On the about page of this site I used to call myself a “developer/designer/occasional writer”. It’s a bit confusing, and I still find it hard to know what to answer when someone asks me what I do for a living. Am I a Web designer? A Web developer? A Web programmer? All of them? Neither? It really is a difficult question to give a simple answer to.
It’s nerve-racking, spine-numbing and absolutely intimidating to get out there and tell the world about yourself and your business, but at some point, you have to ask yourself just how serious you are and how willing you are to let go of your fears and inhibitions and just do it.
In the mid-1990s, Makiko Itoh and her partner left New York's cubicle land for a web shop of their own in the suburbs of Zurich. Learn from her tips on running your own web agency.
There's a lot more to being a successful web designer than designing good web sites. Your job is actually to satisfy your client. This section provides guidelines from our experience of running web agencies, which we hope will help you be more successful and more fulfilled.
What does it take to get a Web site running on the Internet? When you have a site that is ready for some real-life testing, you are ready to put the site up. Publishing a Web site is a three-step process: getting a domain name, choosing a host, and posting the site.
Why is it that we allow ourselves to be put in a compromising position where the client tells us how to be web designers? Maybe it's because the perception among the wider public is that 'anyone' can make a website. And they're right. Anyone can make a website--but not everyone can make an emotionally engaging interactive experience that will live in the visitor's memory. (Similarly, anyone with access to a photocopier and a stapler can 'make a book,' but good books are scarce.)
Since a healthy percentage of Reencoded readers deal directly with clents, it’s time we take a closer look at how to deal with them. It’s not uncommon for a client’s wants and a client’s needs to head in completely different directions. Hopefully these tips will help you draw the two back together and provide the client with a product or service that they’re happy with and that suits their requirements.
At its core, building an online portfolio is much the same as any other design brief—the only difference is that you are your own client. So as with any design brief, it’s best to begin by asking yourself, “who is my target audience?” Let’s look at two types of portfolios.
Cybermarketing is a recent aspect of marketing strategy, which involves establishing company presence in cyberspace, in other words on the World Wide Web, or on the Internet. The instrument used in cybermarketing is the company web site - or the company home page as it was first called. The company web site is, likewise, a new concept; the first, most innovative business enterprises only established their web site presence in the second half of the 1990s. Indeed, business professionals have been slower than academics in adopting the communication potentials incorporated in electronic media on the whole, including the World Wide Web and the Internet.
A job board managed by Web Designer Wall where creative professionals come to find job opportunities. When you post your job here, it will be instantly featured on Web Designer Wall and our network sites where designers will see it.
When asked for my opinion on how to break into the Web world, I usually tell people to volunteer. I was very lucky when beginning my Web career in the early days of the Internet—my Web sites received a lot of good exposure. But when I jumped into self-employment a few years ago, I had to start all over again: I needed to show potential clients what I could do, not what my Web team could do. So I found a poorly designed Web site and offered to redesign it for free (the Oklahoma Indian Times Web site at www.okit.com). OKIT jumped at the offer (to read more about this, see “The Need for Web Site Navigation” in the June 1999 issue of Intercom). A lot of my friends thought I was crazy doing all that work for free. But I needed to build a Web site from scratch so I could give prospective clients an example of my work. Nothing is more convincing than before and after pictures.
Dedicated gym-goers use some tried and tested methods to make their workouts more efficient and effective. As usual, what’s good for the goose is also good for the gander, and a lot of these same strategies can apply quite well to professional workflows, too. What is work, after all, besides a prolonged workout of your professional muscles?
Christmas and the holiday season are often the time of the year where people spend the most amount of money. So if your outgoings overtake your freelance in-comings, then you may need to take a look at re-branding your business for the holiday season. Here is WebdesignDev’s short guide on how freelancers can make a bit of extra money on the side during the holiday season when times are tough on the wallet.
In portfolio web pages, especially in the field of design, one of the first things that you will notice is an introductory text consisting of a few words about the company or the designer behind the site. This can be extremely useful for readers, as it provides quick and direct information about the designer, or the company behind the site. These introductions are generally highlighted by the use of large text, positioned at the top of the site, and always catch the visitor’s eye. They give a more personal feeling to the site and tend to replace the traditional taglines under a logo for example. In this article, we list 50 examples of excellent web page introductions used in portfolio websites that you can use as inspiration for your own designs.
The worsening economy will adversely affect our industry, at least in the short term. However, our skills and products are suited to ride out hard economic times. Marketers can easily measure return on investment for electronic media. Likewise a web address—such as an online shop—provides a wider audience and lower overhead than a street address, and could therefore be a better investment. So how do you ensure your company isn’t a wallflower? Keeping your dance card full is about making a truly positive contribution. Here are seven steps to help get you into the rhythm.
If we, the people who make websites, want the world to know who we are and what we do, it’s up to each of us to stand up and represent. Last year, 30,055 of you did just that, taking time out of your busy day to answer the sometimes detailed and often thought-provoking questions in the second A List Apart Survey. This year’s findings paint a clearer picture of the distinctions between full-time and freelance web professionals: how you work, what you earn, and what you love about the job. Interestingly, too, despite the brutality of a global recession that was already in full swing (like an axe) when we offered the survey, most respondents revealed a surprisingly high level of job security, satisfaction, and confidence in the future.
Some folks may find it impressive that you know the ins and out of UNIX and how your last open source coding project attracted media attention, but the majority do not. Especially when acronyms start spewing forth with articulated speed. Keep in mind that executives are employed to keep you employed and need to understand your ideas to communicate them to stakeholders and customers. One way to minimize 'tech' talk is to include the following words into each technical statement: We are using [technology/programming language] to enhance [a specific part] of our business.
To live the freelance life is to live a life of uncertainty. Not knowing when or from where your next paycheck is coming requires a certain mind-set that not everyone possesses. Some may argue that with so many companies struggling just to keep their heads above water now that the bang is out of the Big Web Boom, full-time work is no more secure than the freelance lifestyle. But before you unplug that feeding tube once and for all, ask yourself if you really have what it takes.