If you consider yourself a creative with a technical edge, then you may just find success as a front-end web designer.
With most Australians now dependent on the Internet, professional and innovative web design has become an every-business essential. Experts in the field are currently sought-after, with demand expected to rise by 12.9% in the next five years (according to SEEK statistics). As with most jobs in high demand, web designers enjoy the potential for high salaries, earning an average of $61,771 AUD per year (and gaining more as experience grows).
Below, we break down the basics of this industry, how to land a job in the field, and how training with AIICT’s new front-end web design course can help you launch a career in this growing sector.
What is front-end web design?
Front-end web design encompasses the client-facing side of web development – the components that users can interact with directly. As with other aspects of web development, the role involves plenty of coding and server management, though also includes an element of visual creativity.
In general, successful front-end web design will present all the information a user needs in a clear, structured, and eye-catching manner. They need to be able to navigate the website easily, with its functions and features performing as efficiently as possible. With users now accessing the internet through a variety of devices and platforms, web designers must also keep these factors top-of-mind, ensuring their design operates correctly on various browsers, devices, and operating systems.
What are the responsibilities of a web designer?
Web designers are likely to work among IT teams or as individual professionals in a digital design agency. Among other tasks, much of their day-to-day work involves:
liaising with clients on their website needs
constructing engaging and responsive designs
ensuring stability across varying browsers and devices
optimising their design for better speed and scalability
testing web design for optimum performance
collaborating with back-end developers to ensure all server and database processes integrates well with their front-end interface
Typically, recruiters will look for aspiring web designers with a knowledge of best design practice, a creative visual flair, and the ability to communicate well with clients and stakeholders.
How to become a front-end web designer in Australia
Learn to code
On top of this, professionals in the field must have 2-3 years of experience in managing user interfaces (UI) and user experience (UX), and may require a basic skillset in Adobe Suite (i.e. Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign). A fundamental knowledge of SEO optimisation, key web design principles, and the skills to test and debug websites are also a must.
Consider formal qualifications
Though self-taught coders aren’t a rarity, aspiring web designers are often recommended to take up formal, nationally-recognised training. This allows them to learn straight from the experts, helping them thoroughly build both the technical knowledge and practical skillset required to launch a career in the industry. Additionally, if their program culminates in a recognised qualification, they’ll get to stand out in the job market as professionals with verified, up-to-date skills.
The Australian Institute of ICT (AIICT) currently offers a course in this field through their ICT40120 – Certificate IV in Information Technology (Elective Focus Front-End Web Design), an online course that explores the basics of web design creation. Graduates get to build a solid foundation in this area, helping them build the skills they need for further, higher-level training or for entry-level job opportunities in the industry.
Build and broaden a portfolio of your work
In order to land attractive job opportunities in web design, an impressive industry portfolio is key. Be sure to document all the best and relevant works you’ve done in the field – both throughout your professional career and any industry training you’ve undergone. Ensure your portfolio contains a variety of web design projects, showcasing your versatility and ability to adapt to different kinds of client demands.
If you’re just starting out in the field, then you may have a lacking client base (if any) to showcase to potential recruiters. This is where concept works or web design mockups can come into play: varied projects you’ve created for theoretical clients. This not only shows your initiative and passion for the profession, but allows you to beef up your portfolio varied styles, aesthetics, and design techniques – and all without needing actual clientele!
Collaborate with other aspiring designers
Of course, front-end web design isn’t a siloed profession. Most, if not all, front-end web designers are required to work closely with other members of a web development project – including those working on the back-end aspects of the website, marketing specialists, project managers, quality assurance, and any stakeholders involved. In order to succeed in this field, front-end web designers must thus exhibit excellent communication and collaboration skills.
Exercise both skillsets and build upon your portfolio by taking the time to collaborate with other aspiring designers on personal website projects. There are plenty of web design communities available online (i.e. StackOverflow, Digital Point, Drupal Forums) where professionals of the field, both veterans and beginners, come together to share their expertise, discuss new techniques, and partner with one another on new projects.
Get as much experience as possible
Finally, it’s important to gain as much experience as you can in this industry. While technical knowledge is an advantage, employers will typically look to your practical works, your design practice, and your visual creativity when assessing your suitability for a job.
On top of pursuing your own personal website projects and collaborating with others in the field, aspiring designers are also recommended to take up internships. Such positions are an opportunity to work alongside veterans of the industry, have a feel of what to expect in an actual workplace environment, and expand their portfolio and professional connections.
Associations are also an effective way of verifying your skills on the job market, making new industry contacts, and keeping up-to-date with the latest trends. Organisations such as the Australian Web Industry Association offer just this, helping bolter one’s exposure and development in the web design field.
Become a front-end web designer with AIICT today!
So, think you’re suited to a career in web design?
At the end of the course, students will have created a total of seven portfolio projects to showcase to potential recruiters or clients. Employment outcomes may include entry-level career opportunities as a web application developer or a front-end web developer. Comprised of nationally-recognised training, students will also graduate with industry-standard skills that can help them stand out in the job market.
Best of all, the course is delivered completely online, helping you train at a place, pace, and schedule that suits you and your study needs best.
Launch an exciting career in the growing world of web design – and enquire with us on the course today.
AIICT offers a wide range of courses:
ICT50220 Diploma of Information Technology (Back End Web Development)
ICT40120 Certificate IV in Information Technology (Web Development)
ICT30120 Certificate III in Information Technology
Certified Full Stack Developer