I Want To Be A Web Designer When I Grow Up

by Cheryl Laidlaw

Two weeks ago I visited the The Peter Jones Enterprise Academy where I had the chance to give some insights into my business and how I make it grow. The students had lots of questions and I answered them as best as I could. One of the questions was, “Did you always know you were going to be a web designer?”

It’s a question I get asked a lot and the answer is no. The one subject that interested me at school was ‘art and design class’. It was the one class that I felt I could really excel in. I was a reasonably good artist and found it easy and rewarding to design and create beautiful pictures that would create a positive reaction from my classmates and teacher. I can only explain it as that cheer from that goal the boy had dreamt of all his life scoring in an England game. So although its a smaller reaction, that’s my equivalent.

After school I went on to do a fine art course at Uxbridge College. I couldn’t have enjoyed it more. I was in my element and looked forward to class everyday.  After qualifying I needed to be serious and have a think about my next step.

I researched and came across a course at Westminster University: Graphic Information Design. I new I had to choose a subject that would make me some money in the future and I needed a course that offered lots of different modules that would keep me challenged and interested.

I was lucky enough to get a job straight away as a junior web designer, worked my way up and started my own business in 2010. But web design is far more that just design. I found a blog by Michael Aleo on Smashing Magazine who I think has explained this perfectly:

[blockquote_message] We take the role of salesperson. After the contract is sorted, we become researchers, combing through the client’s outdated website, looking at analytics and identifying breakdowns and room for improvement. Soon after, we become content curators, wading through the piles of content in PDF format sent by the client, identifying what works and what doesn’t. Then we’re architects, laying out content to get the most important messages across, while ensuring that everything in our layouts remains findable. We design the website itself. We manage client expectations and work through revisions. We write code. We introduce a content management system. We carefully insert and style content. We create and update the brand’s presence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.[/blockquote_message]

So design is just one aspect of my job as a web designer, it’s the part of my job that I find rewarding as I have the important task of creating someone’s business vision. So although the design aspect of the job drew me into this industry its just a small but great part of my day to day work.

For more information on Reyl Design Group’s website design services, and to talk about how we can help you grow your business,
email: cheryl@reyl.co.uk or call 01895 438218.