But You’re a Web Designer – Pt. 1

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Web Design has been a passion of mine for a long time. Ever since I made my first html key stroke remolding my Neopet’s store front, I knew it was what I wanted to do. My career has morphed into a lot of things over the years, and I have unfortunately come to realize that employers don’t necessarily understand the meaning of a web designer. I believe my field deserves a little defense and clarification for the next generation of college grads.

1. Not all of us graduated from college. It’s true, while I did obtain a two year degree, it doesn’t equal two years of hands on experience. People can learn and understand more working on their own in the beginning than what a school can teach you. Even my professor explained they are only there to place basic understanding in front of you; they can’t teach you personalized methods.

2. Web Design doesn’t include printer trouble shooting. Oh, you mean you hired your web designer, and you got a deer in the headlights look when you said your printer caught on fire? Although we probably each have the capability to pull out jammed paper, replace ink cartridges, clean and even align everything, doesn’t mean that’s what we do. We create Web Sites, paperless and ink-less designs for e-commerce, etc.

3. Search Engine Optimization. What? SEO should be part of what your designer brings to the table. Google ranks according to SEO standards, or smacks sites out of the park with their huge Panda. Avoid duplicate content, ’nuff said.

4. Gobbledygook. Employers have the tendency to walk around and “manage” people. They look over your shoulder and see you typing madly at a spread of confusing text, and automatically get mad. When you work with a company that has nothing to do with computers this is to be expected, but should also be explained. Sometimes you have to get down and dirty with the code to win.

5. Malfunctioning screen savers. It’s nothing new to have fellow employees come up to you and explain a common “computer” error, aka user error. But it really isn’t their fault, so you’re inclined to help them. But sometimes Windows XP hates screen savers and that’s all we can say.

6. Backing up content. Normally this is part of our daily lives, casually and professionally. We think you’d be stupid to spend weeks, months and even years working on something to lose it. And we do think it’s funny when coworkers come to us asking to save their lost files in a panic. What, you thought we wore thumb drives as a “fashion accessory”? Our entire lives hang on that land yard!

7. E-commerce designers don’t equal salesmen. I know it’s shocking, but there are reasons we chose a life behind the computer screen. We aren’t good on the phone, we don’t like to lie to our customers and we hate pushy salesmen (why do you think we build our own stuff?). If we build it, they will come, but you need to supply the sales staff.

8. On the off chance we did make a sale, that’s as far as it goes. Entering orders, secretarial work, and even writing content is not our job, simple as that. If you want a mistake, someone talking too much or warding off clients; be my guest.

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