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Webdesigner Webflow : All you need to know about freelance and agency work

The job of webdesigner, we often hear about it, but everything is still unclear. What does it require, mean and imply?

Updated on

19/12/2020

Webdesigner Webflow : All about the business
Webdesigner Webflow : All about the business

Webdesigner Webflow: You want to start as a webdesigner, but you still have doubts, simply because you don't know exactly what it requires, means and implies.

You are already a webdesigner, but you don't yet understand the real stakes of the job, its ins and outs. You therefore find it difficult to consider yourself as such, and this has repercussions on your activity, the quality of your services and the rates you apply.

You're none of those things, but you're curious what is?

In this article, I will explain everything there is to know about the job.

#webdesigner #metierwebdesigner #webdesignerwebflow

🌈 Survey

In your opinion, are web designers and graphic designers the same?

Yeah, they're both working on the visuals
No, the other one focuses on the web (the wedesigner).
I have no idea, I'd rather not give my opinion...
In any case, I strongly invite you to share your opinion with me in comments! We surely have different points of view. 🌈❤️

While waiting to answer this question, I'm going to make you discover the world of webdesign through this guide.

Let's start by analyzing the missions of a webdesigner.

Summary

Conclusion

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Webdesigner: Where do they work?

They have a choice:

  • some of them work in agencies, in an office space
  • others are freelancers (and I'm one of them)

In freelance as well as in agencies, the webdesigner is often brought to work with other people (especially for large-scale projects). He then builds a team.

Always depending on the size of the project, this team is not only composed of web designers or graphic designers. Sometimes, other marketing professionals also work with them: translators, copywriters, editors, developers...

Webdesigner : The missions

Generally, we receive briefings about layouts, navigation, etc., and we take care to follow the instructions. This way of working is done with clients who already know what they want.

However, a webdesigner should not only limit himself to briefs. These will serve as a basis for understanding the needs of his clients. Do they want a showcase site or a dynamic site with other options? Which options exactly? Etc.

An oral exchange would also be welcome. Once this is done, the webdesigner starts to make a mock-up of the site using dedicated tools and software. For customers who do not know what they want, it will be the role of the webdesigner to guide him, to make him understand some issues and constraints of the web ...

As you probably suspect, the webdesigner assures that the site he will design will be "design". But not that. A site that's pretty to look at and yet impractical will be useless.

It is therefore necessary to combine the two: ergonomics and design.

Webdesigner: What is the profile?

Wedbesign is not only a profession. It is above all an art . That's why webdesigners must have a great visual as well as graphic sensibility. They have to be very creative.

Moreover, the web is constantly evolving. It is normal to expect a webdesigner to have a good general knowledge of this world. They must therefore keep a watchful eye on things.

Webdesigner: What skills do I need?

I've consulted a lot of websites that give explanations about the webdesign business. Most of them underline the fact that mastering HTML and CSS is of paramount importance when you decide to go into webdesign.

However, I do not share this view.

If you've been following me for some time now, you should know that I prefer no-code tools . In this guide, I have listed several tools, but one of the ones I use the most is none other than Webflow. It allows you to create websites without any code (if you want to know more about it, don't hesitate to read the complete list of everything you need to know aboutWebflow.

Then, for the processing of visuals (website mock-ups among others), there are those who say you need to know how to handle Photoshop, inDesign or Illustrator. In my opinion, however, you need to find the tool that suits you best. There are of course many, I've listed a few modeling and wireframe tools and software recently.

Maybe you'll find the one that suits you best?

Finally, I prefer to reiterate that you will not necessarily work alone in your career. Even freelance, from time to time, you will work with a team. That's why it's important to be good at teamwork.

Webdesigner: What are the qualities?

Creativity is a much sought-after quality in a webdesigner. If a client uses your services, it is because he is looking for someone who can create an original website. Otherwise, he could have done it himself, who knows?

Added to this creativity: artistic sensitivity. It will be this quality that will allow you to immediately imagine a website after having discussed with the client or after having read his brief. We can also classify in this category the fact that you are meticulous and perfectionist when designing the site.

Then you have to be very proactive. It's possible that the client asks for two contradictory things in his brief. Or they may ask you to do something that completely deviates from the norm. In that case, I strongly advise you to give your opinion and advise him.

Curiosity isn't a bad thing if it's for a good cause! Do you remember? When I told you that you have to keep a permanent technological and creative watch (latest software on the market, website trends, fashionable colours and typography ...)? Well, you won't be able to do it without being curious. And if you don't like that word, maybe you prefer this one: " alert mind".

Here's an example of change: if before, web designers used to create sites only for computers, they now take into account other terminals (tablets and smartphones of all screen sizes). The latter have their own needs and constraints.

The time will also come when new tools will come on the market. When that day actually comes, you should be able to try them out so that you have a clear idea of what they offer. All this to tell you that you must have more than one tool up your sleeve! Don't limit yourself to Photoshop or Figma. Be open-minded, try to learn all the time.

I mean, you need rigor and organization. That's the key to any success.

Webdesigner: What is the salary?

Everyone knows their values, so everyone has their rates. But on average, I was able to collect these figures from reliable sites (after they conducted their own survey) :

  • Junior Webdesigner: between 25K €/year and 30K €/year
  • Senior Webdesigner: up to 40K €/year
  • Webdesigner Expert: within 50K €/year, or even more depending on his expertise and reputation.

I'm not saying these salaries are the norm. They vary depending on the web designers.

Also, as a freelancer, we have more margins. The more clients you have, the more your turnover increases.

How to become a webdesigner?

If you work in an agency

Agencies are constantly looking for new web designers to complete their team. The application procedures remain the same: sending CVs and cover letters to the recruitment manager. But in order to stand out from the crowd, you have to be creative already ;)

If you're freelancing

If you want to work freelance, you'll think it'll be harder. But instead of thinking about negative things, why not invade your mind of the advantages of working as a freelance webdesigner? One of the biggest advantages is for example the fact that you can specialize. Me, I specialized in creating websites on Webflow.

Now let's get to the heart of the matter: how to become a freelance webdesigner? Here's thegolden rule: to have the necessary skills and qualities, the ones I just explained in the previous parts.

What if you don't have all these prerequisites? Don't panic. It's never too late to train . And when I say "training," I don't mean the kind you get in school. If you want to go, it's your choice. If not, you can always take online training at your own pace.

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Diplomas are therefore not compulsory for this profession. All that matters is that you know how to do what you do, and for that you need to understand what your job really means. Indeed, it is a real job.

The fact that it does not require a particular degree does not make it a pseudo-job. And since it is a real job, I invite you to understand the ins and outs of it. From now on, you should not confuse it with other professions. A graphic designer is different from a web designer.

If the webdesigner focuses on the whole site and the user experience. He wants to make it unique, but at the same time he bases it on his client's recommendations. Above all, he makes sure that the whole thing is not only pleasing to the eye, it has to be practical. On the contrary, a graphic designer does none of this. He creates visual elements for a given audience.

You can also become a freelance webdesigner if you know how to meet your clients' needs. Your client should be satisfied with your work, just as he would have been satisfied with a graduate with a classical education.

To be sure to satisfy your customers, you have no other choice than to continuously train, to stay connected to innovations related to your profession and to other fields (natural referencing among others).

What training do I need to become a webdesigner?

There are no specific training courses that are absolutely necessary . Being self-taught can also help a lot.

On the other hand, if you want to follow university courses (bacc +3 or +5), there are several art or visual communication schools.

Let's not forget the online training courses on webdesign. They are numerous, but then how to choose? Why not start with the free trainings?

The only difference between online and university-based training is in the degree level. However, the latter are only necessary to facilitate access to a position in an agency or to have a well-rounded portfolio. I say it often: what matters is that you know how to do what you do well.

Are you already a webdesigner? How to improve ?

2 cases may arise:

  • you are not yet a webdesigner, because you don't think you have the creativity necessary for the job.
  • you're already a webdesigner, but you want to keep improving.

Either one needs to work and stimulate his or her creativity . Indeed, good news! Creativity is a quality that can be worked on. How can it be worked? Here are a few tips:

  • Have one or more sources of inspiration.

There are plenty of sites that can serve as sources of inspiration. To help you, I've grouped some of them together in the happydesk.be dashboard. To access them, you just need to create an account on the site.

Social networks are also full of images and discussions that can serve as a source of inspiration. So, while you can, be present on social networks!

Finally, to gain even more inspiration, I advise you to get out of your comfort zone. If you've been freelancing for a while, and you work mainly from home, it's high time to get out in the world. Going to coworking spaces (I've made a list of those I've already been to) would be a very good idea.

  • Surround yourself with creative people

I'd like to take this opportunity to tell you about one of the advantages of coworking spaces: you can create a new network. There are not only web designers there. But I'm sure that there are creative people. Also, meeting other professionals who work in a different field from yours helps you to broaden your perspectives, to have different ideas about any subject.

Working with another webdesigner team is also another way to surround yourself with creative people.

  • Be persevering and rigorous

Even webdesigners are sometimes out of inspiration. If you ever encounter the same problem, don't give up. It's true that a little break can always do some good, but other times, you just have to persevere and so, keep on creating, keep on trying... until inspiration comes to you.

  • Getting organized

When you organize your tasks, everything feels more liberated. And a liberated mind means: less stress. Studies show that when you're less stressed, you're more creative.

How do you stand out?

But if all webdesigners have all these qualities and skills, and if they are continuously working on their creativity, what will make me stand out from the others? How am I going to find my own clients?

Is that what you're thinking?

You have to try to present a "plus" to your clients. What more can you give compared to freelance platforms and other webdesigners? In addition to your other values, what do you have that others don't? What do you like the most and what do you do best?

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What about the technological advancements in all this?

By technological advances, I mean different platforms such as Wordpress, Wix or Webflow . They offer ready-made themes. For some time now, ThemeForest has the wind in its sails!

I'm not talking about pseudo webdesigners who sell themes ready to be used, but at ridiculously low prices, thinking they'll succeed. And there are those who succeed, hence the unfair competition.

What does the webdesigner do in the face of all this? To tell the truth, the job of webdesigner has a bright future!

You've probably noticed the advent of digital and web-based jobs. Lately, they're all the rage, whether in social networks or forums. If I have to advise people on the jobs of the future, I'll probably offer them the job of webdesign (provided they have the necessary skills and qualities, and above all that they love the job).

You intervene mainly on the web. But the web is constantly evolving. It's only natural that jobs related to the web have a bright future. There is still plenty to develop, learn and discover...

More and more sites are also being created on a regular basis, every day. Those who use the ready-made themes are no more successful than those who use the services of a webdesigner. The latter, before tackling anything, takes a close interest in his target audience. He tries to get to know them before proposing a site that corresponds to their needs, their problems, etc.

On the other hand, prefabricated themes are standard. They look like they are suitable for any type of site, target, etc., but in reality this is not the case. They do not respect the main steps of web design creation . They just create a beautiful site; nothing more. Thus, these sites do not necessarily reach the objective that future site owners have set for themselves: to sell more products or services, or to communicate better with their followers. The site is simply not adapted to their needs, their requirements, their expectations...

For those who create their own site (business owners among others), it is clear that they do not master webdesign and the rules that govern it. Some sites are not even accessible on other media (other than the computer). What an opportunity for webdesigners!

On the other hand, a webdesigner may not remain a webdesigner throughout his career. Like any job (and as it is a real job), he can evolve. In the long run, he can become an art director.

Conclusion

To answer the question at the beginning, the job of a webdesigner and that of a graphic designer are just as different from each other. The webdesigner has broader skills (web project as a whole) while the graphic designer focuses on specific elements. The webdesigner also makes sure that the whole site is intuitive (navigation), in addition to being a designer.

  • Would you like to become one?
  • You already are, but you want to get better, over and over again?

Yes, it's possible! The basis is none other than creativity.

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