Web designers are highly creative people and who can build a virtual world with their designing skills. However, the career of a designer, whether freelance or the employee of a big company, is highly challenging. You have to deal with clients, come up with new ideas and promote your business to stay ahead of the others.
Skill is an important criterion to be a good designer, but there are some other factors that can hurt the career of a designer. Here is a list of some bad habits that can hurt the career of a young web designer.
POOR COMMUNICATION SKILLS
Clients like to discuss their project with someone who is enthusiastic and open to new ideas. As a designer, you may have much clearer ideas about how web design works and which trends are most popular this year, but that does not mean you can overlook your client’s concept. Some clients can be difficult to deal with, but you must not lose patience. If you have a better idea, then convey your thoughts with a smile. The success of a web design project depends on the communication between designer and client. The client has a vision and your aim is to give that vision a shape.
FORGET TO SET LIMITATIONS
No matter how good a designer you are, you will meet a few clients who are never happy with the final outcome of a project. They will keep calling you to make a few tweaks. Revisions are necessary for any project, but too many revisions mean loss of time. Therefore, you must tell the customer the “maximum number of revisions’ you can do. In fact, you can offer 1-2 revisions for free and make more than 2 revisions extra chargeable.
NOT HAVING A WRITTEN CONTRACT
This is one of the biggest mistakes made by novice designers. When you are working with a client, you must clearly tell him how much money you want and what he can expect for the money he is paying. The contract should specify project details, deadline, and total cost of the project, revisions, payment terms and maintenance service terms after project completion. A legal contract ensures that the client will pay you once you deliver the work. Otherwise, you can file a lawsuit against him.
AVOIDING NEW TECHNOLOGIES
Web design and development business is very dynamic in nature. New technologies and trends appear every year. A good designer always stays updated and learns new things to create astonishing web designs. Take HTML5 as an example. It has already replaced Flash and many people consider it to be the future of Web. So, unless you learn this new coding standard, it is not possible to create unique and user friendly layouts.
LACK OF ORGANISATION
As a designer you need to handle multiple projects at the same time and different projects have different requirements. You can’t store all the specifications in your head because you may forget a few special requests due to work pressure. Therefore, the best thing to do is create separate folders for different projects. Keep all the thing related to a project such as PSD files, images, content and project spec in the main folder and organise the work date wise by creating sub folders.
ACCEPTING IMPOSSIBLE DEADLINES
Some clients will tell you that they will pay you extra if you can create their website in 2-3 days. Don’t accept such projects because strict deadlines are always hard to meet. Your design quality may drop because you are in a hurry to complete the project. If the client still approves then you will get the money, but your reputation as a creative person will get affected.
It is good to check the web designs created by famous designers all over the world and take inspiration from their work. However, never copy in the name of inspiration. Those designers are famous, because they created something unique. Try to unleash your own ideas and come up with spectacular websites.
This is a common habit of freelance designers. When you work in an office and your team leader checks your output regularly, it is hard to procrastinate, but freelancers work alone and they tend to be lazy. Don’t forget that you have to meet deadlines and the longer you delay crucial works, the harder you need to work when the deadline comes near. Follow a routine and dedicate the right amount of time for professional tasks.
MAKING THINGS PERSONAL
Clients are paying for your work they have the right to criticise your designs. Don’t take criticisms personally. It will affect your relationship with the clients. If a client criticises you for valid reasons, accept your fault and apologise. If you made no mistakes, then explain your point politely. Things may not work in your way all the times, but that does not mean you can lose your temper.
Mistakes are made by even the most veteran web designers and there is nothing to be ashamed of. However, an intelligent designer learns from his mistake. For example, if you lost a client, then ask yourself what you did wrong. Make sure that you don’t repeat the same mistake again.
NOT CHARGING ENOUGH
Don’t get surprised, because when you work at a very cheap rate, it actually sends a negative message to the clients. They think that you are cheap because your creations are cheap. Whether you have 6 months experience or 5 years experience in web design, make sure that your remuneration is justified. Clients don’t hesitate to pay a hefty amount as long as you can convince them about the quality of your work.
These are some of the mistakes that you must avoid to enjoy a bright web design career. When you have the knowledge, skills and business sense, your clients are bound to be impressed.
Credit: Author – Jack Dawson