To mess up as a web designer is quite a simple task – there is a number of things you can do or not do to succeed in it. Want to know how? Read on.
- You are sure that ‘specs’ are unnecessary: some tend to think that specs should only be done by newbie-designers with very little or no experience, however, it is always safer to follow certain web standards when you are working on a project.Properly done specs may really ease your life, just like bad specs can very well hurt your designer’s career. Spend some time on specification documents development to make sure you’re improving your work.
- You don’t network with other professionals: some IT people, web designers included, are not a talkative crowd who socialize easily. However that’s not the reason to avoid networking which can be and it usually is a very helpful way to gain new knowledge, get help from fellow workers and share your own experience. Following the blogs of certain world top programmers and joining corresponding discussions on professional forums will definitely help in this aspect.
- Your designs are not unique, and you couldn’t care less: a customer often orders a project with the words “I want something like this” and shows someone’s website with a design that is such a temptation to copy. Yet it is best to define what it is they like about the specified design and create something of your own to satisfy the client, without risking your whole career to infringe the copyright of another professional. Therefore you should really care about being unique in your work, otherwise you may end up in multiple fines and lawsuits which will eventually finish your career as a web designer sooner than you suspect.
- You’re not a people person: not being able to communicate with a customer on a proper level may really hurt your career as a web designer. After all every client wants a friendly companion to discuss their project with. You should also learn to handle difficult customers, authoritarian managers and annoying coworkers as well as ambiguous situations where only open communication can solve an issue. And remember to have a few things averted – making excuses, complaining and slandering.
- You encourage familiarity with customers: setting boundaries with your clients from the very beginning is an important part of being a successful designer. If you don’t do it, you will deal with a handful of issues such as frequent reviews from a client’s side, which in its turn may lead to tremendous loss of time. That is why a clear policy would be a good idea to show the customers that you’re a professional and there are limits that can not be overstepped. Such limitations are usually outlined in the contract.
- You are way too self-satisfied: even though being a web designer usually means that you can do a whole lot of really cool stuff, that doesn’t mean you should become arrogant about that. As soon as you think that way about yourself, you stop making an effort of doing great work for your customers, your creativeness goes down and you risk at ending up at the bottom of your career. So, whenever you feel like you’re a guru designer, don’t forget to remind yourself that there is always space to grow further.
- You often delay your deadlines: and you can always justify them. Not the best idea, however. All those personal tasks of yours – e-mails, articles, projects etc. – should not be in the way of executing your core responsibilities on time. Keep your customers up to date, let them know what is going on with their projects, stay on top of the important tasks and you will be known as a responsible professional in your area.
- You let your customers walk all over you: on the one hand, there is nothing wrong with being helpful for your customers at all times. But the bad thing is that some people would take advantage and their requests would become endless, either by asking for too much work to be done in a short period of time or by trying not to pay for what is supposed to be paid for. Don’t fall for any of it, respect yourself as an expert who deserves to be paid for whatever is done on time and according to the terms of the contract, and you will be respected in return.
- You don’t have any dress code at work: and that’s fine as long as you care enough to put on a nice clean shirt when your client is in the office. By your professional appearance you show respect to the customer, and your business intentions. They will embrace it and see that you take their project seriously.
There is definitely more about being a bad designer, as well as about being a good one. Focus on all the right things, and feel free to share your thoughts – you are most welcome to comment on this article.
Article by Elena Bizina
Elena Bizina has come through an exciting path from teaching English to all age groups, toward IT Sales and Marketing. Now she is enjoying a part time writer’s job and a full time motherhood. Elena particularly loves foreign languages and traveling and plans to carry on with these hobbies in the nearest future. She holds a position of a Copywriter at Zfort Group, an IT Outsourcing service provider.