Studying design might not be the hardest thing a person can do on Earth. Studying design is actually quite easy – it’s very practice-oriented, every piece of theory is applied and there is no wrong answer. If you have good reasons for everything you do, there is no way somebody will be able to tell you that you are wrong. Hey, it might actually be one of the funniest degrees possible.
However, getting the most out of your education is something not many are good at, and especially in our business where everybody thinks they know something, finishing high and then getting a good job is something only a handful of people from each class manage to do throughout their life. So you might ask yourself how do others manage to get that dream job of theirs when they have the same education as you – the same degree that hasn’t landed you anything more than poorly paid jobs and difficult clients to handle.
Like any other business, you only hear about the successful ones, but the majority of people in the web industry are the ones who don’t really make it anywhere. Focusing on education is the only way to avoid being one of them and to have a successful design career.
There are two kinds of education in the industry: a traditional one and a practice-oriented one.Read More
Being part of a web design and development community offers you many possibilities and chances for self-development. Each one of us knows about these communities and, at some point in time or another, wished or even was part of one of them. Knowing other individuals in your industry is something I recommend to everybody, as you can get a lot of help from such experts. Communities are not only created around people, but also around offline web design agencies, which give you even a better set of possibilities and a different network that you can use during your career.Read More
Few weeks ago I wrote an article where I torn Spec work apart. There is no reason in going back and I think I should do as promised and explain why I think pro bono work is something you should do to help you build up a portfolio if you are new to the design business and to give a helping hand to different communities.
Pro bono work comes from a Latin phrase and is mostly used to describe professional work delivered voluntarily and without payment or at a highly reduced fee. Pro bono work is increasing in popularity lately in domains such as marketing, technology and yes, web design. Such a concept offers the specific skills of a professional for free to someone who is not able to afford them otherwise. The main difference between Spec work and pro bono work is that pro bono work is usually for a good cause and even if you don’t get paid, it will definitely bring you awareness and allow you to build up a portfolio and earn experience. The reason behind me preferring pro bono work instead of spec work is that it is usually for a good cause. We designers love the nature, optimistic and energetic volunteers and good causes like charity. Why not work for them and earn their respect rather than do Spec work and (most of the time) earn nothing?Read More
There are lots of web design resources out there and learning all the skills you need is not a problem anymore – everybody can do it. But some of us (or better said, most of us) encounter the same logistical problems now and then during our freelance careers. Being able to create high quality websites is not enough anymore. Freelancing is a total challenge as you also need to be able to manage yourself, your work and your problems.
Even if most people consider the motivational articles a waste of time, they actually offer solutions to problems more important than color theory, typography or web usability. The inner problems can stop freelancers from finding the right balance between work and personal life and, at some point in time, can even force them to retire or change careers.Read More
You don’t like working for others and wish others worked for you? Are you also attracted to the idea of working with lots of people and multiple personalities? Then going for your own design company is something you might want to look into.
Starting a web design business might seem something anybody can do, but is definitely a difficult task. Note that this discussion is purely theoretical, if you wish to read a real opinion, then find someone who owns such a company and ask him how it was in the beginning.Read More
Did you know that every second delay on page loading results in a 7% reduction of conversion rate?
Actually you lose 7% (maybe even more!) of sales without even noticing… Sounds bad, huh?
I mean, you work carefully to put things in the right place, good call-to-actions, nice design, spend a few bucks with ads.. And then you lose 7% of sales just because you forgot to minify your CSS. We’ll, this is not going to happen again.
We’ll put every future project that you work on a diet. And this one, won’t wait for next monday, or next january :)
Here we’ll see amazing tips to reduce your files size and increase your site performance without affecting important things like image quality or a files readability for future edits.
Grab your meter and let’s rock!Read More
Most freelancers out there work as a freelancer either because they are in need of a job or they want to increase their skills and improve their portfolio. But have you ever thought about the fact that all of us do it for money too? Now some of you might disagree with me and I fully encourage you to do it. Then I also encourage you to go out there and work for free, while marketing yourself as a volunteer designer. After three months come back to me and I am sure you will agree that you freelance for money. If we wouldn’t need money to survive, we would probably not work at all.Read More
For most of us web design started as a passion or a part-time job. For many of us it started before we turned 18, but most of us ended up working full-time in an agency or as freelance web designers and developers and will probably continue doing so for years and years to come.
But being a designer can take a great deal of time, with multiple clients to please, working in an environment that moves fast and changes even faster, where we have to learn new skills over and over again, market ourselves and even find clients on a monthly basis if we don’t work in an agency.
As with any other career, web design has its own challenges and they arise all the time for us, even if we are experienced or well-known. It can be a difficult client to work with, an impossible deadline or a bad example of outsourcing, it doesn’t really matter. Unfortunately these things can’t be avoided, but to ensure you enjoy a better career anyway I created a list with some tips for all of you.Read More
Coding is something that takes time to learn and novice developers might not use the best practices when converting web interfaces from a Photoshop file into a fully functional web site. It would be really good to have access to an experience programmer, but not everybody can afford to hire one or knows someone that is with spare time.
So you might ask yourself what to do to improve the code before delivering a web page. Well, lucky you, there is a tool out there which I will review for you today. The tool is called CSS Lint, it is totally free and I definitely recommend trying it and see what you can get out of it. The difference between a good and a great programmer is all in the small details CSS Lint can fix for you – or, at least, can tell you to fix them and why.Read More
Going freelance nowadays is a path many designers and developers take, not only because of job vacancies being on the low side, but also because there are some clear advantages to it. While working for a company is more secure and organized, going freelance is something most of us have thought about at least once. Working by yourself means you need some special skills, such as being able to work alone, to respect schedules and deadlines and to be able to market yourself better than the others. None of these is easy to do and not being able to follow some specific rules will ruin your freelance career. Therefore before going freelance, take a look at the following questions and try to ask yourself if this is indeed the right path for you to follow.Read More