Web Design Degree Outlook
The development of WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get) software for Web design seemed to make this field obsolete. But, the Web has become sophisticated and that evolution hasn't ceased. What mattered in Web design ten years ago isn't relevant today. What works today may not be relevant in two years. Therefore, the person who wishes to become proficient in Web design must stay ahead of the curve in this field.
Some of the changes that occurred in this field over the previous five years include an emphasis on accessibility and usability. One, accessibility, is a human rights issue. The other, usability, can affect a client's ability to sell products online. If the general public can make little sense from a site's navigation, for instance, the client's Web site will suffer.
So, while many Web designers are self-taught, it's a rare Web designer who can design the site, understand how to deal with navigation, code the site and manage databases and more. Instead, many students who study Web design in school will pick an area where they want to work upon graduation. This may include the graphic interface, the site's navigation and usability, or programming.
The student who wants to design Web sites still must understand how Web sites work behind the graphical interface. Otherwise, any design they choose to use will be useless, as coders and programmers will not be able to implement the design. This does not mean that the Web designer needs to understand how to build databases. Instead, a general knowledge of what is prevalent in the field is sufficient in most cases.
The Web is still new enough to seduce designers into believing they can create the "next best thing" when it comes to designing Web sites. However, browser incompatibilities, code that renders a site inaccessible, and designs that are slow to load still remain problematic. Many Web site designers have discovered that a site that holds relevant content, that is helpful to customers, and that is easy to use all count toward a successful design.
Most Web design students will study typography, color theory, and other design elements in their college courses. They will also learn how to use various software tools, such as Flash and Dreamweaver. But, in most cases, the Web designer who knows how to create some of the design elements in a Web design will find his or her way into entry level positions faster than those graduates who don't learn HTML or CSS basics.