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A day in life of a website designer

By 1st November 2020No Comments
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You’ve probably heard the age-old stereotypes: sales teams spend their days giving clients the gift of the gab, while developers prefer to work in quiet solitude. But what about a website designer?

Web designers often wear two hats, depending on the size of the web design studio. If it’s smaller, they might also be involved in web development, so it’s important to understand the key differences:

  • Web designers develop artistic styles and graphics for web applications
  • Web developers develop the functionality for these styles – they use code.

A web designer might therefore have more contact with the client, particularly if they are also developing the site. So, what will their day look like?

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A typical day for our website designers in Chorley and Bolton

Like many office roles, the day of a website designer starts with a little admin. This is usually catching up on emails – liaising with team members like project managers to share any updates, or answering client questions for ongoing projects.

Client communications

It’s crucial that a designer keeps in constant communication with everybody involved on a project. They may need to run change requests, testing, design changes or anything else the client needs for a functional website.

Some designers may have a hand in business development too. So don’t be surprised to see a website designer in a client ‘kick-off’ meeting, where they can discuss ideas for the look, feel and functionality of a site. Later on in the project, the designer may host calls to guide the client through the site itself, explaining functionality or the reasoning for colours and other features.

Website design work

Not every day is as design-packed as you may think! Often, new projects start with a considerable amount of research. When tasked with a new digital marketing brief, the designer may have to research competitors and take inspiration from logos, colours and more. Alternatively, there may be aesthetic or user design issues they want to avoid.

Next, we move on to the design itself. They might start small, for example, creating or revising a logo design. After project kick-off meetings, designers will work to a schedule set by project managers. This might be known as a ‘scrum’ – small, manageable tasks in a linear fashion that support the next task.

So for example, a designer’s schedule might be a two-week turnaround for logo design and approval. Then the process would start once again, this time with design elements such as:

  • Wireframes (basic structure of how pages will look)
  • Colours and typography
  • Site architecture (how pages are laid out, such as product categories and products)
  • Any bespoke functionality e.g. a colour-picking tool for a paint merchant.

Client approval and changes

Once everything is in situ, it’s back to the client to make comments and any amendments. This is an iterative process and there may be much back and forth. At this stage, it’s important for project managers to be clear on what’s “in the scope” (budgeted for in the project) and what would be a chargeable change request.

Ongoing maintenance

Website support is a common bolt-on in the design agency world. Once a project is complete, clients may call upon designers to make changes, upgrades, or fix any potential bugs. The latter may also involve the helpdesk team, if the agency has one.

Maintenance packages may be cheaper long-term if the client makes lots of changes, for example, regularly uploading new products.

Here we go again!

This process may happen several times in a day, or various phases of each project will form part of the designer’s working hours. It all depends on how many projects are on the schedule. One thing’s for certain though – there’s never a dull moment for a website designer.

If you’re looking for outstanding web development, design and project management in Bolton and Chorley, contact Tall Zebra Designs here.