Posts Tagged 'Smashing Magazine'

A Day in the Life of a Web Designer

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Your friend tells you that he or she is a web designer. You think to yourself, “Oh, that means he or she is a designer.” Wrong. It’s much more than that. Design barely graces the surface of the title, “web designer.” So just what does a web designer do? I can’t answer for all web designers, but I can tell you what it’s like for me. My routine consists of me juggling a number of tasks, which include:

  • Emails. I’m constantly checking work emails for new web design projects (who isn’t?).
  • Work. I am 100% passionate about my job, so when I work, I work hard. Projects usually involve creating multiple design comps, which can be quite time-consuming.
  • Field trips. As a government contractor, it’s all about pleasing the client. Even if it involves field trips, such as running errands at the Pentagon.
  • Twitter. I love using TweetDeck, a Twitter interface for my desktop, to read the latest hot finds that other web gurus have posted. You can follow my tweets at @kristinandrews.
  • Other Blogs. I like to keep up with others in the industry, so during downtime, I scan my favorite blogs for today’s posts. My favorites: Smashing Magazine (by the way, they wrote a great post on 2009 Web Trends), Web Designer Depot, You the Designer, Just Creative Design, Outlaw Design Blog, and ILoveTypography. Occasionally I’ll drop by Cameron Moll or Jeffrey Zeldman’s place on the web.
  • My Blog. When I feel inspired, I zip over here and craft up a post or two for the day.
  • Tutorials. It’s imperative to practice design, so I like to work with Photoshop tutorials on the web.
  • Code. A true web designer is a hybrid of web design and web development. A good web designer will take the time to write clean code. As for me, I can always use more hands-on time figuring out XHTML/CSS/Javascript examples.
  • Play. When you work hard, you play hard. Web designers like to play, too. It’s not unusual to fire nerf gun darts and foam hand grenades at coworkers around the office.

Overall, good web designers do a lot to keep up with the industry. They eat, breathe, sleep web design. Oftentimes, many have a freelance business on the side or as their primary source of income. Either way, it’s a fun industry to keep up with. While I’m no expert, I am passionate about what I do and love to spread the word about great finds.

I’m always open to answering questions, so fire away!

September 22nd, 2008: 6 sites I visit for web design inspiration

It’s not unusual for me to browse the web for inspiration when I have a new project that comes across my plate. Here are 6 places I go on the web when I’m looking for inspiration, articles to read, and a place to connect with other designers. I wouldn’t mind networking more with people in my field of work. (Thanks to coworkers and friends for passing on some of their favorites)

  1. DC Design Babes — A Washington D.C. organization founded by two web chicks who seem to really focus on facilitating connections with other area designers through monthly meetings. (see website)
  2. Refresh DC — Another D.C. area organization dedicated to keeping the industry connected by providing a place for people to share industry happenings. (see website)
  3. Cameron Moll — A well-known Utah-based designer/speaker/author who blogs frequently. I think it’s cute that he gave his wife a little “corner” of his blog. (see his website)
  4. 19 Things Not to Do When Building a Website — Probably something every web designer and developer could benefit from reading. (see blog post)
  5. You The Designer — This website nails it. I’ve always been a fan of web (and print) posts that list things as opposed to laying out the nitty gritty in a long article, something I *try* to achieve in my own blog posts. It’s easy to read in terms of scannability and gets right to the point. Websites with thumbnails and photos are a bonus. (see website)
  6. Smashing Magazine — The best for last. A “weblog” that gives a place for designers and developers to head to when they want to keep up with the trends of the industry, such as brush sets, sample CSS code, and tips on designing across platforms.Ā  (see weblog)


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