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How did you become a web designer?

Discussion in 'Website Design Forum:' started by Connor, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. Connor

    Connor New Member

    As I mentioned in my introductory post I am interested in pursuing a career in web design.

    At the moment I have limited knowledge of css/html. I intend to go down routes such as Flash, JS and MySQL to help me on my travels.

    My end result is to hopefully venture into self-employment and work either from home or in premises up here. There are not many web design companies this far north and I believe that I could in time be up to the task.

    I’ve thought up a couple of questions which I would appreciate answers to for my own research and just out of sheer interest.

    What made you want to become a web designer?

    Did you go to school for it or are you self-taught?

    Are you currently self-employed or work for a company?

    If self-employed, how did you find the journey to being self-employed and given the chance, would you do it again?

    If employed with a company, would you rather self-employment do you enjoy the team aspect of the job?

    Obviously you are learning more and more each day, how long did it take you to become comfortable with coding/designing?
     
  2. chris_17

    chris_17 Member

    Hi, obviously HTML and CSS are very important to get a good knowledge of, I'd recommend finding an area of 'web design' to concentrate on, now we have loads of different roles, such as front-end work, back-end, UX etc. The reason I mention it is because if you're a designer then learning something like MySQL wouldn't benefit you a great deal, it'll do no harm however spending that time looking at UX and usability may be better for example.

    When I first started I thought I could do everything, then quickly realised you cant!!

    I'm self-taught, I started at school playing with HTML and CSS but it was never taught as such, gradually I learnt a lot more and now I study it at Uni, however the stuff they teach at Colleges and Uni from experience isn't that up-to-date, reading blogs and articles is the best thing to do IMO. I also freelance from Uni and did while at school, however it's very hard to be taken seriously! I'd recommend trying to get into an agency, it's what I'm going to try after Uni, you'll learn a lot more especially being around more experienced people.

    However saying that I know people who have started from scratch and set up their own agency and have done very well. As for being comfortable with coding/design it's again down to experience. I was very comfortable with markup then HTML5 came along and changed things slightly, but after a few years I feel a lot more happier with it.

    Read books by people who know what their on about (Zeldman, Andy clarke, Ethan Marcotte, Jeremy Keith etc), read blogs and follow the right people on twitter and you'll pick a lot up. More importantly though, experiment and have fun!

    Chris
     
  3. Corrosive

    Corrosive Moderator Staff Member

    The ability it gives me to earn a living without working for someone else. Of course the same could be said if I'd learnt to be a plasterer or a plumber so reason two was the desire to create things and help other businesses grow.

    They didn't have the web when I was at school :icon_wink: Self-taught (and still self-teaching) all the way.

    I am in a LLP where we take a wage every month so kind of both!

    Hard work, I continued with my day job for three years whilst we built the business up and no, I wouldn't want to do that again. Once was enough but, that said, very rewarding.

    Finding others to work with is a good thing. Don't underestimate the loneliness of sitting in your bedroom day after day building websites. The support of others is also vital to your sanity IMO.

    Coding, about six months to get to a marketable level but I am still learning every day. Design, I am still not that confident about my design skills. Some of the guys here would blow me away every time but I work on it every day and have definitely got better from my first efforts.

    General advice is that setting up on your own is really, really hard work. Also, don't forget the other skills you need such as project/time management and sales skills. I am always glad I did five years in field sales and four years project management before doing any of this. It helps a lot.
     
  4. Tony Hardy

    Tony Hardy Well-Known Member

    'General advice is that setting up on your own is really, really hard work. Also, don't forget the other skills you need such as project/time management and sales skills. I am always glad I did five years in field sales and four years project management before doing any of this. It helps a lot.'

    That's the hard part that I"m struggling with. Plenty of meetings with Business Advisers, lots of packs of information etc and you feel like you're getting nowhere. You head hurts a lot.
     
  5. byronc

    byronc Member

    I am a long time programmer who wants to get in web design.
    do your own site.

    get some simple sites to do. build up a portfolio, keep looking keep doing. learn as you go along.
     

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