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Studies & Degrees in Web Design

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Since the introduction of the Internet to the general public, communication took an exponential jump by leaps and bounds. In the pre-internet age, people rely heavily on telephone for voice communication and the post office for mail services. In the past, mails, especially those internationally bound, takes weeks to reach intended recipient and sometimes never reach them at all. Also, incidences of tampering have been noted and therefore the integrity of mails is suspected especially for those businesses reliant on information. But with the onset of Internet, middlemen such as post offices are somewhat irrelevant. The Internet age not only revolutionized the way people mail each other but the swiftness of passing information is really the major point why it has flourished. To view information on the Internet, a viewer, or more aptly, a surfer, needs to go to a particular web page. These so called web pages contain the contents where relevant information and messages are posted. Making a web page or address falls on the field of Web Design. As the saying goes, nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd still rings true in the Internet. Because of the increasing Internet usage of the general public, businesses, government and awareness campaigns are now utilizing the power of the Internet.

Basically, web design focuses on presenting hypertext protocols that will be viewed by an end-user by means of the information superhighway, which is the World Wide Web. Web design also have evolved in a very short span of time, from Tim Berners-Lee’s, publisher of the first website, to the highly interactive sites that are now commonly seen on almost every popular websites. Because of the advances in software and utilities, credit card payments, online chat, GPRS tracking like tracking a FedEx parcel, among others were made possible thanks to the genius of web designers.

Usually, especially for commercial websites, there are four aspects that are considered. First is the content, which is the actual information an end-user will find relevant. Consider browsing a website of a restaurant. The content of the restaurant’s website usually would contain its menu and prices and other things that a customer may find relevant to a restaurant. Naturally, finding information about the weather on restaurant website would be very unlikely. The second is its usability or user-friendliness. How an end-user can easily navigate a particular website is important. The easier to go about a website, the possibility of an end-user visiting the site again would be very likely. Third, is the appearance of the website. Since commercial websites are considered a marketing tool by the publishing company, they make the website as pleasing to the eye as possible. The incorporation of pictures, the style of text, colors used and the layout itself is very important from an advertising point of view. And the fourth is the visibility of the site. Web designers must also make sure that the website they are designing would be easy to look for once certain keywords are typed from search engines.

Reliance on the Internet is becoming higher and higher among users. The field of Web Design is yet just starting to uncover its potentials. Those studying and planning to study Web Design are sure to have millions of opportunities ahead of them and with it, hopefully, millions of bucks.

Job positions for Web Design:

Flash Animator

Flash animators are now becoming increasingly in demand due largely to the rising popularity of youtube.com which utilizes Flash-based animations and videos. Flash animation has been developed for quite some time now but only few took interest in the field as there was not much avenue to play Flash-based animation. Bandwidth may also be pinpointed as the reason why Flash animation was not readily accepted by the Internet loving populace. In the 90’s, commonly used bandwidth was about 56kbit/s but since then have now increased enough that downloading Flash-based animation would just take minutes instead of hours. During the time when dial-up connection was still common mode of connection of household users, usually, it takes too long to queue a website that has Flash-based animation. Thanks to DSL, Flash-based videos can now viewed in a jiffy even by desktop computers.
Not only in youtube but almost every website now is incorporating Flash animation or Flash-based videos on their website. Websites of big name companies usually have deep pockets to afford the services of flash animators who make it a point to have their website inserted with Flash-based animation or videos. Having their products in a flash-based video is like having an advertisement that is way relatively cheaper than compared to running a 30-second spot ad on television. Flash videos have really changed the way websites operate. Nowadays, a desktop without a flash player installed is like a blind computer as it won’t be able to view all the features popular sites are offering. Websites with Flash videos have become very dynamic and more appealing to the young, which dominate all demographics of internet users.

In relation to web design, Flash animators are readily sought to put into motion particular effects a website owner or a graphic artist may want. A client may specify that he/she may want to add letters zooming in then out or perhaps the name of the company appearing and disappearing every 5 seconds, and usually, a Flash animator is the man to contact to for these kinds of jobs. In a nutshell, a Flash animator is an effects man.

Since the Internet is a user traffic based industry, flashy websites (no pun intended) tend to have more traffic than those with few or no effects at all. But really, the real money in the Internet is on the advertisements. Unlike in television, where the norm is 30 seconds for one spot ad, a normal web ad may just take about 5 to 10 seconds, taking into consideration that the site visitor might just be surfing. A web ad should be able to convey its message across in about 5 to 10 seconds to a web surfer that’s why web ads are effects heavy in order to prod a website visitor to hold on much longer and see the full run of a web ad.

Opportunity-wise, a Flash animator charges one of the highest rates among web-based jobs as free-lancers who usually charges per second of media run time. Employment among Web Design firms, business solutions firms or just about any website with heavy traffic would readily welcome a well-seasoned Flash animator in its team.

Graphic Designer

One of the important aspects of web design is the overall appearance of a website. Blending of colors, the size of text, the layout, and theme usually are commissioned to a graphic artist or graphic designer.
Traditionally, graphic artists are employed by media advertising firms to provide aesthetics to visual ads. Before, graphic artists are called in to work on brochures, posters, billboards, print ads and other types of media pertaining to the visual sense but with the proliferation of websites, graphic artists are also now a vital cog in a web design team. As with any visual media form, a graphic artist’s responsibility is to present information with aesthetics as its primary consideration.

To be a graphic artist in a web design team would call for a deep knowledge in at least one of graphic design software such as Adobe Creative Suite, Auto CADD, Corel Draw and other similar software. On top of proficiency on graphic related software, a degree in an art school is usually required, although not always required but talent in visual arts is a must. Web graphic artists should also be able to comprehend HTML protocols and other program languages in order to effectively design websites.

A graphic artist may be asked to do some line art, decide the shades and hue and present two or three dimensional objects, collate images or moving graphics, draw sketches, fine prints, bookplates, intaglio prints, lithographs, and serigraphs. Anything that will add impact on a website visually is the responsibility of a graphic artist. Because of digital magic, creation of effects has been somewhat easier for graphic artists but this entailed them to learn another skill that is photography. Once a picture is in a digital format, almost anything is possible. Like for example, a kitten’s head could be easily transposed to a body of a human. Years ago, this effect would have taken tedious work but now with software readily available even to non-professionals it will just takes minutes as long as an individual knows how to dabble with the software.

A good example of an effective graphic artist is the artist who did the visuals of the Yahoo website. The Yahoo website, being a very popular web portal, the graphic artist was able to effectively space together the voluminous bits of information that can be found there. With the use of pictures and icons, visitors of the site can easily go to the articles that are of interest to them. Going to a particular field of interest is very easy as they flash photos of persons or things associated with particular news. Despite of so many things posted there in the website, like say, going to the sports section particularly basketball is very easy as you can already see photos of Michael Jordan or Lebron James which are usually beside a group of words that obviously would contain news about basketball or the NBA.
The Internet industry, now becoming a cut-throat industry as lots and lots of players are emerging everyday, and Internet traffic is becoming the name of the game, graphic artists would always be in the frontline as the success of a website may be just a matter of how good a website looks and how it was laid out.