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Senior web designers work with various aspects of website creation, from the coding element to ensuring a site is responsive and optimized for search engines. Typical tasks that a senior web designer is involved with include developing website layouts, updating sites with changes or new information, and working with other teams to create concepts and strategies. Most senior web designers work full-time, although part-time positions are sometimes available, as are remote working opportunities. This role is well-suited to creative people with an aptitude for technology, computers, and problem-solving abilities.
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Senior Web Designer Duties and Responsibilities
The type of organization a senior web designer works for will determine the exact roles and responsibilities. Based on job listings we analyzed, a senior web designer’s duties typically involve:
Meet with Clients
A key part of a senior web designer's duties is meeting with clients and team members to discuss the needs of the site or project and to create a plan of what's required. This involves ideation and strategy as well as a good understanding of the clients' brand and goals.
Create and Test Sites
Working from project briefs and concepts, senior web designers create and test applications to ensure that they're working effectively and meet the demands of the client. This involves checking that the site is responsive, fixing any bugs or faults, and checking the site on different browsers to assess potential usability issues.
Part of this role involves writing programming code to build the website and alter the design. This involves staying up-to-date with the latest coding developments and changes, utilizing new technology to streamline the process, and adhering to best practices.
Working closely with animators, video teams, and other designers, senior web designers are responsible for finding ways to integrate different forms of media into a site to improve usability and enhance the look and feel of the website.
Generate Ideas and Strategies
Senior web designers are expected to be creative and find original solutions to briefs. They also create strategies to proactively drive innovation with new options made available by upcoming technologies.
Senior Web Designer Skills and Qualifications
Senior web designers should have strong interpersonal skills, be able to explain complex technical information in an easy-to-follow way, and be able to find creative solutions to project briefs. Typically, employers will require a bachelor’s degree in web design or a similar field, along with previous experience of web design and the following abilities:
- Communication Skills - Senior web designers work closely with other departments to bring projects and ideas to life. They provide support on technical issues, often explaining information to people with no web design knowledge. This requires excellent communication skills and the ability to translate information clearly
- Technical Support - Senior web designers oversee the technical web strategy at all stages and provide advice and support where they can
- Problem Solving - When issues arise, it's the senior web designer's duty to identify and resolve the problem, including providing clear and concise explanations to other colleagues or clients
- Search Engine Optimization - A large part of any web-based role is to optimize it for search engines, so senior web designers have a strong understanding of the fundamentals of SEO and how to put it to best use on web pages
- Creativity - Senior web designers have a creative mindset and are able to come up with unique and interesting ideas for projects or layouts
Tools of the Trade
Senior web designers are expected to have a good understanding of:
Adobe Software – (Photoshop, Illustrator)
Senior Web Designer Education and Training
Senior Web Designer Salary and Outlook
The median annual salary for senior web designers is nearly $69,000. Senior web designers in the 10th percentile earn around $50,000 a year and the highest paid earn nearly $96,000 annually. Bonus structures can reach as much as $10,000 with this position, and profit sharing can reach as much as $11,000. Commission is also available with some companies and roles, reaching up to $2,000.
Location and level of experience impact the pay level for this role, and many employers offer dental plans and medical insurance as part of their benefits package. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the growth rate for this sector is expected to increase by 15 percent through 2026.
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We’ve collected some of the best resources to help you develop a successful career as a senior web designer:
Covering search engines, algorithms, and design changes, this book helps readers to understand how search engines "think." It highlights key techniques and skills to gain, from keyword research to social media, to help implement the right SEO strategy.
This set of two books by Jon Duckett forms the perfect foundation for building up knowledge on coding languages. These are written in a visual format and accessible language, making them easy to learn from and ideal references.
Founded back in 2008, Web Designer Depot posts the very latest on user experience, freelancing, and design. It covers issues such as accessibility, technology, and developments in the industry to help readers stay up to date.
Smashing Magazine is one of the industry's leading authorities on the latest design and development news. This site has a plethora of articles, tutorials, and events to read up on to build a strong understanding of the best practices in web design.