? To summarize, the web designer is a professional who must have very broad skills. He must have an in-depth knowledge of the rules of communication, brand strategy and development, interaction design, and graphic interfaces.

He must also know how to be an interlocutor on the more technical aspects: codes and networks for example, even if these topics are then delegated to web developers. Today, Carlotta Silvestrini, an experienced Joomla! web designer and also an entrepreneur will reveal the secrets of this profession to us.

Who is and what does a web designer do?

Monica Foti wex digital coach

Carlotta Silvestrini web designerThe web designer is the expert who strategically designs web interfaces. He is not to be confused with the web developer who develops sites, code-side. The web designer is more of an artist and strategist.

 

Monica Foti wex digital coach

How to become a web designer?

Carlotta Silvestrini web designerIn my opinion, the best way to become a web designer is to do a lot of practice. You can choose a certain type of training, which, at the university level, however, is not guaranteed anywhere.

One can approach the profession with courses that support the more strategic part such as communication courses or web development courses related to specific platforms. I, for example, chose to specialize in Joomla! One has to read a lot of books and practice a lot.

Trying, failing, and solving problems. Today, it all seems very simple, but the complexity is really high and requires a lot of experience.

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Monica Foti wex digital coach

What does web design work consist of?

Carlotta Silvestrini web designerCustomer relationship management always occupies the first part of my day. I personally take care of strategy, design, brand identity, and communication. I tend to delegate the more operational aspects of development.

The last part of the day, until two o’clock in the morning, I deal with the more delicate aspects of the sites and servers with my team. Being a web designer means working very long hours a day, both to be able to develop enough business to be able to sustain myself and to be able to guarantee an excellent level of quality performance on all the details.

Monica Foti wex digital coach

What is the average salary of a web designer in Italy?

Carlotta Silvestrini web designerI am often asked how much a web designer earns. The salary for the work of a web designer in Italy is a very sensitive issue.

I would say that this is not an ideal profession for Italy. If we talk about a web designer in a company, as an employee, here in Emilia Romagna, we are talking about an average monthly salary of between 1,200 and 1,500 €. In Lombardy, levels certainly rise, even up to 1,800 € per month.

It must be taken into account that abroad, for example in Australia, a senior web designer like me can easily reach up to 8,000 dollars a month. In Northern Europe, it is around €3,500 to €5,000 per month. If, on the other hand, we talk about the remuneration of a freelance web designer, in Italy, you have to acquire a lot of contracts and clients if you want to reach a level of around 2,000€ net per month. A freelancer has low fixed costs: a computer and a good connection and can work anywhere.

Then there are the out-of-pocket expenses such as bills and the variable costs of essential collaborators. The positive aspect is that one can approach the profession without the need to invest capital.

Monica Foti wex digital coach

Which professionals do you interface with?

Carlotta Silvestrini web designerI like to interface with all the roles involved in the project when we design a site. Everyone has to understand what we are doing.

We cannot limit ourselves to the marketing people or the entrepreneur if we want to convey the quality of the work. The project, once launched, will be managed internally and everyone has to know it inside out.

I usually interface with management and communications to define the guidelines. Finally, the functions affected by this new identity on the web are involved.

Monica Foti wex digital coach

What basic skills must one possess?

Carlotta Silvestrini web designerToday, to stand out and find work as a web designer, you have to verticalize a lot. You have to have top competence in at least one or a maximum of three topics.

The market demands it and remunerates it. Until five years ago, you could do everything yourself. Today, for example, SEO is a specific discipline that you cannot do without a specialist. You can specialize in aspects related to communication or UX, the user experience of sites, and working as a user experience expert.

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In any case, it is necessary to have a smattering of all disciplines and to be able to be an interlocutor in all aspects. Once you have defined your specialization you have to go deep and push in that direction.

I also suggest being wary of ‘360 ° solutions that offer you a complete package. You have to constantly update yourself and approach this constant learning with humility, aware that you have never really arrived. We would like to thank Carlotta for giving us useful insights into one of the most popular professions on the web.

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Conclusions on the Profession of Web Designer

As we have seen, a web designer today is a very different profession from that of a decade ago. Digital skills are not limited to the use of web graphics tools and software, because the digitization of businesses is not just about making the site beautiful and attractive, as was the case in the late 1990s and 2000s.

Today, to work as a web designer one must have a more transversal professional background and skills that are needed to have a holistic approach in the realisation of a website or a larger-scale graphic-digital project. It must undoubtedly take into account the business objective, which today is not just to be appealing, but to create a digital resource that attracts traffic generated by other digital marketing activities to take action.

Today, the web designer is a professional who has a high level of knowledge and skills in channels that enable him to implement a digital strategy independently.

Design remains his main skill and he must know HTML5 and CSS languages. However, he must be able to contextualize it in a funnel process that is triggered by his (or other colleagues’) digital communication skills. Then there is also the figure of the Digital Designer.

Many people ask what does the Digital Designer do? He is the one who is in charge of improving and optimizing the purchasing process through the website. Not only must it be easy to navigate, but it must guarantee good and fast usability of content and ease of sharing.

Does this topic interest you? Read also Web Design: more graphically beautiful sites and Google Web Designer, a free Google application for building campaigns and advertisements in HTML5.

Would you like to become a web designer? Our training offer is rich, you might consider taking one of these courses:

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