With the advent of the Web 2.0 world awaiting the next developments, IT specialists and web designers have been in increasing demand all over the world. Emerging trends such as the evolution of Web 3.0, which represents the next step in the evolution of the internet and web applications, nanotechnology and the fast paced development of mobile applications and social media development, have meant that many companies employ specialist IT and web design divisions in an effort to keep up with this ever changing environment for the utilisation generating new revenue streams and engaging with customers.
It is no longer acceptable to build a static website with a basic format, and expect it to perform well and generate results, whether it is for small to medium business, large corporations or simply a personal page. The ultimate goal of all websites is the same; they must be attractive, usable and have the ability to capture and generate high rates of traffic. These are essential metrics of modern web design.
Emerging trends in the internet world have changed the parameters of who can promote websites. Traditionally the arena of large corporations, the advent of social media and other analytical tools means that for the first time in its short history, that the large corporation does not hold a massive advantage over its smaller more independent and flexible competitors. However, it is still necessary to employ the services of a web designer to ensure that you get the most out of the technologies available to you. They will be able to design the website according to consumer behaviour and psychology, which stipulates where they look on the website, how they behave and follow through site maps, along with how they respond to cues and messages that are strategically placed.
Nonetheless, the role of today’s web designer does not stop there. They must also be proficient in analytical purposes, a key determinant of the success of the website. Through the clever use of social media tools, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and Bebo, the website can be linked to a company’s social media accounts, with conversations emerging which drive traffic back to the original website. Many have recognised the importance of links and back links in driving traffic to their website, resulting in a myriad of businesses posting articles on one of the many sites designed to accept them, with the ability to place a few well selected links back to your site.
It is readily apparent that as a modern web designer in today’s rapidly changing world, there is much more than simply constructing a simple site and launching it on the web. Clients now demand that their web site to be interactive, containing many multimedia options, including video, interactive games and the likes. What is desired by all, however, is results. This signifies that any web designer must be competent in the skills required to drive traffic to sites they have developed, adhering to the parameters set for success using analytical software.
These skills are not just given, they must be learned. The expansion of web design jobs has been followed worldwide with an expansion in web design courses. However, not all are created equally and care must be taken in selecting a suitable tertiary institution that is at the leading edge of web design technology and trends. The rapid development of web based technologies has created excitement among educators. Evolving tools being utilised in the development of web pages has been matched with expanding variation of applications the internet is used for, many of which were not even considered possible when the internet was created. Those institutes promoting web design courses must not only be able to teach all the essential ingredients for website success, but keep on top of all the emerging trends. Only when this occurs, will you leave being completely equipped with the tools necessary to become a successful web designer.
Do you really need to go to school to be a professional web designer? I can’t really answer that question for you. I feel like anybody can benefit from an online web design course, but is it really necessary to do before you start making money off of the skills that some of you have been building sense you were 15, 12, even 10 years old?
If you consider yourself a good enough designer or programmer, you might as well give selling a website or two a shot. If you don’t feel comfortable than don’t, it’s really that easy to say.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t thing going and taking a college web design course is a bad idea, but I do thing it is a good idea to try and get yourself out there before or during your schooling. Go throw an ad on craigslist, check out some of the freelancer website out there.
If you are honest with your first few clients (well all of your clients) about the fact that you are new to the professional side of the whole web design thing, you are currently taking a college web design course, and you are offering websites at a really cheap price because of it all, you might just get a few jobs.
As you can imagine having a few $100-$500 jobs a month could really help out paying that “tuition”. What have you got to lose in the whole situation really?
One thing that I suggest doing is NOT taking the clients’ money until the website is done. I know, this seems like a bad idea, and you have to eat while you are developing too, but is it plain and simple a bad idea. If for some reason you cannot satisfy the client, for whatever (sometimes stupid) reason it is better to take it as a loss. The reason that I say this is because word of mouth is really the greatest marketing scheme out there, and if you already have a bad name before you ever even really start your career, it could be a $250 you really regret earning.
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