Is a Career in Web Design Still Rewarding?
“A web designer’s job is the perfect blend of logic and creativity”. This is what most web designers and developers like to say about their jobs and the reality is that, that statement just about neatly sums up the profile that the job entails.
Many web designers may balk at the thought of coding which can be intimidating but as with any new job, putting in effort and time to learning the basics makes all the difference. By restraining creativity, a web designer may stem the flow of ideas and a job well done is only learned by making mistakes and learning from that experience.
In the bleak job market of the mid 2000s, many university finishers found that having a business degree alone would not fetch them worthwhile jobs. The Internet was mushrooming and that seemed like the best place at that time where career and pay-scale expectations were met. Businesses were learning how the Internet could be a very useful marketing tool and websites were connecting businesses to clients instantaneously. Turning mere text and numbers into visually appealing designs was a hugely exciting prospect to many. Even those with Arts degrees found the lure very strong and took upon themselves the task of learning more about the web and how to put a website together. Getting additional skills like HTML, CSS, Illustrator etc provided a gateway for young people to learn about launching a website in a cost-effective yet appealing manner.
If someone were to ask whether the job of a web designer and developer holds the same appeal today, the answer would be an emphatic ‘Yes’. However constant learning and updating knowledge is the key to staying relevant in this field.
The profile of a Web Designer or Developer is not an easy one and there is a certain need for awareness of what such a career can bring. Getting hired as a web designer comes with some pre-requisites.
1. To create a portfolio there may be the need for undertake jobs for free initially – no one likes to hire a fresher or one without a project portfolio so it is important to gain experience over different areas that will eventually be very useful.
2. Clients can be very difficult to deal with – obviously, when they have invested money in the project and expect to see their vision brought to life. So having a solid written contract stating project details, timelines and payment is very essential to weed out the headaches.
3. Projecting a clear target – anyone can create a basic design so key deliverables should include SEO, marketing links, social media integration, content management, customer databases and so on. But these should be specified at the beginning of the project.
4. You are the expert, not the client – expecting the client to provide tips and suggestions can be foolish. If the client knew how to, then he could have done the job himself with additional in-house help.
5. The design is for the user – a website has to be designed and built from the user’s perspective; the user here being the visitor or the potential customer.
6. Being a master of one skill – it’s quite OK to know multiple skills but excelling in one particular and extremely useful skill is important. Web design is a broad umbrella, therefore exemplary skills in a relevant category is crucial.
7. Keep learning – technology and tools keep changing. Flash is making way for the new, ASP.Net does not have much of a future, and terms like FBML and Perl are unimportant. Keeping abreast of current trends is absolutely imperative to be successful.