The field of web design is both easy and hard, depending on how you look at it. What is definite about web design is that it is constantly changing, full of challenges and not for the faint-hearted. All this aside, however, you will be amply rewarded if you stick with it and learn to turn out high-quality results.
Here are some helpful tips for those considering a career in web design:
- Master a tool – There are many tools of the trade, and mastering new ones will give you your identity as a web designer.
- Make a name for yourself – One of your challenges will be letting people know about your services. When you are starting out, this may mean that you have to do some pro bono work just to build up your portfolio and resume. Clients will want to see examples of your work.
- Have a clear target – Let your customers know exactly what you can deliver – from SEO to content management and everything in between. Don’t try to take on too much just to end up being mediocre at it all. You need to be clear about your skill set and capabilities.
- Design for the user – Your main focus should be the user and how they will interact with your design. Make sure that you have a clear understanding of the target audience before you begin work.
- Try, try again – In the process of designing a site, you may hit a lot of obstacles that may take hours and even days to resolve. This is the nature of the industry. Be persistent and patient. You will eventually “crack the code.”
- Expect client challenges – You can count on variety when it comes to customers. Some may be wonderful and generous and give you free rein to design whatever you feel comfortable with. Others may be demanding. The client has the final say, which sometimes puts you in the position of having to design a product that you know may not perform as well as it could. The bottom line is that the client is paying you, so you must abide by their wishes.
- The client is not always right – In attempt not to be contradictory to the previous bullet point, this is a tricky balance. You must ultimately defer to your customers because they are paying you, but remember that they depend on you for your expertise. Be open in educating your patrons about why you recommend certain procedures and practices. Share your know-how without being dogmatic or prideful.
- It’s OK to say no – If you feel uncomfortable accepting an assignment, be true to yourself. No amount of money or coercion from a client should entice you to take a project against your better judgment.
Not everyone can be a web designer. It takes a unique mix of tech know-how, business savvy, and artistic flair. Though difficult, it is undeniably stimulating, allowing you to stretch your intellect and creativity.