A web designer is responsible for the style, layout and branding of a website: how it looks and interacts when a user visits a site. Generally, most web designers do not code, but this is definitely a bonus skill.
They bring value to an organization by creating user-friendly designs that meet client requirements. Typically web designers have cross-functional skills, so not only are they responsible for website aesthetics, but they might also be your in-house graphic designer.
This article should help you understand how to hire a web designer, and what skills and abilities to look for when doing so. Traditional methods of recruitment are not very impactful for such a software- and skill-focused role, which is why skill testing can be the best approach.
We explore which tests you should be using.
What should a web designer be able to do?
A web designer is responsible for ensuring a website looks aesthetically pleasing to users and meets the brand style guide of a company.
They should be familiar with industry-standard design and UX tools, such as Adobe Creative Suite, as well as a solid understanding of design principles and how websites work.
One particularly valuable skill is understanding the limitations of implementing designs as code, since programmers typically take website designs and translate them into lines of code that produce the website. If the design does not meet website standards or is impossible or challenging to implement, this can cause delays in production.
The main day-to-day tasks of a web designer include:
- Designing websites based on a set of requirements
- Working with a range of creative tools
- Working with key stakeholders to deliver quality designs
- Collaboration with development teams who will turn the designs into code
- Competitor research into other websites
- Meeting deadlines
Skills to look for in a web designer
Most web designers have a graphic design background and have worked in user experience or design roles to produce digital media and content.
The five core skills to look for in a web designer are:
- Attention to detail
- Ability to receive criticism and feedback
- Strong communication and interpersonal skills
- Excellent time management
As a designer, you are constantly given feedback for your design work, which can be challenging as everyone has their own opinion and preferences. This is why strong communication and interpersonal skills are important, so that you are able to digest feedback and communicate your design decisions.
Useful abilities for a web designer
UX, web design and graphic design abilities are essential when assessing applicants for your web design roles.
In addition to being able to translate requirements into designs, creativity and attention to detail are critical.
This knowledge can enhance the work of a web designer by understanding the limitations and constraints during the implementation of their designs.
Which soft skills tests could I use to hire a web designer?
You should consider using the following soft skill tests when hiring a web designer:
- Interpersonal skills: being able to listen to requirements, communicate well and have good people skills is an indication of a good cultural fit. The interpersonal skills test would allow you to assess this ability.
- Teamwork: critical for a web designer, as you will often work with other team members from other departments. Being a team player is key.
- Time management: useful to ensure your candidates will meet deadlines and can manage the changing needs of stakeholders, their requirements and the priorities of different web projects.
Which technical or aptitude tests could I use to hire a web designer?
An aptitude test assesses a range of individual skills that provide an indication of how likely they are to succeed in certain roles like a web designer.
You should consider using the following aptitude tests when hiring a web designer:
- Error checking test: design work requires attention to detail and checking for errors.
- Verbal reasoning test: candidates should have good comprehension and verbal reasoning skills when working with other key stakeholders.
You should consider using the following technical and software skill tests when hiring a web designer:
- Adobe Creative Suite (Illustrator, Photoshop etc): The Adobe Creative Suite is a web designer's best friend when it comes to using software to create designs.
- HTML5 and CSS: two of the most important coding languages. Finding a web designer who understands these languages is a bonus.
Our recommended test battery for a web designer?
There are plenty of web design tests to choose from when hiring a web designer.
Our recommended test battery for a web designer is:
- Interpersonal skills: web designers work with many different stakeholders, so strong interpersonal skills are important.
- Error checking test: spotting errors and mistakes in designs before sending them to clients is critical to ensure professionalism.
- Adobe Creative Suite (Illustrator, Photoshop etc): industry-standard software a web designer should know how to use.
- HTML5 or CSS: a web designer with web development knowledge is a real bonus.
For more information about hiring a web designer, you can check out Picked's web designer test page.