Web Designer – No Experience Needed

My next few articles will be discussing my thoughts on the current trends and state of design on the web. I hold no illusion that my opinions on this topic should be taken as absolute. However, my feeling is, the more discourse, the better.

I stumbled upon this site via Firewheel that seemed to be a great prelude to my near-future writings. Indeed, the get-rich-quick scheme has laid its larva into the unsuspecting gut of graphic design. Or to use their own words:

Make $1,000 A Day In The โ€œHiddenโ€ Desktop Design Market

Yes, now everyone can be a graphic designer and make a hell of a lot more money than the people who actually do it for a living. This is one of the quintessential problems of design on the internet; everyone is a web designer – therefore no one is. In my opinion, this open, all-inclusive vocation needs a small dose of intellectual elitism. It is true that anyone can design a site, but not everyone can do it well.

Just because you can design a (fill in the blank) does not mean you are a (fill in the blank) designer. I am employed in the web design field and I regularly wonder if the statement above is applicable to me. There is no bar exam that you need to pass in order to become a designer, to which I am very thankful. Nonetheless, it is frustrating that the second I say that I am a web designer, smirks appear on people’s faces. To many, I might as well be saying that I am 27 and living in the basement of my parent’s house.

The good thing is that things seem to be starting to change. Strong design on the web and strong web craft are starting to be more apparent. The public is starting to get web standards. With the web becoming more a part of people’s daily lives, they want smart, strong design. People know when they use/see a well designed website. They may not know why, but it is still recognized.

Now we just have to make sure we are some of the people responsible for some of those good designs. I will be spending the next month or so talking about web design on this blog. I have no doubt that I will be wrong about many things and will learn much along the way. Perhaps it will help me make one of those strong designs I keep talking about…

8 thoughts on “Web Designer – No Experience Needed”

  1. i agree with mike. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Its funny that you brought up this topic. An alarming number of quick-turn around design shops have sprung up online, and as a result, severely undermined the legitimacy and quality of web/graphic design.

    the AIGA community and other distinguished design firms have been engaged in an online duel with a company called (fill in the blank), the mother of all unethical design firms. I rather not give them any more publicity by mentioning their name, but i will gladly email you their link for research purposes, PJ. No-Name company is a”logo design firm” that gives you packaged deals on logos for an unbeatable price. For example, the platinum package for $599.99 gives you logo renditions from 5 designers, 10 logo concepts, and unlimited revision rounds. Sounds like a cell phone plan rather than a design service! this company runs on “outsourced” designers working from all over the world (probably in their basements) with different skill sets. they never meet their clients or interact with their fellow co-workers. this company has been under scrutiny due to their degraded level of design standards, not to mention that a number of their logos are blatant copies of well known icons by the likes of Mark Fox and Landor Associates.

    your article resonates with the concerns of the design community. groups like the AIGA work vigilantly to uphold high standards and ethics; to promote and educate the importance of good design to the general public. it is the multitudes of “i-want-to-make-a-quick-buck designers” that misrepresent us. these pseudo-designers short change their clients with mediocre work, lower the necessary pricing standards, and give aspiring designers the illusion that design work can be done overnight, without breaking a sweat…

    As long as you know photoshop and own a few fun fonts, that makes you a designer, right?

  2. I’m really looking forward to reading more about this. I’ve felt the same way for a while now, I also work in the Web design and development field and contantly wonder why it is that these companies can pop up and call themselves industry leaders. I do agree that the quality of Web design _and_ development is increasing by leaps and bounds, but there is a significant issue in that so many “Web Design Firms” are publishing pure garbage, essentially holding their clients back. We can only hope that through increased quality of design, the bad will be weeded out. Can’t wait to read future installments.

  3. Shoot:hoped I’d found a way to stay alive if I devoted the energy and TIME necessary to learn what it is all about, this web stuff and all. If I can get out of the landlord business I’ll be back.

  4. Nicely done. I make my living doing graphic design, both print and web. If I had a dollar for every wanna-be designer I had to deal with I’d be taking a nice vacation about now.

  5. Oh dear it’s quite true. I always wish the so called “design agencies” to hell who sell “webdesign at a pound”. They destroy the markets and the people’s sense of quality. It’s the horror. Nice articles. I think I come back ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I know this may seem off topic, although it does somewhat relate. How, do those who are currently seeking a degree in “web design” attain employment, without having the necessary experience. I must say that I’ve done a bit of research, and found most companies currently hiring are looking for people with experience as well as a degree. Why isn’t there currently a company, organization, consortium (W3C aside obviously) that gives these young designers, coders, builders an opportunity to flex their muscles, while at the same time delivering to the customer a product that meets/exceeds their standards. Would such an organization be outdated or in fact redundant?

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