Life of a web designer in a Web Design Agency

Date of Post
Sunday, Nov 15
Written by:
Chan Teck Seng

Life of a web designer in a Web Design Agency Banner

Ever wondered what it’s like to be a web designer in a professional web design agency? Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of their job scope and responsibilities.

  1. A typical web designer’s responsibilities include meeting with the clients alongside the project manager to layout specifics of the site design and functions.
  2. Part of the design stage includes a simulation or mock up of the site, which the web designer will utilise Adobe softwares for. Commonly used professional softwares include Adobe illustrator for design layouts and for interactive mockups, Adobe XD.
  3. Strategizing user flow to ensure that it is functional and fulfills the client’s objective.
  4. Re-editing drafts of the site after input of feedback from client.
Hear from Lemonade’s in-house web-designer, Hui Fen - Lemonade Web Design

Hear from Lemonade’s in-house web-designer, Hui Fen

1. Can you describe your job as a web designer?
• As a web designer, I am responsible for creating the overall design & layout of a website according to the brief. I will outline the problems/needs of each client and implement design layouts on the design platforms such as Adobe Illustrator. I am also in-charge of designing the layout in an interactive mockup format on Adobe XD.

2. What is a day in your life as a web designer like?
• A full day involves working on various projects for clients including front-end website design, project development, and strategizing a user’s flow to help fulfill the client’s needs & objectives towards their target audience.

3. What is one thing you wish clients would understand about the design process?
• The different elements required for a successful user interface experience.

4. What is the trickiest part of the job?
• Translating design elements to clients and for them to be able to articulate the aesthetic of the site enough for me to successfully capture that.

5. Did you have any pre-requisite knowledge of web design before joining Lemonade?
Yes, I did. I used a software called “Brackets” which churns out HTML coding that transforms it into a responsive website using a format called ‘Bootstrap’.
I also picked up a WordPress Hosting Solutions called “MAMP Pro”, where it creates and manages multiple hosts each time. Each host can be configured individually and adapts exactly to the target system.

6. What is the most satisfying part of your job?
• To be able to see my own design go live.

What are the distinct differences between hiring a freelance web designer and a web designer from an agency? - Lemonade Web Design

What are the distinct differences between hiring a freelance web designer and a web designer from an agency?

For the client, some of the considerations when considering a web-designer includes cost, size of the project, and digital marketing needs. These are all valid and real concerns when the purpose of building the site is to generate quality leads and eventually sales for the business. Just a simple Google search could inform one that approaching a web design agency would cost significantly more because of the multiple professionals that would be working on the project, however, it also signifies that the site would be programmed with the most updated software and functions, it still adds value.

On the other hand, an impressive freelancer would also be able to take on such a project at a lower costs, but they usually consist of a one-man team and would take a longer time, so the client would have to adjust timeline expectations accordingly. If the client doesn’t mind the hassle, to build a site with a freelancer usually consists of approaching one UI and one UX designer, as the freelancer is either a well-versed user-experience or user interface designer, rarely both.

The skills a web-designer are required to have - Lemonade Web Design

The skills a web-designer are required to have

Typically, most clients would have the impression that web-designers only require a good eye when it comes to visual aesthetics, but that is merely the tip of the iceberg. With design apps such as Pinterest, We Heart It, and even Canva available at our fingertips, it is not hard to conceptualise a good vision board. 

A good vision board can help realize a professional-looking website that is also on-brand for the business. Do not be mistaken, a professional web-agency would definitely employ a web-designer with a good sense of design, but it forms roughly 10% of the grunt work that goes into building a site.

More importantly, a great web designer in a professional agency should have the required technical skills to build the mock-ups required.

Web designers should be well-equipped with basic coding languages like HTML, CSS and Java. Efficiency with softwares such as Adobe Illustrator and XD are also appreciated as they help speed up the design process.

The main difference between a UI and UX designer? - Lemonade Web Design

The main difference between a UI and UX designer?

Make a simple search on Linkedin and one would realize that UI and UX is a buzzword on job searches in the realm of web design. This is because these are highly sought after skills but not many understand the differences in the job scopes and the nuances of the roles in the design process. We’re here to simplify that.

A UI designer or commonly known as user interface designer is responsible for how the interface looks and function, this term is strictly digital and only applies to job functions within web design. On the other hand, user interface is applicable to a wider range of industries.

For UI designers, many would interpret the profession to be similar to that of a graphic designer or Adobe Illustrator artist. In reality, their responsibilities revolve around elements of design and consumer psychology. For web designers, their objective is to make online features feel as intuitive as possible in order to get consumers to interact with the site. Is it easy for the user to check out their shopping cart? How does one get more views on a specific category of products if the business is attempting to upsell?

These are some of the common considerations a web designer has to take into account. In order to execute their objectives, they have to finesse using design functions to make all of that happen intuitively to the viewer/consumer. To top it off, not only do they ensure the site is functional, they make it aesthetically-pleasing as well.

For UX designers, their main objective is slightly self-explanatory. They craft a user’s experience as the viewer navigates the site and gather information about the business or a certain product. A huge aspect of their responsibilities involve troubleshooting during the site development process and as they layout the skeleton of the project, it becomes easier to identify any problems that might impede a pleasant user experience. This is particularly crucial in assisting brands to tell their story and hopefully a convincing one that is enough to churn sales from the site.

Conceptualising a site - Lemonade Web Design

Conceptualising a site

It is insightful to get to know the thought processes that run through a designer’s head at the start of conceptualising a site. At the initial consultation with the client, the designer would have an ample feel of the creative direction the client wants the site to go through with, this has to be aligned with the site’s needs. For example, is the site an e-commerce or is it to raise brand awareness?

This is the part where some trade-offs would need to be made in order to prioritise other needs. Almost every project comes with a quirky function or a feature customised for the brand and this helps the reader to remember the business’s USP.

Building a site - Lemonade Web Design

Building a site

There are several basic layers that go into building a site. It usually begins with a style sheet or CSS as industry professionals like to call it, the style sheet is essentially the backbone of the site’s design and it is how shapes, colour and placement of icons are modified to suit the brief. This is followed by installing main buttons, tabs and functions for interactivity and site navigation.

The mid-cycle of the site includes putting up of content and graphics sent over by clients. There will be plenty of drafts to be reverted back for edits at this stage and client feedback is essential before the site is launched. Just before launch, the site will have to undergo rigorous testing and debugging in order for it to be launched smoothly.

Optimising a site for marketing - Lemonade Web Design

Optimising a site for marketing

Optimising a site is important for the client’s return of investment, most businesses expect the site to assist them with their KPIs and generate sales. It is easy to undermine this stage but it is crucial not to do so. 

In recent years, online marketing has become a collaborative effort, with brands plugging their social media pages on their main sites or advertisers featuring businesses with homogenous products to draw in clicks. These little acts can actually generate a high conversion rate and meet sales targets or KPIs. 

Optimising the site and its content also includes SEO optimisation, this is where the content has to be Google search friendly in order for the site to rank highly on any major search engines. This is typically not under the responsibility of the web designer, but the location in which the content is placed would be under the user interface stage.

Launching the site - Lemonade Web Design

Launching the site

The final stage of site design is full of trial and errors for the web designer. From the tiniest thing like checking for typos to configuring the site to become mobile-friendly. The designer would be running compatibility tests with various search engines and plugins just to make sure that it is all running smoothly.
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