How to care for your Web Designer...
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - March 26, 2005 Posted: 2:49:07 PM EDT

I enjoyed reading this article at erisfree's website. It's a 4 part series entitled 'How to care for your designer...'

erisfree

For those of you who are looking to bring out the best in your web designer, whether he/she is a permanent staff or a freelancer, I think you will benefit greatly from reading the entire series. Oh, I like the anatomy of a web designer's brain. :-)

Enjoy!

Wiley Chin 


Web Designer Care

This is the final section of your Web Designer’s Manual. You can reference back to this manual at any time during your experience with your new purchase. The final section of your Web Designer’s manual includes smal bits of random advice, questionable definitions and strange diagrams.

Glossary and Key Words.

Very Brief Definitions.

Information Architecture
the structure and organization of your site, labeling, navigation and other cues to help users orient themselves.

Usability
enabling the most users to perform the tasks needed to navigate your site and gather info in an efficient and easy way.

Web Standards
coding to xhtml and css validity, ensuring that site works and is usable across various browsers, pdas and feeds.

Accessibility
offering alternative methods of usability for those in older browsers, screen readers and other limited options.

Web Designer
wrong word to describe this particular career path. See also, Boris and his insight:

” “Web designer” is certainly a misnomer in many situations, just as “homepage” is misused. But then look around.. look at all the really, really cool weblogs, for instance, done by bona fide “web designers” ... these guys and gals are not merely graphic designers, though perhaps trained as such, they are workers of the XHTML and CSS … This means they not only need to know and be graceful with colors, shapes and layouts, but semantic markup and attribution tables (to hook up the css) as well… not to mention be aware of CHI principles, human psychology… to make beautiful AND usable AND technically valid sites.

THEN, put these people alone or in small groups into an economic ecosystem and they start having to know sales, accounting, etc … and since many of the neighboring species in this ecosystem are marketing people … what is the number one breadwinner of the small/independent web designer? Marketing websites! ...

Now these folks have to be up to snuff on marketing principles, ESPECIALLY how they apply to online media…

And the sad reality is that 99% of potential clients out there, know NONE of this (especially the marketing folks… a dumber breed I have never met… below even the MBA’s), so the web designer must.”

Strange Diagram #1

Fast, cheap and good designer


This triangle represents a balance of issues within your project in a very simplified form. Most of the time you can only have two of these options at the expense of the third option.

Examples:

You can have it Cheap and Fast, but not Good
You can have it Cheap and Good, but not Fast
You can have it Good and Fast, but not Cheap

Strange Diagram #2
The Anatomy of a Web Designer

This is a visual representation of your new Web Designer’s brain and the various plug-ins that are installed. Reference Step #2 for further information.

This concludes your New Web Designer’s Care Manual.

Please enjoy your new product! You are on your way to a very rewarding experience with your new Web Designer!

All sales are final. Warranty void where prohibited. Batteries not included.

 

 

About the author:

Name: Eris L. Stassi
Age: Twenty-four (10/17/80)
Current location: Dallas, Tx
Favorite Color: Silver and Tan combinations
Pesco-Vegetarian
Pets: Cats, Luna and Tenchi
Transportation: Honda Civic
De-Stress: Jogging, bubble baths
Winding Up: music, tea
Email: eris at erisfree dot com

http://www.erisfree.com/updates/10/about-the-girl

 

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So you want to be a good web designer, ar?
by Andrew, a.k.a Pixelated Visionary - March 24, 2005 Posted: 3:55:38 PM EDT

Keywords: How to, start, becoming a designer, web, attitude, excellence,  designer, aspiration, dream job, web, Internet, how-to-be, how to start, where to start, web design, interactive design, new media designer.

10 Things You Need to Put You on the Road to Designtopia.

  1. Design to serve your customers.  
    You are paid to do that, so please do that well. Web designing, in this context, is not the medium for you 'to express the manifestation of your inner childhood demons'. Nor should it be a commodified version of 'Fine Art', however you want to define that.

    Your customers have products and services to sell online, so please focus on helping him reach out to his customers. Don't put your neuroses in front of his shrink-wrapped boxes. :-)

    Let's simplify. Always design to help your customers serve his customers which in return will serve you well as a designer who serves his customers. Hrmm...nevermind, please move along to the next item...

  2. Know your Audience.
    Build a brief of what defines their needs, their taste, age groups and build your website around that knowledge. If you've done your homework, the audience will tell you by the recurring visits.

  3. Time is Precious.
    Nobody PAYS YOU to waste their precious time. Be concise and to the point, right off the first page. When you go to a restaurant, you don't want to wait. Similarly, when someone comes to your website, please don't make him wait. And please give him a menu that he can understand.

    Common-sense rules!  

  4. Be Aware of the World you Live in.
    Watch television commercials, analyse print ads, listen to the radio, look at the billboards when you drive. And ask yourself what techniques, tactics, approaches or elements make some commercials work and some do not. Often you will learn something that can be grafted onto a web project.

  5. Be Open to Suggestions.
    Please, you are not Picasso. And you are definitely not Van Gogh. Listen to people's opinions. Grit your teeth and bite your tongue. Then look at your work again and ask yourself what you can improve on based on people's feedback.

    Chances are your next door neighbour might just have a point.

  6. Learn to thrive within Limitations.
    The thing that new web designers usually figure out is that the Web is all about compromise, a stumble block to their creativity. Innovate and learn to create creative solutions to the design problem at hand. That's what you're hired for.

    JZ- 'Limitations are the soil from which creativity grows'

  7. Eat, Sleep and Talk DESIGN.
    Who’s influenced who, what tools do you use, what trends do you observe, what rocks your world, and so forth. And if you haven't done that, get yourself a job with a web design company or an interactive design company. Even if you haven't got a job with a web design company, there's no excuse not to start exploring design work yourself. Find someone who can guide you, a mentor, a friend, someone!

  8. Surf like there's no Tomorrow.
    And drink deep on what others are doing in web design regularly. For many of the people who spend their lives online blogging, chatting, emailing and building websites, the unwired life is not worth living. The ultimate punishment with no chance of parole, is being disconnected.

    So live and SURF!

    Here are some stuffs to begin with :

    Web Design, Usability Design,  Application Design, SEO & Animation Resources
    http://www.ximnet.com.my/thelab/comments_articles/comments.asp?id=10

  9. Even the simplest website is harder to figure out than a catalog or magazine.
    Yes, usability is a big thing.

    So...

    Less is more! Simplify! Simplify! Simplify!

    Keep that in mind and you'll be fine.

  10. God is in the details.

    Here's another perspective from Robert Reimann, Director of Design R&D at Cooper Interactive Design
    So you want to be an Interactive Designer? 

 


About the Writer:

Andrew Ng, a.k.a. N.G. Android @ The Pixelated Visionary, is a part-real, part-imaginary Alpha version A.I. humanoid who lives on Planet Earth on Mondays. On other days, N.G. Android prefers to spend his time on a beautiful planet called Designtopia. 

Soon, Android hopes to marry a human wife and have 3 little androids for 'children'. He's thinking of naming them, Peteroid, Janeoid and Maroid.

He thinks that's consistent with the naming convention of his race.

Technorati tag :

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Web Design, Usability Design, Application Design, SEO & Animation Resources
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - March 10, 2005 Posted: 3:27:44 PM EDT

Web Design, Usability Design & Application Development, and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Resources & Animation.  

Technorati tag : , , ,

Keywords:
Web design, Website ideas, Website Development, Application Design & Development, Usability Design, Flash Design, Flash Development, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Animation.


A Note:
As you probably know, XiMnet Malaysia is an Interactive Agency. We do web and multimedia design works, when we are not sleeping :-). Since I have been doing this for a while, I just want to share some of those resources I think young designers might find useful.

I have been collecting a set of websites and resources that I use often to research and benchmark XiMnet Malaysia's work. The links below are websites we visit often for our web design, usability design or application development work. I will continue to update the list when I find the time and if I dig up some old links I might have forgotten.
 

Enjoy,

Wiley Chin
http://www.ximnet.com.my/

Web design service on our website:
http://www.ximnet.com.my/services/web_design/web_design.asp

 

 

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Wiley Chin
Chief Alchemist
XiMnet Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.

An alchemist of the Internet and marketing strategies, leading the charge to put our creative and software talents into serving companies who are out to slay the global giants. Also known as Chief of Caffeine Consumption and hallucinates between projects. Yes, that accounts for his “giant slaying” stuff.

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