Staying Current as a Web Designer
Web design is an ever-evolving field and one that any real designer needs to stay on top of. New technology is being developed every day and your web design business will soon be obsolete if you neglect the trends. Read here about some things to look out for in staying current and relevant in your field.
Join some web design forums, even if you feel confident that you are doing everything right. You will inevitably pick up some ideas or concepts that have not occurred to you before. Evey designer has tips and tricks that they may be willing to share. Problems and issues are often brought up and suggestions offered. Take advantage of these free forums to increase your relativity and come up with new ideas.
Talk to your web design friends and associates and offer to collaborate on challenging projects. You will both learn new things, and you will have a cohort who will be able to troubleshoot your own issues in the future. Visit other websites often and look for innovative designs and new programs that are being utilized. Offer to volunteer at schools where new concepts are constantly being tested. You will be passing along your own knowledge in addition to gaining some new insights yourself.
Subscribe to web design newsletters, particularly ones that have job postings. Even if you feel that you have enough steady clients, you can always pick up small jobs here and there that could lead to new and exciting ventures. Volunteer to give advice to new designers, who may also refer clients to you for jobs that they feel unequipped to handle.
Keep up with new programs and always upgrade to newer versions of your own web design software. Dreamweaver is an industry standard, so make sure you know how to use it, even if it is not your main program. There will often be jobs that require this format and you do not want to get left out because you are stubbornly clinging to older programs.
Stay aware of new browsers that become prominent in the marketplace. These will potentially interact with your websites in different ways, so know the intricacies involved. Use different browsers every time you design a new site, and be open to new ideas.
Recognize the fact that many clients, particularly small businesses will want help with the initial design of their website, but will then want to maintain it on their own. So make sure that you have some simple web designs that include easy templates that an amateur can learn to use. Offer to tutor them in how to update their own site without the need to call you every time they want to add new content. Even though this may seem that you are cutting yourself out of future work, this is not the case, simply because they will do it on their own anyway if they cannot afford a regular web design service for maintenance. They will just go to someone else who will provide this knowledge to them. Do not turn away work just because they want a “one time” site design.
Use some of the ideas here to ensure that you stay relevant and are meeting the needs of your clients. All work is valuable and can lead to ongoing relationships that pay off over and over again.