3 answers

What is the opportunity for advancement like for a Web Designer

Asked Iowa City, Iowa

how many types of positions are in this field #tech #web-design #design #career

3 answers

Amy’s Answer

Hi! It's quite good at the moment! "Web design" has a bunch of subcategories you can specialize in, the two that come to mind are "Graphic Design" and "UI/UX Design". I'll dive into that in a little bit, first maybe I can tell you a little about what I do!


I work in the field of User Experience Engineering which is a little bit of web design and a little bit of engineering. When I was in school I wanted to do video games. But when I went to college I realized I needed skills to have a good job. So I studied Computer Science to get a degree in programming computers and math. But I didn't give up on my dream of blending design and art---my Dad was a Graphic Designer. So I started making web sites and apps with code but I would decorate them with art. I'm pretty good at making logos that stand out at a distance, but have lots of cool details if you blow them up large. I learned how to make a web page that works on a laptop and on a mobile phone, and because I know how to program I can do rapid prototyping to make it all work well. These days I work on big company websites and their apps. In my spare time I make iPad music apps and perform with them on stage.


With Graphic Design you are creating the art, the colors, the look of the web site. You have to think about how it will look on a laptop screen or your smartphone screen. You might create an animated character, or a company logo, or something cool-looking. You're going to use apps like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe AfterEffects, InVision.


With UI/UX Design, you're dealing with how the web site works, like what things should be on the home page, what text fields should be on the login page, and maybe how to show a list of movies. UI stands for User Interface, and UX stands for User eXperience. You want to be thinking about how many pages the website has, what's the first/second/third page they should see, and how it might work for people who speak different languages. You might use apps like Sketch, Adobe Illustrator, Figma.


You can go really far in just these two categories! You start by doing the basics, and then you start specializing in like graphic design about buttons, or graphic design about animation, or graphic design about SVG image optimization, and so on... And you don't have to stay within a subcategory ... because you can use what you learn to change categories or help other people who specialize! You can even learn to do computer programming in the process and go into web development.


Amy recommends the following next steps:

  • Start watching YouTube videos on Photoshop, or Adobe XD, or Sketch
  • Download trial versions of the software (if you can), if you can't you can draw on paper
  • Make a portfolio of your work online (LinkedIn, Facebook Page, Google Slides), or keep paper neat in a folder
  • Go to hackathons or job fairs to find other people who are working in the industry

Hao’s Answer

Web design can branch off into many different paths. I started off as a web designer doing web based marketing work. Through the work that I was doing, I ended up doing lots of internal intranet sites. This allowed me to focus on the user interface more.

That brought me to working as a UI designers. From here, you can continue to focus on user interface or branch off to other careers such as Interaction designer or product designer just to name a few. This can be for web and mobile applications and even upcoming VR work.

Conversely, you can continue to branch off web design into graphic design or a visual designer as you focus more on the core aesthetics and branding.

There are many options for branching off from web design which is a great starting point

Devin’s Answer

Updated Astoria, Oregon

Hi Trevor,

This is a great question, and a lot of the outcome depends on the kind of work you are looking for as well as the company you find employment with. Some companies provide advancement in the form of levels - such as a Web Design Engineer 1,2, or 3. There could also potentially be varying titles, such as a Senior Designer, Lead Designer, or moving into various other design roles as highlighted by Amy earlier.

In my opinion, I feel the best piece of advice is to ask these questions within an interview, or when speaking with someone who is recruiting.

  • What does career advancement look like for this role?
  • What growth opportunities do you provide to your employees?
  • How do you recognize growth and advancement?

Questions like this will (hopefully) provide you a clear picture of the kinds of advancement opportunities available for the role at the companies you are interested in.

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