WEB For people who do this as a living.

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by Oh its me 20, Oct 11, 2007.

  1. Oh its me 20

    Oh its me 20 New Member

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    I'm going to be graduating in January and want to get into website design. Currently I do some freelance stuff now, but nothing too advanced aside from some HTML with rollovers, image maps, etc.

    I have a few questions:
    1) Any advice for someone like me starting out?

    2) What is the best area of this business to be in? (I don't want to sit behind a computer 5 days a week 8 hours a day. I was thinking about a position where I go out and meet with the clients and assess their needs, etc.)

    3) I assume I should try to get involved with a design firm thats been doing it for a long time. Are there any other factors I should be looking at to pick a good firm?
     
  2. s a x m a n

    s a x m a n New Member

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    you don't pick a good firm, a good one picks you based on your portfolio ... make sure that you have one put together

    if you are just using HTML, I would start learning CSS and Javascript ASAP, as a bare minimum.
     
  3. kingtoad

    kingtoad OT Supporter

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    1. Build a portfolio, a website that will show off a collection of your design skills. Build references. If you don't have any, I'm sure you can find OTers that need some work done. I suggest you start looking into web standards. As a web designer you'll want to know CSS, HTML, and JavaScript. Assuming you also have experience designing in Photoshop or other utilities as well.

    2. What are you trying to do? Be a web designer? If you want to be a web designer, then it's unlikely you will be in a position where you go out and meet clients and assess their needs. If you do end up at a job like that, good for you, but I think it's unlikely for now.

    3. Design firms, advertising agencies, marketing agencies. :dunno:
     
  4. Oh its me 20

    Oh its me 20 New Member

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    I have a portfolio set up here. Most of my projects have been for small businesses. Feedback would be appreciated. Everything I know so far has been self taught. I'm graduating with a BS in graphic communications, however it doesn't go into web much. More print work.

    I'll begin looking into CSS and java. Any suggestions where to go about learning them? http://www.w3.org/ ?
     
  5. 420am

    420am OT Supporter

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    Call me an asshole but I wouldn't hire you just for having a splash page and unnecessary flash.
     
  6. Oh its me 20

    Oh its me 20 New Member

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    It was a class assignment where I needed to have flash somewhere on the site. Believe me, I know its not good.
     
  7. kingtoad

    kingtoad OT Supporter

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    I like your rip in the webpage image. That's a pretty fun idea. :)
     
  8. orangecuse

    orangecuse OT Supporter

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    To be honest, you are likely going to have to sit behind your computer for 8 hours 5 days a week for a while before you get to meet with clients. You have webdesign skills, not many people want to meet to talk about how they want their page to look unless they are nike or apple. 99% of your clients will want to talk on the phone for 30 minutes, then they want you to sit behind your computer and do it.

    If you become some marketing guru that could change.

    Another suggestion would be to work on your skills for a while then open up your own web design firm where you will be dictating rather than doing.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2007
  9. Oh its me 20

    Oh its me 20 New Member

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    Thanks for the advice orangecuse. My main concern is that I am going to enter a position that has no room for growth and be stuck making 40-50k for the rest of my life.

    I'm not expecting to start at the top. I know I have to work my way up the ladder. I just want to make sure I'm climbing the right one.
     
  10. JoeyJoJoJuniorShabadoo

    JoeyJoJoJuniorShabadoo Live Free or Die

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    if you start at a firm, learn more new stuff, do some side stuff to create a portfolio, then bring in your own clients on the side. Create your own firm.
     
  11. eskarinna

    eskarinna New Member

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    What kind of designer do you want to be the one who just puts the look and feel of a site or someone who also deals with application design, usability, functionality , navigation and etc.

    Most serious big companies nowadays are look ing for people who not only know how to put a page together but also know best practices, color coordination, navigation, user friendly trends and navigation, Marketting and advertising concepts to best represent the clients product to the target audience.

    If you already have a good idea about the above issues next step is learn how to design dynamic web applications ( i assume you are going to have to start with front end) Learn ASP.Net, master pages, common controls concepts, or whatever the equivalent to that is in PHP. Next pick up a RIA skill. I see you have flash but thats just a movie. Learn basic flex or siverlight (since its new you will have a head start from other developers who might have more exp than you but don't know that technology yet).

    CSS is a must no matter what you do, you need to get more involved with the more advanced css techniques.

    javascript is also important but i would advise to learn how to work with ajax controls. There is many libraries that are pretty much ready to be used with drag and drop functionality and basic configuration (look up ajax atlas).

    If you want to get to the point that you are not in front of the pc all day long my advice is learn application design not UI. This way you will have to meet with clients to gather business and customer requirments, program and database requirments and etc. In this scenario you will have to have general programming knowledge as well as everything above and you will need to know how to do requirments graphs, illustrations lists, prototypes, mock ups, and how to present relational schemas and such best book in that topic that i have seen was the mcpd training book Exam 70-547.
     
  12. steeezywan

    steeezywan New Member

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    No matter what you're doing be prepared to have to sit in front of your computer 8 hours a day at least 5 days a week. Whether you are doing invoicing, marketing for yourself, actual build work, or learning new things .. that's where you'll spend most of your day just to reach 55k a year. Maybe after 10 years of doing things right you should "expect" to not sit at your computer very often.
     
  13. Suazo

    Suazo New Member

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    First thing I would do is work on your website because is not looking good....
     
  14. BrettRT

    BrettRT New Member

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    Theres a lot of good advice in this thread, so I won't try to re-state what others have said.

    If you are shy about sitting behind a desk 40 hours a week, this may not be for you. As a designer in a growing firm, you will be designing and researching nearly non-stop... not much time for going out and meeting people.

    However, if you get into a cool studio like I'm at, there are opportunities to leave the office. For example: I designed the website here for the national railroad museum not too long ago. I needed inspiration, so I left the office for a half day and spent the day alone with a camera at the museum. Boss was totally cool with it.

    Sometimes you just can't get that inspiration from the studio or your workspace. If your boss is cool, and a good art director, they'll understand this.

    Also, when I was in school I was designing at night, in all of my freetime. I was doing side projects and using those to learn as much as I could. Usually I picked a hobby and went to town with it... car clubs, car shows, sports, you name it I tried to create a site for it.

    I think I'm rambling, but what I'm getting at is the job of a designer is not limited to 40 hours a week. I'm constantly, constantly thinking of new things and jotting down notes, whenever wherever.

    From your original post it sounded like you wanted to dabble a little in web design, and then sell. You could just freelance and get the best out of both worlds in that regard. Freelance for a couple years, build a "professional" portfolio, then start applying.

    Any other questions feel free! :)
     
  15. c.a

    c.a New Member

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    [​IMG]

    I like that haha, I got about 50 sheets of paper that look exactly the same.
     
  16. kingtoad

    kingtoad OT Supporter

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  17. Oh its me 20

    Oh its me 20 New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback so far. I think the more I research these positions, the more I realize I really have no idea exactly what it is I want to do.

    I like the fact that the web is dynamic, and constantly evolving. I also think there is a lot of money to be made because of this.

    I just hate the fact that I spent 4 years in school, and some guy who did a couple specialized classes at ITT tech may be able to make more then me just because he took classes focused on web stuff. I would like to get myself in a position that has the potential to earn six figures at some point.
     
  18. LEGbEND

    LEGbEND .

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    You're only going to make real money on your own or doing real development. Nobody gets rich doing html/css for somebody else.

    I feel like I've hit the plateau in my position, which is why I'm starting to venture out on my own.
     
  19. BrettRT

    BrettRT New Member

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    Funny, you just described me. However, as stated in my post above, I busted my ass learning web and my major and have been doing it since I was 14, so I hope I don't fit in your generalization :wavey:
     
  20. eskarinna

    eskarinna New Member

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    yeah about that.

    I didn't go to school, not even ITT, however i have been doing web design/ programming since 98, and have been busting my ass to stay current and gain the skills that the industry demands the most. I started making 17k knowing HTML, CSS, JavaScript, ASP, Photoshop, CGI and I had a better portfolio than what i saw on this site. I was making 2 years ago 30 - 50 k with DHTML, XML, JavaScript, CSS, ASP .NET, classic ASP and had to get .net 2.0 certified before i could go to 70k.

    It bugs me that someone who is fresh out of school, has no experience, advanced knowledge in the field, or understanding of the job practices, comes with expectations to make as much money as i was doing with 6 years of experience and working for a giant corporation.

    I think the bottom line is with your skills and lack of experience the diploma will not be enough to get you where you want to be (40-50k). If you try to be on your own, you will have hard time finding clients due to the lack of basic designing skills shown in your portfolio and the fact that this portfolio demonstrates skills that were current and standard 7 years ago.
     
  21. Oh its me 20

    Oh its me 20 New Member

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    Yeah, it just sucks because you did the schooling in half the time and know much more about it then i do.
     
  22. BrettRT

    BrettRT New Member

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    Experience > Degree

    imho, in this field.

    See, even though you went 2 years long than me, I was majoring in what I knew I wanted to do as soon as I got out. So for that entire 2 years, I was learning and trying to keep up with the technological trends at that time. I didn't graduate and then realize, whee I have a web degree I can go make some bank now.
     
  23. eskarinna

    eskarinna New Member

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    mainly because everything changes so fast that they don't have time to create the corses and study matterials. Thats why devry and itt are a little bit more in touch with whats going on unlike colleges who still have CGI and HTML 4.0 classes
     
  24. Oh its me 20

    Oh its me 20 New Member

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    Yeah, thats why I'm a bit concerned about going into this field. My major is Graphic Communications with a minor in management science.

    I'd like to be able to be in touch with the web, but I think if I go into website design it will be the same as if I had started out 4 years ago.
     
  25. BrettRT

    BrettRT New Member

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    Even at ITT we were years behind, due to it being a nationwide school.
     

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