Employers place a strong emphasis on essential skills in the workplace. Essential skills are used in nearly every occupation, and are seen as 'building blocks' because people build on them to learn all other skills.
Each profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skill is generally performed by the majority of workers in an occupation. The estimated complexity levels for each task, between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced), may vary based on the requirements of the workplace.
Web designers and developers research, design, develop and produce Internet and intranet sites. They are employed in computer software development firms, information technology consulting firms and in information technology units throughout the private and public sectors, or they may be self-employed.
- May face conflicts concerning the ownership of web site projects in large companies. They develop strategies to help co-workers from different departments develop solutions such as joint Internet site partnerships. They recommend the creation of working committees to promote cooperation and coordination. (3)
- Face clients who will not devote the funds needed to create accessible and well-designed Internet and intranet sites. Clients may lack the knowledge and understanding of web design and related technical limitations. Web designers and developers complete situational analyses and prepare business rationales to increase clients' understanding, and persuade them to put more resources into web site development. (3)
- May find that co-workers and clients' staff are not complying with web publication policies and standards. They prepare and circulate bulletins outlining the effects of non-compliance and restating institutional approval procedures for web sites. If they are unable to change co-workers' behaviour, they seek help from their managers. (3)
- Encounter delays in Internet development projects. For example, they find that consultants and co-workers fail to meet deadlines, and required graphics, text and other electronic deliverables are unavailable. They reorganize schedules and tasks to counter the delays. They may also discipline unreliable employees and seek different suppliers. (3)
- Make web site design and development decisions. For example they decide how to structure web site databases and their levels of access, link web pages and the pop-ups embedded in them to promote further browsing within the web sites, and where to place graphics, text and other design elements. (2)
- May decide to bid on or accept design projects by considering factors such as deadlines, availability of key personnel, levels of expertise, required software and clients' preferences. Their ability to quickly assess project requirements is important to ensuring they do not lose time reviewing requests for proposals for projects that may be unprofitable for their company or beyond their level of expertise. (2)
- Decide which initial design features of Internet and intranet sites to present to clients and supervisors. They consider the purposes of the web sites, anticipated users and the budgets available. They may carry out research into clients' companies and develop profiles of anticipated users to make informed design decisions. (3)
- May decide to provide their staff with software training by considering project deadlines, graphic design trends, new software, training costs and time, and the long-term benefits. Training decisions may require supervisors' approvals. (3)
- Decide what to post on Internet and intranet sites. They choose graphics and text which they think will be effective and yet conform to clients' policies and corporate brand identities. They select only graphics and text for which they have or can obtain reproduction rights. (3)
Job Task Planning and Organizing
Own Job Planning and Organizing
- Evaluate clients' needs. For example, they work in conjunction with system analysts to assess clients' storage space needs, and develop criteria to identify appropriate specifications for storage and retrieval systems to satisfy them. (2)
- Evaluate the quality and usability of Internet and intranet sites using established evaluation criteria such as link speed, accessibility of information, number of hits and overall web site usage. They use their expertise and knowledge of web design and development when analyzing the data, drawing conclusions and making recommendations. (3)
- Judge the suitability and effectiveness of web site content. They use established criteria such as logical flow, interesting content and good overall design. Failure to think critically about the key topics and links often results in disjointed web sites. (3)
- Evaluate the quality and suitability of graphics and design features for web sites by consulting web design publications and standards, research studies, competitors' sites and their sites. They also consider web sites' purpose and intended audiences, clients' budgets and software capabilities. (3)
- Evaluate the performance of co-workers and consultants by monitoring their work and assessing their motivation and ability to work independently through observing their ability to meet deadlines. Their judgements of employees' performance is key to building and maintaining strong development teams. (3)
Web designers and developers schedule their own job tasks to meet multiple project deadlines. They have many competing demands for their time, including responding to queries from clients, providing support to co-workers, completing design and development tasks, preparing reports and troubleshooting web site malfunctions, so their job task planning must be flexible. In addition, they coordinate and integrate job tasks with programmers, system analysts, network technicians and other staff. (3)
Planning and Organizing for Others
Web designers and developers may be responsible for planning the timelines and task requirements for project and scheduling job tasks for co-workers and contractors.
Significant Use of Memory
- Remember keyboard shortcuts for a variety of software programs.
- Remember where to locate information on Internet and intranet sites, and which content expert to call for technical guidance and advice.
- Remember web designs they envisioned while talking with clients until they can draw or create the designs.
- Remember policies, style guides and standards for clients' web sites.
- Seek opinions and information from co-workers and colleagues to solve problems. For example, they may phone network managers for information on slow web page loading problems. (2)
- Draw on information from resource materials, colleagues and clients when troubleshooting coding and software errors. They may need to seek opinions and advice from several technical resources and integrate them for the correct information. (4)
Other Essential Skills:
Working with Others
Web designers and developers spend much of their time working independently when designing and developing web sites. On larger projects, they coordinate tasks and exchange information with other team members both nationally and internationally. They may work as team members or leaders depending on their organizations' structures, project designs and personal experience. They may demonstrate, train and assign tasks to junior web designers. (3)
Web designers and developers need to learn continuously because their field is changing constantly and rapidly. Their learning is often motivated by demands of current projects and they spend lots of time updating their knowledge on the latest technologies and trends. They are expected to identify their own learning needs and resources, decide which conferences and seminars to attend and which books to read. In addition, they identify relevant learning resources such as reference manuals, on-line chat rooms and industry publications. They also draw on their background knowledge to apply new learning to particular situations and their continuous learning ability is directly linked to their effectiveness in designing, developing and creating quality web sites. (4)