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

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


    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.

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