It’s 2012 and the technological age is in full swing. Everyone and his dog desires to take advantage of the web and the glorious opportunities that it presents us with. Unfortunately, what this means is that too many people are branding themselves as “web site designers” considerably. Because there are no barriers to entry into the web design industry, this has led to a saturated market.
This is the storyplot of how I came into the net design industry and, despite it being so overcrowded, what sort of success was created by me of my small design studio. Picture this: A 15-year-old pale-skinned, pimple-faced teenager who believes he can accomplish anything. Through family cable connections, our brace-faced young hero gets the chance to design a website for a local school.
He has no prior web design experience but is confident that his supreme skill in Space Invaders could translate into a great looking website! As you will have probably guessed by, that naive young youngster was, I’m ashamed to state, me. And that exemplary artwork the truth is above was our first ever website. Now you’re probably questioning how I went from that monstrosity to running a straight remotely successful design studio. The truth is we didn’t. At least not immediately.
It took a number of years and one unexpected realisation before we’re able to ever desire to succeed in a business where practically everybody was better and more established than us. After having made a decision our first website was pretty darn amazing embarrassingly, and quite a little of fun to create, my business partner – another spotty teenager – and I, decided we could totally start our very own web site design business. We were going to be millionaires! For a couple of years after starting said web site design business, we picked up the odd customer (“relative” would probably me more apt) who was on a minimal budget and we thought we were doing rather well.
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We had discovered the magic of Content Management Systems and started creating great template-based websites. We didn’t caution that they appeared exactly like 431 other websites on the web. Nobody would know! It wasn’t until a few years ago that people sat back and it dawned on us that we really weren’t making any impact on the market whatsoever.
Our websites were mediocre. We had no real purpose. We were yet another boring “web site design business” trying to take advantage of the technological age group and consumer naivety. I have a tendency to be a rather stubborn person Luckily. EASILY hadn’t given up after our first attempt at a website, I definitely wasn’t going to give up now.
This prompted me to take a long hard look at what we should were doing and just why we weren’t successful in any way. What adopted was an interval of extreme self-examination. We shut up shop for around 6 months while we analysed everything we had done until that time and compared it using what the designers who had been much better than us were doing.
We also do some research into other web designers who weren’t doing as well as they had hoped for. Over time, we realised that we had made some critical errors in our preliminary endeavours in to the web design world. We had a need to adapt or we were heading to have to shut down shop for good.
This is something I cannot stress enough. The number of self-acclaimed web designers (including ourselves) who had been still creating websites using old coding techniques and technologies was astonishing. It is essential that you keep abreast of the latest trends and technologies which are emerging in your industry. If not out of passion for your projects, out of a need to survive surely? Mostly you will find that the news headlines in your industry can really be quite exciting.
I’m known by my friends to be able to rattle on all night about the latest design and marketing styles. Do they care about what I have to say? Probably not. But your clients shall. With web design, the generally accepted practices change frequently. Web browser structures and support daily is updated almost.