How I Became a Web Designer
Everyone has a story to tell and everyone has their own path of how they got to where they are today. I thought it would be nice to share my experience with you and offer some advice for any aspiring web designers out there as it is a question I get asked occasionally.
Let’s face it, anyone can call themselves a web designer, pick up a Web Design for Dummies book and your done right? Personally I have been building websites in one form or another since 2003, although I never really called myself a Web Designer. Back then things were very different. There was no You Tube, No Facebook, and even no WordPress!
Everything I did was either hand coded or built using this horrible tool called Dreamweaver (More like NightmareWeaver). You did not worry about standards, accessibility, or how your website looked on an Iphone or Ipad and Mobile internet was just a pipe dream.
If you wanted to put video on your website you needed 3 different formats. 56K modems were common place in the home and office and the most popular website in college was MiniClip.com where you could play lots of Flash Games for free. And Google looked something like this:
After completing my Multimedia Systems degree with little clue about the world of business, my colleague and I went and setup Hyperstream Limited with the view to offer Web Design and Multimedia Services to local businesses. Needless to say we failed to gain any clients and our pricing was way out. Dissapointed and with student debts upto our eyeballs we decided to go and get real jobs.
I managed to secure a some work as an IT consultant working for various companies, including Tesco’s, Silentnight Furniture, and Harrigey Council, and then finally Camden Council. As I was installing the some super powered computers for this guy called Adrian we got talking about what they were for.
Adrian told me that he got some funding to do a 3D Multimedia project called Building Visions and that he was heading up the team. I mentioned to him that I had some experince with 3D and Multimedia and I showed him my portfolio and an interview and a week later I was hired.
It was an innovative and exciting project to be involved with and it allowed me to really push the boundaries of my Multimedia knowledge. Unfortunately all good things come to an end and 4 years later the team could not turn enough profit to keep a large team and Adrian the project manager was laid off, and eventually so was I.
When that happened I decided to start pushing my own business forward as I had learned so much and also left with my knowlege of WordPress. Seeing WordPress for the first time reignighted my passion for Web Design and I have not looked back since.
Influential Books that I have read
- What is Graphic Design
- The New Rules of Marketing and PR
- Getting Things Done
Useful blogs to read
If there were 3 pieces of advice of could give to anyone entering this game then it would be the following:
- Clearly state your goals and write them down.
- Keep learning as much as you can.
- Stay inspired.