Web Design

If there’s one constant; it’s that designers are little understood, our work unappreciated and customers think we charge too much. Why is that, I wonder?

Well, when it’s done right, the end result looks like it took hardly anything at all to do, it’s so simple/elegant/straightforward. But the reality is web design is like an iceberg; there’s a whole lot under the surface supporting what you actually see.

We share our lot with programmers, coders and project managers and it’s down to the 80:20 rule – 80% planning, 20% doing.

The 80:20 rule – 80% planning, 20% doing

The customer rarely sees all of the 20% do, and certainly little of the 80% plan, so it’s no wonder they think – like in the movies – we just wriggle our fingers and things just spring to life like, yesterday!

OK, reality check coming up:

  • You have some idea of what you’re getting yourself into (you poor, doomed soul!)
    …check!
  • You have some aptitude for administration, accounts, client management, marketing ..and well, all that business stuff!
    …check!
  • You’re reasonably creative, can listen to what a client wants (but discern their needs), work to a timeline (slave hehe) and deliver the goods (straight up, first time, no problemo!)
    …check!
  • And of course, you have a business plan, marketing plan, budget, insurance, a registered business? Of course…
    …check!

Well, I guess if you’re still reading you must be really interested (or giggling your head off). You do SO want to be a Web Designer? OK. So now that you know there’s some hard yakka in being a Web Designer, let’s get on with it!

Solid backgrounding

These snippets are in no particular order, feel free to snip and pick as you feel the need.

WordPress?

Hah, a bone of contention, this! WordPress is the go-to, right?

Allegedly anyway… Well it’s good for those who want it quick and dirty, have no intention of getting under the hood and are willing to abdicate design choice and excellence to whoever made their theme. And money to burn because it’s easy to want more and more costs, and costs..

If you’re looking at $90 a month for WordPress plugins (including essentials such as maintenance mode) and services well, maybe you’d be better off paying that to a designer who bulk buys such licences and have an integrated service. Or go that route yourself, it’s messy but not that difficult really. Time consuming, frustrating and tedious, but do-able.

Kick off with a free WordPress blog if you are a complete rookie so that you can get to know the world you are about to compete in before committing yourself to thousands of dollars that could be mis-spent. At the very least, when you cave in and go looking for hosting or a designer you will have a better chance of spotting the fakirs and wannabes (about 90% of web designers don’t know shit..).

My take? If you’re on the bottom rung of can’t-affort-nowt then WordPress truly sucks if you want to do those unaffordable things. It means getting into the code with inline CSS to tweak the HTML to do some things, and because CSS linking and head use is blocked for non-payers it has to be done each and every damned instance.

Not fair? Of course it’s fair, I’m bludging so how can I complain? Oh, hehe, just did. Oop. It’s also a problem if you don’t do the tutorials/read up and learn not to do things like say, swap a theme out without preparation.

Having had a bitch, well, it’s easy to use (damned blocks!) idiot proof (sorta) and if you just want simples, then yes..

Here’s a bundle of things you aught to know:

Mobile-friendly

[17 Sep 18] Source: Getflyout | Layout, by
  1. Understand why responsive web design is important
  2. Take the Google Mobile-Friendly Test
  3. Use a responsive WordPress theme (or create your own)
  4. Consider mobile-friendly WordPress plugins
  5. Use mobile-friendly opt-ins
  6. Think in terms of responsive media

User Experience

[30 Jan 19] Source: The Daily Egg | User Experience Design: 6 Simple Steps for Developing Your UX Design Process, by Jason Little
  • Every aspect of your web design should be tailored for your buyer personas, their needs, challenges, and desires.

  • Customized UX only comes from extensive research; of competitors and market.

The full article is UX in a nutshell and is well worth reading.

[6 Mar 19] Source: Themeisle | How to Use the Online Customer Journey on Your WordPress Site, by John Hughes

Introduction to the five basic stages of the online customer journey and implementation on your WordPress website.

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