Web designers and developers (NOC 2175)

High opportunity occupation

About this job

Web designers and developers plan, organize and produce digital content, create internet and intranet sites and/or applications for client websites. There are many roles and job titles that are a part of web design, including user experience (UX) designers, user interface (UI) designers, interaction designers, writers and content strategists, user researchers, and front-end developers. For many in this job, the work is about the user’s experience on the website (UX), the look of the design (UI), or the building of the back end of the site (coding).

Watch the videos below to learn what a day in the life of a web developer is like.

Common job titles
  • designer / developer - intranet / website
  • developer, web - e-business / e-commerce
  • manager, website
  • Web integrator
  • Webmaster
  • webmaster, corporate

Duties

Web designers and developers perform some or all of the following:

  • Work with clients to understand the goals of the website
  • Work with select website users to research the needs of people who will use the site
  • Work with writers, graphic artists, and programmers to develop or refresh a website
  • Communicate the decisions made about how the website will look and work
  • Prepare wireframes, design mock-ups and storyboards to show others how the website will look throughout the development process, and get approval
  • Develop website sections and how they are organized
  • Make decisions on what is needed for the hardware and software
  • Organize and outline the content and how visitors will move around the different sections of the website
  • Research, develop, and create or buy the content, including photos, graphics, typography, videography and other interactive pieces
  • Write content for the website, including labels, micro copy, body copy and help sections
  • Design the flow, layout, and look of the website or application
  • Plan, design, write, modify, integrate and test website related code
  • Test and do other forms of research to make sure the website works for users
  • Perform security and quality reviews and generate web analytics
  • May lead and co-ordinate teams with different skills and experience to develop the website workflows, content, interface design, graphics, and interactive elements
  • May research and review a variety of software, websites, and other interactive/new media

Work environment

Web designers and developers typically work in an office with computers. Those that are self-employed may have a home-based office or work remotely.

This work tends to be done within a typical 40-hour week; however, in order to meet project deadlines, web designers and developers sometimes need to work longer hours – including evenings, weekends and holidays.

Web designers and developers might work for computer software development firms, digital agencies, consulting firms or in a company’s marketing or communication department. They may work in the private and public sectors, which includes government and school boards. They may also be self-employed with their own web design and development firm, or work as a contractor at different companies.

Working in this career generally means long periods using a keyboard and monitor, so web designers and developers may be at risk of eye strain, backaches and hand and wrist problems (ranging from simple strains to longer-term problems, such as carpal tunnel syndrome).

Insights from industry

Websites are now seen as an important part of a company’s communication with customers, clients, suppliers, and potential employees. Technology continues to change and improve, and it’s important for web designers and developers to stay on top of this.

The growing use of information technologies (IT) means that there will be a need for more workers in this career. Many new jobs are being created, while others become available because of retirements. The demand for web designers and developers is expected to increase in the coming years.

There is strong demand for those that have a high level of technical knowledge, and can work on large, complex systems. There are enough new graduates that are willing to do basic web design; however, employers often require web designers and developers with a great deal of experience in information architecture (IA). IA is the design of clear and understandable information through the organization of content. This includes the ability to set up the website to allow the user to easily and quickly find what they are looking for.

Bigger cities in the province, such as Vancouver or Victoria, offer more opportunities for full-time work and the chance to work on larger or more complicated web development and design projects.

The web design and development field focuses greatly on user experience, information architecture and usability design. Web designers and developers must think about how people will visit the website, including through their mobile devices. There is also a move towards understanding and using social media platforms when included in websites.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

This career is exciting, challenging, and may also pay well for those with experience. There may be opportunities to work on interesting projects. Those that move up in this career are workers who are open to learning new things, that work well in a team or on their own, that have good communication skills and that are looking for ongoing long- or short-term contracts.

Recent graduates can expect to find jobs in user interface (UI) design, design production, animation, game design and basic web programming. Workers with additional experience and/or education may move into leadership roles such as team leads, art directors, creative directors, producers, project managers, information technology (IT) managers and senior programmers.

Additional resources