A Day in the Life of a Web Designer


Your friend tells you that he or she is a web designer. You think to yourself, “Oh, that means he or she is a designer.” Wrong. It’s much more than that. Design barely graces the surface of the title, “web designer.” So just what does a web designer do? I can’t answer for all web designers, but I can tell you what it’s like for me. My routine consists of me juggling a number of tasks, which include:

  • Emails. I’m constantly checking work emails for new web design projects (who isn’t?).
  • Work. I am 100% passionate about my job, so when I work, I work hard. Projects usually involve creating multiple design comps, which can be quite time-consuming.
  • Field trips. As a government contractor, it’s all about pleasing the client. Even if it involves field trips, such as running errands at the Pentagon.
  • Twitter. I love using TweetDeck, a Twitter interface for my desktop, to read the latest hot finds that other web gurus have posted. You can follow my tweets at @kristinandrews.
  • Other Blogs. I like to keep up with others in the industry, so during downtime, I scan my favorite blogs for today’s posts. My favorites: Smashing Magazine (by the way, they wrote a great post on 2009 Web Trends), Web Designer Depot, You the Designer, Just Creative Design, Outlaw Design Blog, and ILoveTypography. Occasionally I’ll drop by Cameron Moll or Jeffrey Zeldman’s place on the web.
  • My Blog. When I feel inspired, I zip over here and craft up a post or two for the day.
  • Tutorials. It’s imperative to practice design, so I like to work with Photoshop tutorials on the web.
  • Code. A true web designer is a hybrid of web design and web development. A good web designer will take the time to write clean code. As for me, I can always use more hands-on time figuring out XHTML/CSS/Javascript examples.
  • Play. When you work hard, you play hard. Web designers like to play, too. It’s not unusual to fire nerf gun darts and foam hand grenades at coworkers around the office.

Overall, good web designers do a lot to keep up with the industry. They eat, breathe, sleep web design. Oftentimes, many have a freelance business on the side or as their primary source of income. Either way, it’s a fun industry to keep up with. While I’m no expert, I am passionate about what I do and love to spread the word about great finds.

I’m always open to answering questions, so fire away!

6 Responses to “A Day in the Life of a Web Designer”

  1. 1 ricky February 12, 2009 at 2:32 am

    hii… thanks for your info brother..

  2. 2 Carole May 25, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    I am very interested in becoming a web designer. I am passionate about using my creative side. But I am also very tech savvy. Does this offer the best of both worlds for someone like me?
    Also, did you need a huge amount of computer hardware knowledge to get to where you are today?

  3. 3 Refined Designer May 26, 2009 at 7:31 am

    Hi Carole, your skill sets sounds like the perfect blend for what it takes to be a web designer. I enjoy the creative and technical parts of being a web designer, so yes, it offers the best of both worlds for someone like you. As for computer hardware knowledge, not so much. You’re much better off acquainting yourself with software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. If you’re new to coding, Dreamweaver is great program to start with, but after that, I would recommend Coda or TextMate. In the end though, my advice is to pursue what you love.

  4. 4 Carole May 26, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    Thank you so much for your advice. I am truly excited about what’s to come. Your feedback is very helpful and very much appreciated.

  5. 5 Carole June 2, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    how long have you been a web designer?

  6. 6 Refined Designer June 2, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Officially one year, but I went to school for it for 4 years.

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