Becoming a Digital Design Manager: Everything You Need to Know

Digital Design and Communication Female Digital Design Manager with long black hair wearing a brown top seated at a desk sharing design ideas with two digital designers looking at her: one male with a black beard and navy shirt, one female with long brown hair, light brown glasses and a white shirt.

What is a Digital Design Manager?

What does a Digital Design Manager do?

What is the average Digital Design Manager salary?

In this blog, we explore everything you need to know about becoming a Digital Design Manager, giving you insights into the typical roles and responsibilities, the skills and qualifications required, where the best jobs can be found and more.

Learn more about our Digital Design and Communication Masters

What is a Digital Design Manager?

A Digital Design Manager is the title given to those working in a leadership role in the digital design industry. Think Digital Designer but at a managerial level.

Digital Design Managers can also oversee various industry functions including digital animation, web design, UX/UI design, graphic design and more. They typically manage a team of Digital Designers to create innovative digital solutions and/or lead design strategies that address a client’s specific business needs.

What does a Digital Design Manager do?

A Digital Design Manager is responsible for the strategy behind an online design product or service (e.g., the design elements of a website), and if they have a team to support them, they will be in charge of their output too.

The typical roles and responsibilities of a Digital Design Manager can include:

  • Leading new business pitches to source clients and researching initiatives to understand their needs.
  • Managing a team of Digital Designers, overseeing their work, and taking ownership of projects to ensure all requirements are met on time and to a high standard.
  • Developing new ways of working that improves team morale and optimises business workflows.
  • Sourcing new design opportunities such as improving sustainability aspects and taking a data-driven design approach to new materials.

What qualifications do you need to become a Design Manager?

To become a Digital Design Manager, an undergraduate degree is an essential qualification to possess. Ideally, you’ll also need certifications in software like Adobe Creative Cloud – Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign amongst others to demonstrate your knowledge and experience with digital design tools.

Once you can demonstrate a foundational understanding, a digital design Masters degree will help fast-track your progression to a managerial role by teaching you everything you need to know about digital design at a leadership level, from the forthcoming trends you need to be aware of, to the soft and hard skills required of a successful manager.

When interviewing for Digital Design Manager roles, it’s likely you’ll need to demonstrate several years of dedicated work through a portfolio, and a passion for upskilling through training courses. This makes a Masters degree a good option for those looking to stand out from the crowd in a competitive market.

How to be a good Design Manager

To be a good Digital Design Manager, there are a range of skills required that are crucial to success:

  • Passion – to get team members on board with new ideas and keep them motivated to deliver digital design projects – alongside enjoying what you do yourself!
  • Project management and time management – to juggle the requirements of managing large strategies with everyday design work against strict deadlines.
  • Critical thinking and creativity – to conjure up new design approaches and ways of working.
  • Collaboration – to manage Digital Designers, liaise with fellow leaders internally and communicate with external stakeholders.

What is the average Digital Design Manager salary?

Firms are always on the lookout for Digital Design Managers who can lead design strategies in their organisations.

According to Glassdoor, the average yearly digital design manager salary in the UK is £49,952 with the potential to grow to £68,000 for those with plenty of experience (as of June 2023).

How to find Digital Design Manager jobs

Among traditional jobsites such as LinkedIn and, job opportunities for Digital Design Managers can be found in a variety of places.

Dribbble is a great website to search specifically for digital design jobs, and the additional freelance section of their site is a good resource for those looking for flexible work.

You could also reach out to employers directly for opportunities that interest you. If you wish to go down that route, it’s worth building a digital design portfolio and CV that showcases your best work that you can share with prospective employers.

Study Digital Design and Communication online with the University of Leeds

Our Digital Design and Communication Masters, delivered fully online by the University of Leeds is designed to support those with the ambition to work in the digital design sector and other creative industries. If you see yourself in a Digital Design Manager role, driving innovation and solving complex communication problems, this course is ideal for you.

Become a Digital Design Manager with an innovative online Masters in Digital Design and Communication.

Young female UX manager with long brown hair, gold round glasses and a white dress stood up smiling at the camera in a small workspace stood infront of a computer displaying UX software

Preview of the University of Leeds Digital Design and Communication programme page

Want to learn more about our online Digital Design and Communication course?

Check out the course content and how to apply.

Online postgraduate courses - University of Leeds