Is web design a good career? Web design is not the most noble job in the world. We don’t save lives or build houses for the poor kids of Africa. We create visual experiences on the internet.


Table of Contents:

  1. Is Web Design a Good Career? 10 Things You Should Know About Being A Web Designer
  2. Things To consider before going International as a Freelancer
  3. Becoming a Happy and Fulfilled Web Designer
  4. 10 Best Kept Secrets To Become More Creative By Boosting Your Brainpower
  5. 10 Scientifically Proven and Human-Tested Ways to Become Happier

Is Web Design a Good Career? 10 Things You Should Know About Being A Web Designer

Our job has its own ups and downs and rules that not everybody agrees with and there are obviously things you should know about this career if you plan on getting serious about it. You can find here a list of things you might want to know about being a web designer that will help on easing you in the business.


Clients are hard to deal with

Well, not all of them, but the majority of them will create a lot of stress for you and you won’t be happy to hear from them again soon. They put the money in your pocket, so you always have to try and bring their vision to life. There is a very funny illustration on the internet that talks about this topic better than I could ever; you can enjoy it here. Many times you will have to deal with this situation and might design a product you are not entirely happy with. But because the client pays, you will have to finish it. Later on I will tell you why this should not be a problem.

But wait, there is more. Not signing a proper contract might cause you headaches, because the clients will try to make you work more for them for free. This is why you need to have a solid contract signed by both parties before you start working. Never skip this part. Never!

Sign a contract with the client before starting the project

Not all clients are like that, some of them will even pay everything beforehand and then hand you some more bucks for small adjustments, but that’s quite rare. This only happens with clients who don’t know how the internet works and thinks that a web designer is quite hard to find. Therefore be aware of the “big sharks” of the internet, who’ve done this kind of job hundreds of times before and know how easily a designer can be manipulated, because he needs a specific amount of money at the end of the month – we all do; in the end, nobody works just for fun.

Get out there and make a name for yourself

It is very lame when web designers go to interviews with an empty portfolio. Nothing shows more disinterest and laziness than the empty portfolio of a so-called web designer. Don’t expect to be hired and to create a portfolio for yourself afterwards, because nobody will hire you in the first place. Don’t forget you compete with people who polished their skills by working hundreds of hours for clients and who have a portfolio full of good work and promising testimonials. What do you have besides the “I want to provide high-quality services to this company” cliché?

Have a high-quality portfolio to show clients

Sure, it might take a lot of work for free, but this will bring you something that no payment can: experience. Once you have that experience, you are ready for a bigger job, but until then you have to go out and find some work. You can find churches, groups, hobby clubs and so on; all these would be happy to extend their presence on the internet and you are right there to offer it – for a low price or even for free. That’s how everybody starts, nobody hires web designers without a portfolio. It is entirely your responsibility to create a name and a brand for yourself and you shouldn’t expect to get the big bucks until you do it.

Have a clear target

One of the things you need to do at an interview for a freelance job is to define the product you will deliver. Today everybody can do some design and why would a boss hire you when his 15-year-old son can do the same for pocket money? You have to specify what exactly it is you can deliver, from SEO to social media integration and a content management system which you develop yourself. Many clients think a website has these features included anyway and won’t even consider paying more for them. This is why you have to specify from the beginning the nature of your project and the targets.

The client is not always right

Yes, you’ve heard me right. You were not hired to be liked by the boss. You were hired to provide a good, high-quality solution. If the client knows nothing about web design, how can he give you tips and advice, like in the illustration above? If you provide a great tool for his business, which generates profit, you are very likely to be hired back even if you didn’t listen to the client’s tips. There is no doubt about the fact that you are the expert and you should decide upon most of the project. Sure, hearing out ideas is not a bad thing and it’s recommended, but following the bad ones is stupid and will never help you create a strong name. If you do what the client wants and end up with a crappy website, you might have to avoid putting it in your portfolio. You don’t want people to know you’ve made it. But what are you interested in, having a high-quality portfolio, with work you are proud of, or earning money from different projects and, when a big opportunity arises, show up with an empty portfolio or with poor websites?

Remember once you’ve signed the contract (be aware of what it stipulates), you are the one who takes the most important decisions on a website, not the client. He hired you to do what you are good at; you’re the expert, not him. If he wanted someone he could order around, he has thousands of employees to do that with.

Design for the user

This is a big one. The design is the most important part of the user experience, although it’s very easy to find successful people on the internet who might argue with me. Craigslist is the best example: no design, no brand, huge success. But this is rare, don’t think that if Craigslist managed it, you will too. Design for the user and all the time think of how they interact with a website. It might be a good idea to ask the client what kind of clients he has. What kind of people are them, what do they do for a living, how much time they spend on the internet and so on. This is important to consider when designing for the user.

The User Experience is built on these layers

Once done, leave it like it is

Once you’ve finished the product, delivered it, earned the money and shook hands, it’s done. The product is not yours anymore. Take screenshots of it in its final form and then let it go. If the client wants to destroy it with low-resolution images, a poor logo or disproportionate font, it’s entirely his problem.

You should offer guidelines and help him in the beginning, but if he can’t keep the nice design you’ve made for more than a few weeks without messing it up, it is not your problem anymore. This means he needs a Web Master who can take care of his website on a full-time or part-time job for money. Or you can do it – for money too, obviously.

Don’t send desperate e-mails few months after the delivery saying that this does not look good and you should do this another way. It is simply not your problem anymore, so let it go already!

It never works from the first time

Web design is one of those jobs which eats the energy out of you and drives you crazy all the time with simple problems that have simple solutions. A selector does not work, you can’t make the hover color brighter for whatever reason, the database shows you an error each time you use it or the content does not update if you press the required button. All these problems have been and will be the ones which drive us all crazy. Don’t expect that once you start coding, it will be done within a matter of hours. It will not! It will take days, weeks or even months, depending on the size of the project, but expect having problems and be ready to go out for short walks many times.

Stressed worker

“No” is an answer too

Many designers avoid saying “no” because they might upset the client; but, as said before, you are not hired to be liked by the client, but to show your worth and skills by developing a solution the client will be happy with on the medium and long-term period.

It is also OK to say “no” to a client who wants to hire you only because you have a solid portfolio and can be picky if you want to. This doesn’t mean you should reject all the projects that might, at some point in time, cause you stress and headaches, but try avoiding those clients that you know you don’t like working with. Declining clients and turning down offers is something every one of us does now and then, so don’t be afraid of saying  no to projects you know you won’t fit in.

“No” is a valid answer too

Be a master of something

You’ve probably heard before of Jacks of all trades, Master of none. You shouldn’t be one of them. It is OK to have skills in multiple fields, but be outstanding in one of them. You need something that makes you perfect for a job. “Web designer” is a very broad term, a web designer can do lots of things. What kind of web designer are you? Focusing on social media integration, nice and clean designs, fresh and clean code and so on. You need to be very good in something and market yourself accordingly. The fact that you can do more is OK, but don’t rely on it too much. Nobody will hire you for a complex project if you have basic knowledge in everything needed. You have to own more than that.

Tools don’t matter that much

This might seem a strange one, but just look in the past. Facebook is the new MySpace. Broadband internet connection is the new AOL. HTML5 is the most exciting technology right now. CSS3 is the new CSS1. Flash is on its way out. ASP.net will be out in maximum five years. Terms like WAP, FBML or Perl tend to become unimportant today, because nobody needs them anymore.

The average life span for a web technology is around five years – right now; who knows in the future? Do you think that in 10 years you will be able to impress your client with a strong HTML5 portfolio? Definitely no.

The answer to this problem is constant learning and improvement. Reading and learning about new technologies and then learning how and where to use them is the way to be successful. Maybe you are not an expert today, but you have the chance to transform into one in few years time, when the new technologies appear. While the current experts will be too busy with their projects, you will have time to learn the new technologies and go out there and market yourself as an expert. This is the way you will create a strong career for yourself.

Bottom line

Being a web designer requires many skills not everybody can have, and the more things you are capable of, the more chances you have to get a good job. The portfolio is the most important thing for a web designer, therefore put a lot of effort into it, even if you will have to do some volunteer jobs – it could pay off in the end. Market yourself as an expert in something, not a Jack of all trades, and then try to improve all the time. This is the key to success in every career, but in web design it is crucial if you plan on doing this on a long-term basis.

More to read

There are not many articles similar to this one on the internet, but I’ve tried my best to find some close ones:

30 Things You Have To Know About Being a Web Designer on 1stwebdesigner

The Funny Thing About Being a Web Designer on ClickNathan

5 Reasons Why I Love Being a Web Designer on My Ink Blog

10 Things You Can Do To Become a Better Web Designer on VanSeoDesign

The Roadmap To Becoming a Professional Freelance Web Designer on Smashing Magazine

Now let’s take a look at what you need to know before going international as freelancer.


Things To consider before going International as a Freelancer

Whether you’re a new freelancer, an employee considering to go freelance or an established freelancer in your country – this article can prove useful to you. Being a freelancer in your home region or native country is one thing. Succeeding internationally can give you many extra things to have to take care of. In this article you will get some tips on how to approach this.


One thing is for sure; freelancers can be found behind every tree and underneath every rock out there. In America alone there are an estimated and unbelievable amount of 42 million freelancers divided into a wide range of niches. This is an example of what kind of competition you can expect. Obviously not all of these are in your niche or competing for your clients, but you get the point.

Picture by Sanja Gjenero

For many freelancers their skills and interests will limit them to work in their own country or region, while others (like for instance web designers, graphic designers, different types of writers and so on) can theoretically take on work from pretty much any region of the world.

Are you happy with things?

The first thing to ask yourself before doing any changes to your current situation is “am I happy where I am today”.

Picture by Svilen Milev

For many of us the comfort of working with clients that are close to use geographically, speak the same language and can be met in person is what makes us successful. For some freelancers, going international is not something that will be worth it or feel right. So make sure to think things through for a while before getting your hopes up and diving into things. Taking the step into the rest of the world doesn’t necessarily have to be the best solution for you if you’re happy with your current situation. But, if you’re not pleased, this can be an opportunity of a lifetime.

Now let’s have a closer look at some things that can be rewarding and challenging if you’re going international.

THE POSSIBILITIES

Endless amounts of potential clients

Picture by Gabriella Fabbri

By opening up your business to clients worldwide you will have many potential projects out there. If you’re struggling to find fitting projects “at home”, taking the step out into the world will give you a better chance at finding projects that fit your expertise.

Additional income

Looking for clients in other parts of the world can provide you with a nice additional income on top of what you’re currently earning. Many freelancers that have some spare hours when their regular projects are done find this a great way of getting a valuable income stream.

New experiences

Working with clients from other parts of the world can give you some very valuable experiences that may not be present in your home country. These can look great in your portfolio and help you become even better at what you do.

Meeting new people

Picture by Mike Johnson

Getting to know new people all over the globe is a positive experience for many of us. This can give us a great creative boost and also benefit us in our everyday life. Personally I’ve gotten a lot of valuable inspiration from working alongside freelancers that work hard, stay positive and value what they have in a completely different way compared to many people I knew before.

Learning new things

No matter which clients you work for, there’s a good chance that you will get knowledge of things you never thought you’d learn or even get use for. This often adds positive energy. And let’s just admit it; gaining knowledge is a good thing, no matter the topic.

More exciting projects

Picture by Tray Stoi

When taking a look outside your own area you will soon see that there are many exiting projects you can be part of. This can be very useful and the experience can be priceless and life-changing in some cases.

THE CHALLENGES

Language

The language barriers must not be underestimated. One thing is that you have to at least have English skills above average, and additional languages is a plus. The reasons for this are many. Misunderstanding the projects can cost you valuable hours if something has to be completely redone. And your clients also have to be able to communicate well. One way of preventing unnecessary problems related to this will be to always ask any questions you may have. Asking one extra time is usually a good plan.

Competition

Picture by Ilker

As mentioned earlier you will meet a lot of competition. You will need to be prepared for this and have the strength to deal with many turn downs before you finally get a project. Trying and failing will help you in getting to know how things are done “out there”.

Standing out

With more competition, you will need to find a way to stand out in the crowd. Make sure you know your One of your best tools in this process will be having a good portfolio, as good work usually speaks for itself. Remember to show your variety and prepare to put in your best effort and numerous hours making the portfolio a good one. Additionally you will need a good website. This is very valuable as it is accessible for anyone with an Internet connection, in this case all of your potential clients.

Contracts

Picture by Fcl1971

Working with clients abroad can mean many changes to your standard contracts. Not only will you have to get this translated the correct way, you also have to make sure that they are correct for the types of products/services and the countries involved. My tip would be to talk to a lawyer or someone else that has expertise in this field. Doing things the wrong way can become very pricy and give you extra work.

People not being who you think they are

Meeting new people is great and while most people are honest and serious, there are always some rotten apples. When working with people you are unable to meet or get valid references from it can be hard to know how things will turn out. Maybe you’ll be unlucky and end up not getting paid and so on. There are many things that can be done to prevent “scammers”, but you will never be 100% sure. An advantage of working locally is that you can check with others or get good references that can easily be contacted.

Not being able to meet in person

Picture by Sergio Roberto Bichara

There are more things to this than people being someone else than you thought. Not being able to meet your clients in person will increase the chance of misunderstandings and give you challenges regarding communication in general. When you’re not able to meet someone, you will need to compensate by having a good dialogue via phone or mail.

Payment issues

One of the most common problems related to this type of work is often of a financial type. There are many things that can affect this. You have to have agreed upon a payment method that works for both parties. Theres always the chance of delays, extra fees and tracking payments can be harder. This means that you will have to find a policy of when you’re supposed to get paid and when to deliver the finished product.

Pricing your services

Picture by Pierre Amerlynck

People earn differently in various countries. You may not think of this as an issue at first but this can eventually mean that your hourly wages will be considered extremely high in some areas and decent in others. Always check out what the usual price range is in the actual country and calculate what your earnings will be in your own currency before deciding.

Legal issues

You have to know about any legal issues, like copyright, taxes and so on. When you start doing business outside your own country it’s very important to gain proper knowledge of which laws that apply.

Conclusion

As you can see there are both benefits and challenges that will enter your freelance-life the minute you take a leap into the world. If you have the right attitude, do your things well and prepare, you can be in for a lot of positive things as well.

Picture by Levents

The advice I’d give you is to have a look at each of these points, read up, consult professionals and make your decision. A healthy great way of exploring this new opportunity can be to start taking on smaller projects part-time until you have the experience to go all in.

As usual we’d love to hear your own tips and experiences.

Good luck!

As you can see, in this article we are also giving you the answers for being a web designer. Next section is how to be happy and fulfilled web designer.


Becoming a Happy and Fulfilled Web Designer


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How Do You Live a Happy and Fulfilled Life as a Web Designer?

Becoming a happy and fulfilled web designer is a dream every web design professional is chasing, even in the midst of success. Life, it seems, is filled with discontentment even when you reach the top.

You might have asked yourself these questions: Why am I here? What is the point and purpose of my life? These questions reflect that all of us long to live a life that matters – a life with meaning and purpose.

Sean Howard also asked these questions many years back when he was the Vice President of strategy in an agency.He came to a point where he unconsciously cried in public because he was unhappy. After some self-assessment, he realized that he was building something without purpose or meaning.

The Importance of Community

When we talk about purpose and meaning, it has something to do with making an impact in the lives of others as well as in the world we live in. This seems like a tall order, an impossibility, which can make us stop dead on our tracks. This is where community plays a big role in pursuing our purpose.

Just like the support network you have in your office where you can complain about your boss and about work, the community acts as your support network as well. You need all the support you can get both short term and long term. Anyone who is a creator – whether a creator of art or a creator of code – who is building their brand needs to be surrounded by a community that supports them.

Aside from providing support, being a member of a community provides you a big audience who are willing and enthusiastic about what you can offer. You won’t have to worry about promoting what you have to offer or go somewhere to promote it because you already have a community.

Finding Your Purpose and Passion

Purpose is what attracts people to people. People follow people who have a clear sense of where they are going. A clear sense of purpose is also a common trait among great leaders.

However, it is very sad to hear someone say, “I don’t know my purpose” or “I don’t know what my passion is.” In finding your purpose and passion, no one said it better than Aristotle when he said: “Where your talents and the needs of the world cross; therein lies your vocation.”

Therefore, it is fair to say that in order to find your purpose, you need to find a need or a problem that matters to you which can be solved using your talent. When those two things overlap, there lies your purpose.

What Real Talent Is

Talent also plays an important role in fulfilling our purpose. However, in order for your talent to become effective in fulfilling your purpose, we need to re-define it for it has become one of the most misunderstood words.

Our long-held definition of talent is someone who is prodigious, a genius who can do something in a very extraordinary way. This definition is an error and has placed a lot of us in boxes, living life in mediocrity and unhappiness.

What talent really is someone who never stops, someone who never gives up no matter how difficult it is. Talent, according to Sean Howard, is a predisposition for a task to be rewarding.

Conclusion

Becoming a happy and fulfilled web designer means being able to find your purpose. You can do this by using your talent to solve a need or problem that matters to you. You don’t have to be a genius to do this, you just need to be resilient and consistent. And this task becomes easier by having the support of a community.

Watch the video and learn more how to have a happy and fulfilled life as a web designerYou can also get a copy of Sean Howard’s book here

As we all know creativity can be tricky, let’s explore that in the next section.


10 Best Kept Secrets To Become More Creative By Boosting Your Brainpower


Hey James, this week I am working on the most exciting project ever – I am designing a new website for one of the most popular radio stations.

That was the last time I heard anything from my friend.

Now he is spending a big chunk of his time going through a lot of legal actions and a local lawyer has become his best mate.

Well, all just because my friend has been sued by a huge web design and development agency.

He hoped to get away with getting inspired from a website this agency had created (more or less, he literally copied nearly half of the website, doh!).

His excuse? Apparently he was lacking creativity!

After all, I did not hesitate to call him a fool!

He failed in his life big time, only by avoiding small, yet important steps.

If I were you, I would begin to worry right now, because you can fail too, just like my friend did!

Listen!

To avoid becoming a fool because of the lack of creativity, you better learn how simple super-foods can boost your brainpower, which will, without a doubt, increase your, in web design, so needed creativity (I guarantee!).

Everything You Put In Your Mouth Counts

Image by Up Chuck Norris

Surely you would agree with me if I said that no one really likes to be controlled, do You?

More likely you would say – No!

Or you would shout at me, “James are you crazy, or what? Why would I like to be controlled!”

Well, neither do I…

But the painful truth, my friend is, that unfortunately we are being controlled. Even more surprisingly – controlled every single day.

And if we ever wanted to escape from being controlled by this beast, we would undoubtedly die!

Yes, we would die, because this controlling beast I am talking about is called FOOD. It controls how we feel every day. How productive we are, how powerful, fast, alert and creative we are.

Too much coffee will make you hyperactive, having some tofu frozen dessert will make you sleepy, whereas ice cream just before bed will ruin your sleep.

We simply cannot escape from it, but what we can do instead is take this control in our own hands.

I know, it sounds a bit crazy, but we can actually use food as a tool to make us feel more energized, to boost our powers of concentration as well as lift our moods.

Now I will reveal to you one of my biggest secrets.

This is one of the secrets that help me stay so creative, that I can proudly write an article so great, that people would read it again and again (shhh… it’s the one you’re reading right now.)

My secret consists of 10 basic superfoods, my kitchen, my own mouth and willingness to be more creative.

Keep reading to find out how to apply this secret to your life.

1. So Many Berries Out there, Go And Eat Them All

Image by Matt Mangum

This fleshy fruit is usually very juicy, sweet or sometimes sour and is brightly coloured.

Berries are very rich in antioxidants, not only will they boost your brainpower to ensure you become more creative, but they will also improve your mental function and reverse age related issues.

And just to let you know this is not me making up some crazy story about how awesome berries are.

It is actually scientifically proven, that eating strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and well, mainly any sort of berries does have very beneficial effects on your brain.

And guess what!? I bet you had no idea, that tomato is actually also classified as a berry. So if you prefer tomatoes than blueberries, blackberries or strawberries, it will still count.

Eat This: Homemade Blueberry Jam

Image by Kimberly Jones

Get a couple of jars and you are ready to start off.

Ready to start off something healthy and something made by You.

I enjoy having my homemade blueberry jam on a toast every single morning.

Not This: Blueberry Bagels, Seriously!

Image by Alpha

Yummy – You think… This blueberry (mmm real blueberry) bagel must be one healthy bite!

You are wrong, my friend!

Most of these are processed food, with so called berries in them are faked!
Do yourself a favour and stay away from them.

How Creative Will You Become By Eating Berries?

Berry Eating Web Designers Are Able To Create An Awesome Website As This G’nosh

Some Always Enjoy Blueberries More Than Others

2. Dark Chocolate, The Darker, The Better

Image by Tim Sackton

Of course, as everyone of us know (or maybe not) chocolate is made from plants. So what does that mean now? You might ask.

Nothing much, to be honest…only thing is, that since it is made from plants, chocolate contains many of the health benefits of dark vegetables.

Not a big deal, is it?!
Well, yes it is. Hell of a big deal, if you asked me.

This sweet treat contains almost eight times the antioxidants found in strawberries.

Just remember not to wash your chocolate down with a glass of milk, as you would more likely end up taking all the antioxidant goodness away from your body, by preventing proper absorption.

Eat This: Dark, Dark Chocolate Bark

Image by Mattie Hagedorn

We got to go back to the kitchen, I am afraid.
Oh right, I forgot you are one of those, “sorry, I am too busy to cook at home!”

My days, I forgot that you are a web designer, maybe even a freelance web designer, so therefore always busy.

But never mind, my so busy friend. You wanted to boost your brainpower to become more creative, remember?!

So stop moaning and get on with it, as this dark chocolate bark will take you only less than 30 minutes to make.

Not This: Any Kind of White Chocolate is Big No, No!

Image by Kat Martin

Just like nicely, dark chocolate has a lot of cacao in it, white chocolate has nearly no cacao at all.
I am amazingly surprised how dare they call it chocolate. (hammerheads)

Just listen to this – instead they pour in a lot of sugar into the process of making white chocolate.

And you know what their excuse is?! Well, they say it is to make it that nicely white and give it that good taste.

Be clever now and listen to me – white chocolate is not good for you, mainly because of the amount of sugar in it.

How Creative Will You Become By Eating Dark Chocolate?

So Creative That You Would Be Able To Create as Awesome Website as MPD

This Video Made Me Fall In Love With Dark Chocolate

3. Nuts Are Rich With Great Nutrients To Boost Your Brainpower

Image by Adam Wyles

They are very rich in a wide array of great nutrients, including magnesium, fiber, zinc, sodium and unsaturated fat.

Every day I manage to snack on nuts like pecans, peanuts, walnuts, hazelnuts and others.

I, myself, started consuming a variety of nuts once I found out that they can help fight insomnia, promoting mental clarity, strong memory and boosting brainpower to become more creative.

My all time favourite ones are Omega-3 rich walnuts and almonds, which are packed with natural mood-enhancing neurotransmitters (don’t bother to pronounce it).

Mixed nuts can also be good for those, who are on a low-carbohydrate diet, as they provide just 7g of carbs in each 1 oz. Sounds great to me!

Eat This: Laura’s Holiday Spiced Nuts

Image by Shivery Timbers

I guess I can call You chef by now. You can hate me if you want to, but yes, we are still in the kitchen.

Just look at the bright side of it – if You have managed to make every food I have been talking about so far You will be more experienced in the kitchen than I have ever been (I was told I’m quite good at making toasts).

Well, anyway, Laura’s Holiday Spiced Nuts recipe looks just Yummy.

Not This: Going Nuts On Nuts Will Do No Good To You

Image by Srikumar

Just like with everything – It is good only if used in moderation.

So it should not come to you as a big surprise, if I told you, that eating something, as good as nuts too much will give the complete opposite effect – they could be harmful to you.

How Creative Will You Become By Eating Mixed Nuts?

Eat Plenty of Mixed Nuts To Make Websites Like The Art of Flight

Here Is Another Amazing Way To Use Mixed Nuts For Milk Lovers

4. Wild Salmon Will Get Your Brain Functioning Again

Image by James Bowe

Salmon is like one of those superfoods that are so full of goodness, that you just do not want to take it off your shopping list ever.

Have you ever heard of DHA? Probably you have not, unless you are too much into all of this food science thing. Either way, the reason I picked wild salmon as my list’s number 4 is its richness of DHA.

Those three letters are a type of Omega-3 fatty acid and this acid is the primary building block of the brain.

DHA cannot be produced by the body, so the only way to get it is from consumption of food like salmon.

– Elizabeth Somer, M.A., R.D.

That is as much as You should know really, to understand how good this wild fishy, fishy is for you.

Eat This: Gordon Ramsay’s Crispy Salmon

Image by Gordon Ramsay

Ok, have a break this time and just leave this one to Ramsay, I doubt You could do it better than him anyway.

But one day you could definitely learn to make this damn good crispy salmon yourself.

Not This: Never Ever Try Salmon Soup, Made With Tinned Salmon

Image by Jenna Paradies

There is an old recipe booklet from the 1950s, issued by a famous maker of custard powder. In that booklet you can can find a recipe so disgusting that I wonder if anyone has ever tried to make it.

The recipe requires you to use  tinned salmon, two packets of custard powder and milk. And then that is what you are supposed to call a salmon soup.

I just recommend you to give up on it and make a proper wild salmon soup instead.

How Creative Will You Become By Eating Salmon?

Want a Website as Great as Barcamp Omana 2012?  Eat more Salmon.

Ouh My, Ouh My, This Just Made My Mouth Water

5. It is Brain Healthy To Have a Couple of Eggs In The Morning

Image by Flare

I honestly do not know a single person who would not like a pair of eggs for their breakfast. But if you are one of them, I am sorry, I shall call you very strange.

First of all, yolks found in eggs are loaded with choline. And this choline is something amazingly good that helps you sharpen your memory.

Also, some very smart Swiss researches say that because eggs are a great source of protein they will improve your overall cognitive performance.

Remember, that if you keep your eggs in a fridge they will last much longer than if you kept them at a room temperature.

Eat This: Morning Omelette With Cheese, Ham Or Just Anything You Fancy

Image by Andrew Dogg

Seriously now, does anyone really need cooking lessons to get some morning omelette ready, cooked and served with some cheese or a slice of ham on it?

I am sure you will be fine with that, if not ask any 3 years old and they will teach you how to do that just the right way.

The only thing you could practice is how to crack an egg with one hand.

Not This: Apparently Eating Too Much Egg Yolks Is as Bad As…

Image by Shardayyy

…is as bad as smoking. Yes, I know, even I had my jaw dropped.

As the Western University researchers found that eating too much egg yolks will raise your risk of heart attacks and strokes.

It does not matter how young or old you are. You can be 20 or 50, either way too much egg yolks will still cause troubles down the line.

How Creative Will You Become By Eating Eggs?

Something Like Ok Studios Website Can Be Created If You Are Regularly Eating Eggs

Check Out How Amazing Idiazabal Cheese Egg Is

6. Coffee Has a Profound Effect On Your Brains

Image by David

We all lose the ability to focus now and again. And without a good focus, it is not easy to be as creative as you potentially could be capable of.

That is why even just a single cup of that tar (people tend to call it coffee) will help you boost your brainpower and stay sharp all the way through your next creative job you will do.

To make it sound even better, guys from North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences have found that drinking a cup of that dark tar will block the disruptive effects of high cholesterol.

Which is bloody good, because too much of cholesterol can even lead to Alzheimer’s disease.

This is the best evidence yet that caffeine equivalent to one cup of coffee a day can help protect the brain against cholesterol.

– Dr Jonathan Geiger

Eat This: Start Your Day With Starbucks Dark Roast Coffee

Image by Starbucks

If you happen to be constantly on the move and even mornings are kind of rushed, all you got to do is just pop in any closest Starbucks on your way to the office.

Finally no cooking skills and no time required to boost your brainpower, I guess that was something you were waiting for since you started reading this article.

By the way, you can even choose from three different types of Starbucks Dark Roast Coffee.

Not This: Cold Stone Creamery Lotta Caramel Latte

Image by Jamieanna

This is just like one of those disaster drinks. Is it a coffee? Or is it a fattening dessert? Let me put it this way – it is a giant, fattening dessert with coffee flavour to it.

If you already have had one of those Cold Stone Creamery Latte Coffees, then you are done for the day, because it contains nearly a full day’s worth of calories.

Cold Stone Creamery Lotta caramel Latte contains 1, 530 calories, 85g fat and 161g sugars. Run away now!

How Creative Will You Become By Drinking Coffee?

Those Creative Web Designers, Who Drink Coffee Make Websites For Nike

Real Coffee Lovers Will Appreciate a Cup of Japanese Iced Coffee

7. Avocado Is Like a Goldmine of Nutrients

Image by You As a Machine

I still remember those days, when everyone was talking about how bad avocados are, because of being too fatty. Now, those days are gone, as this green fruit is actually an amazing source of nutrients that will get your brain power sky high again.

Avocados contain folate, which is very essential for your brain health, as well for good performance levels of your memory.

Monounsaturated fat (so called healthy fat) found in avocados help your blood flow, which helps your brain cells moving.

Eat This: Very Easy To Make Guacamole

Image by Sam Howzit

Have you already got prepared three avocados, one lime, half of white onion, and some coriander, as well as a tomato and few other things?

This Ausie Griller will certainly show you how to make a great guacamole with ease.

Once you have made it, make sure you share your experience with us. I cannot wait to see you with full mouth of guacamole.

Not This: Never More Than 5 Avocados

Image by Chris Streeter

From my own experience I can tell you that to eat approximately half an avocado a day would be the golden middle way.

Why only a half, you wonder? Mainly, because by lowering your daily avocado intake down to half a day you would simply lower your fat intake.

But there is no reason to worry, because you would still get all the goodness found in avocados.

How Creative Will You Become By Eating Avocados?

Creating a Websites Like Camacho Cigars Will Be Like a Piece Of Cake For Avocado Eaters

Easy-Peasy Made Avocado Toast, Yum, Yum, Yum!

8. Eating Your Broccoli Is An Amazingly Good Idea

Image by Cyclonebill

Be honest now – how much do you like the taste of broccoli? I personally cannot get enough of it.

Is there anything else, that tastes as good as broccoli? Is it safe to say, that you think I am mad? Yes it is, because…

Because I was just kidding. I am a normal human being, just like you are.

So, believe me I do not really like the taste of this green plant either.

But like it or not, broccoli is very, very low in calories, and at the same time packed with plenty of nutrients.

Therefore It is pretty much straight forward – Do not avoid eating broccoli if you want to boost your brainpower, as simple as that.

Broccoli is exceptionally good for your brain. Period!

Eat This: Raw Broccoli Is an Ultimate Powerhouse of Green Nutrients

Image by Jules Stone Soup

We all clearly know that broccoli is one of those foods, that every three year olds hate. And of course, presidents are not fussed on them either.

But still, in my opinion the best way to eat broccoli is just raw or sometimes steamed. I personally kind of taste more goodness in them if they are still raw (I am a bit weird, I know.)

The ones, who have understood how amazing broccoli is, will never, ever give up on them.

I mean – Never!

Not This: Broccoli In China Are Full Of Toxins

Image by David Schroeter

There is something I was not aware myself. I recently read an article about how bad pollution problems they have over in China.

Apparently the problems are so bad that they are about to face some serious consequences for food production and human health.

If You really, really cannot stand broccoli and it is your worst nightmare, just carry on without having them on your shopping list, as there are plenty of healthy brain superfoods for you to consume anyway.

How Creative Will You Become By Eating Broccoli?

Broccoli-Power Will Make You So Creative, You will Cook Websites Like Vaclav Krbusek

Creamy Broccoli Soup Seems To Be Good Too

9. Eat a Lot More Tomatoes Than You Already Do

Image by Glen

There is another very powerful antioxidant, called lycopene which boosts your brainpower, as well as fights development of dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s.

And you can get plenty of this lycopene antioxidants just by eating a couple of tomatoes.

You might have already guessed, that based on that fact even ketchup should be good for your brains and could help you become more creative.

But even though ketchup is considered good for your brains, you should go for a fresh tomato sauce, whenever it is possible.

Eat This: Grilled Tomatoes With Fresh Tomato Sauce

Image by Woodley Wonderworks

Now it is the right time to get your summer grill out again. While you get your tomatoes grilled, you can also put on some steak to grill, chicken or any other meet.

Grilled tomatoes are amazing addition to pretty much anything, starting from potatoes, rice, pasta and salad.

This is one of the most amazing grilled tomato recipes.

Not This: They Say Hunt’s Tomato Ketchup Is The Worst Ketchup

Image by David Blaine

Right, so this is a tricky one, just because I have heard that this Hunt’s Tomato Ketchup is rated as the worst ketchup ever.

But because I have never, ever tried this ketchup myself, I will not be able to tell you how horribly disgusting it really is.

I will leave that for you. So if you have a chance, go, but it, try it and share what it was like, if you manage to survive tasting it.

How Creative Will You Become By Eating Tomatoes?

Remember To Snack On Tomatoes To Be Able To Make Websites Like Bryan Connor

Mmmm, Sweet, Sweet Cherry Tomatoes Anyone?

10. Popeye Will Tell You Everything About Spinach

Image by Jason Bachman

Do you still remember who is the strongest guy on this planet? Is it the Terminator, maybe Batman, Spiderman or maybe Superman?

No! All of those guesses are totally wrong.

The strongest has always been and still is…

…Mr. Popeye The Sailor Man. There is no chance you have forgotten him!

His favourite superfood has always been spinach, and I am not surprised why.

Spinach is so overloaded with goodness that not only does it boost brainpower, but it also punches cancer right in the face.

Eat This: Home Grown Spinach Will Always Be The Best Tasting

Image by Martin Belam

Nothing will taste as fresh as home grown spinach. Yes, it might be time consuming process to do that, but after all it will always pay off in the long run.

Just imagine how amazing it would be to pop out to your garden to get some spinach, without having to go shopping.

Not This: Eating Too Much Raw Spinach Can Harm Your Bones

Image by Susana Secretariat

If you consume enough calcium, then there is nothing you should really worried about regards eating too much of raw spinach.

But if you for some reason happen to be lacking calcium intake, I feel sorry for you (it’s just so easy, drink a glass of milk a day).

Spinach contains oxalic acid, that binds calcium. You might have a harmful ending, as spinach can take away calcium away from your bones.

How Creative Will You Become By Eating Spinach?

I Bet Popeye Would Definitely Be Able To Make Websites Like Glamour, Just Because Of Eating Spinach

Spinach Strawberry Salad Is One of My All Time Favourites

I Bet You Are Tired Of Reading This Long Article

In fact, I would not even be surprised if you told me right now, “James, I have had enough!”

Since You made it all the way through my 10 secrets, I am so proud of You that…

… that if You promise to take control of your life in your own hands and…

…and become more creative (by doing that you will 100% become more creative)

I WILL SURPRISE YOU WITH SOME BONUS – HERE ARE 5 MORE OF MY FAVOURITES !

Lend Your Leg

Festival Mundo 2011

W. Brett Wilson

Formfett

Putzengel

There Is No Conclusion This Time – Only Reality

Image by Randy Adams

Reality is harsh, yet bright.

But bright only for those who realize and accept the shocking fact of today.

The fact that we are being controlled by food everyday. We eat a lot, but rarely thinking what it is that we put in our mouth.

From now on my friend you will always remember, that you can become much, much more creative than you are right now, just by eating brainpower boosting superfoods.

And that is the best way to take the control of Your life in your own hands.

In the next section we will take a look at how to be happier. As web design career can be a difficult path.


10 Scientifically Proven and Human-Tested Ways to Become Happier

In this growing age of technology and consumption, many people have forgotten the simple, ancient secrets of being happy. People have forgotten the simple ways to become happier. Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses.

In order to solve this massive problem, more often we are reminded of the long-known principles of a happy life, like spending enough time outdoors and having a good night sleep. Perhaps they aren’t enough to make a modern human happy since scientists keep on searching more extraordinary ways to boost happiness.

Today, let’s look at the weirdest scientifically proven things that can make us happier.


10. Watch sad movies

The upset girls

Haven’t you ever thought what is it that makes people watch tragic movies in moments when they already feel down? Aren’t these movies supposed to make us even more miserable?

Thanks to researchers from Ohio State University, our weird affection to movies that make us sad finally has a scientific explanation! Actually, they can boost our happiness levels.

How does watching sad movies makes us happy

  • Leads people to think about their own relationships
  • Makes them grateful about their relationships, in that way, boosting their happiness

The study involved 361 college students, who watched the movie “Atonement”, a tragic love story during the war.The students were asked several questions before and after the movie. In that way, it measured the level of their life happiness.

The most interesting finding was that viewers who just thought about themselves during the movie and have insights such as “My life isn’t as bad as the character’s life” didn’t have an increase in their happiness level.

What’s the key?

When we watch tragic love stories, we think of our loved ones so we can appreciate them more.

Since relationships are one of the major sources of happiness, there is no surprise that thinking about and appreciating relationships with our loved ones makes a noticeable bounce in our happiness level.

9. Live closer to work – commute less

live-closer-to-work-commute-less

Our everyday commute to work can have a surprisingly big effect on our happiness. There have been several studies on how the daily commute affects happiness

  • Daniel’s Kahnenman’s study on female happiness reveals that women showed the lowest ratio of positive to negative emotions during the day while commuting.
  • Researchers from London School of Economics and the University of Sheffield have found out that women also tend to have more stress from their daily commute than men. Possible reasons for it could be the greater responsibility for daily household tasks (like childcare and housework), which makes women more sensitive to the time spent on commuting.
  • A study carried out by two Swiss economists, Bruno S. Frey and Alois Stutzer, has shown that a bigger house in the suburbs isn’t worth it if it adds notable time to get to the workplace. It appears that we tend to underestimate the suffering created by the time spent commuting. That often leads us to mistakenly believe that we would be happier living in a dream house in the suburbs even if that adds some additional hours just to get to work. Though, as we all know, traffic can be a real pain in the ass, and long commuting makes us anxious and unhappy according to the study.

What’s the reasonable time to spend for the commute? 22 minutes.

Another study reveals commuting shouldn’t exceed 22 minutes each way if we don’t want to experience a remarkable decline in well-being.

What you should do to have a happier life?

All that leads us to two options for a happier life – move closer to work even if it leads to living in a less fancy house or there is always a second option – find a job closer to the dream house.

8. Draw pictures of high calorie food

unhealthy food composition #2

Isn’t that a mouthful of paradise every time when you get a bite of your favorite chocolate bar or a slice of pizza with extra cheese? Feels like happiness, right?

Actually, it’s not. Studies show that eating fast-food and commercially baked goods like muffins and doughnuts is linked to an increased risk of depression.

Processed sugary carbohydrates can boost our brain chemical serotonin, alright.

That makes us feel happy and relaxed. But the downside is that it’s not for long. After a short period of time, we find ourselves with low energy, hungry, and irritable. In long term, this kind of food also makes us fat, not to mention the negative effects on the health.

Where does that leave us?

Luckily for us, science has a solution that can boost our happiness levels without damaging our health. According to a study published in Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science, by simply drawing pictures of high fat food like pizza and cupcakes and low fat-high sugar food like strawberries can increase our mood.

So let’s be creative and increase our life happiness by drawing one delicious looking chocolate chip cupcake right now.

7. Become a florist or a gardener

Male florist holding a flower while smiling

Are you content with your job? Florists and gardeners definitely are. They are the ones who are going to work with a big smile on their faces every day.

Exactly these two professions appeared to be the happiest ones according to a survey of 2,200 workers in UK. There were 87% of the surveyed florists and gardeners who said that they were happy.

It appears that the most important aspect of a job is to feel that our work is appreciated and recognized (62% of all workers claim it to be very important to them).

Do you appreciate your job? Do you find it useful? Do you want to do the work that requires you to use your skills every day? Those are some of the qualities that make gardeners and florists cheerful at work.

So what is it that makes gardeners and florists so content?

  • Blame it on the bacteria
    As always, science has the answer – according to a research, the contact with a harmless soil bacterium Mycobacterium vaccae evokes the release of serotonin, a mood regulating brain chemical. M. vaccae  basically works as an antidepressant. That is why gardening that includes working the soil, planting and so forth can boost our happiness.

  • Harvesting fruits and vegetables
    If that isn’t enough to prove the positive effects of gardening – there is another study claiming that harvesting fruits and vegetables causes the release of dopamine in the reward center of brain, resulting in a state of bliss or mild euphoria.This response evolved over 200,000 years of humans getting food by hunting and gathering.

If you want to boost your life happiness but don’t want to completely change your career, maybe, it’s time to have gardening or floristic as a side job or a hobby!

6. Sleep on the left side of the bed

Beautiful woman enjoying a peaceful sleep

It appears that the common saying about waking up in the wrong side of the bed actually makes sense since sides do matter when it comes to our happiness.

According to a survey commissioned by hotel group Premier Inn in UK, people who sleep on the left side of the bed are generally more cheerful and positive. Those who choose to sleep on the right side of the bed tend to wake up grumpy more often.

Left side vs. right side

  • The left side sleepers are also better at dealing with heavy workload and stress.
  • People who prefer the left side of the bed tend to have more confidence.
  • People who are left-side sleepers are also more likely to be found in the permanent employment than the right-side sleepers.
  • The ones who choose the left side are usually the happiest workers.
  • The ones who sleep on the right side tend to earn more money.

What about you? Maybe it is time to make the switch with your partner if you haven’t already occupied this uplifting spot. It can be a real challenge to talk our beloved ones in doing it since they feel quite content with sleeping in the lucky side.

If your don’t succeed in the sides discussion, stay calm – aim for having seven to eight hours of sleep to evolve your state of happiness. The ones who sleep seven to eight hours a night seem to be 10% happier than people who have less than seven hours a night sleep according to a survey of Happily Healthy Project in Australia.

5.  Eat lunch at the beach

girls in cafe on the beach

Or you can also choose the park or other preferable place if the beach is not quite at your fingertips. The main rule is, if you want to stay favorable on your job, eat outside the office.

Advantages of eating outside the office

  • To get more health benefits like vitamin D, fresh air and sunlight.
  • Eating outside the office increases the general well-being.
  • It makes workers to look more positive on their job according to the research commissioned by bread brand Kingsmill

The study shows that the greatest increase in association between happiness and work shown by people who eat lunch outside the office is as follows in descending order:

  1. At the beach
  2. At the park
  3. At the restaurant
  4. At home
  5. At public transport

Employees who eat lunch at the work cafe have no significant changes in their level of happiness after lunch. The most important message gained from this research was that eating lunch at a work desk actually makes us less happy.

Maybe it’s time to change our habits and eat lunch outside to gather enough sunlight and fresh air to refocus our mind for a productive afternoon.

4. Eat 7 portions of fruit and vegetables a day

happy woman with fruits and vegetables

As we already found the best place for a lunch break, another point that we need to remember is that not just where we eat but also what we eat is essential for finding the key to happiness.

The magic number 7

That’s the amount of portions of fruit and vegetables we should get daily to lift the level of our happiness and mental health to the maximum. At least, that’s what the researchers from the University of Warwick found out after studying eating habits of 80,000 people.

What the research shows:

  • Mental well-being raises when the amount of daily portions of vegetables and fruits are increased and it peaks at the number of 7.
  • It doesn’t matter what kind of vegetables and fruits we choose as long as we consume 7 portions a day of fruits and vegetables, about 80 g each portion.

While there is no surprise healthy food makes us happy, it is mysterious why exactly 7 is the best number. Maybe there’s really some kind of magic involved.

3. Focus on the present and don’t wander around too much

Enjoyment - free happy woman enjoying sunset

Do you really want to become happier? Just focus on what you are doing at the moment and stop worrying too much about tomorrow or constantly think about past. How simple is that?

Well, unfortunately, it appears to be a hassle since people spend 46.9 % of their time thinking about something other than what they are doing. Many philosophies and religions teach us that happiness is to be found by living in the moment and that the wandering mind is an unhappy mind. So is this true?

Matthew A. Killingsworth and Daniel T. Gilbert surveyed 2,250 adults using a web application for iPhone to answer this question.

Here’s what they found out:

  • People were less happy when their minds were wandering than when they were not.
  • Respondents were considerably unhappier when thinking about unpleasant or even neutral topics.
  • The surprising part is that people weren’t happier even when thinking about pleasant topics than about their current activity.

Apparently we have developed our ability to think about things that are not happening so well that we have forgotten to evaluate and enjoy the moment we’re living in right now. It’s time to start thinking about this moment again and stop wandering around so much.

2. Express gratitude

Office help - gratitude

This may be one of the easiest and yet the hardest ways to increase our life happiness. Saying “Thank you!” and expressing how much we appreciate things that our friends and family and sometimes, and even a stranger, have done for us may acquire some courage if we aren’t used to saying it out loud.

Effects of gratitude

  • Gratitude visit causes great positive increase in the happiness level and decrease in depressive symptoms for one month
  • Gratitude journal increases happiness by 25%
  • By practicing gratitude, you can have a better quality sleep

Martin E. P. Seligman suggests gratitude visit – an exercise that requires writing and delivering a letter of gratitude in person to someone who had been especially kind to you but had never been properly thanked.

Dr. Robert Emmons found out in his research that the practice of gratitude can increase happiness by 25% and it doesn’t require a hard work – just a few hours of writing a gratitude journal (where you write something you feel grateful for) for over 3 weeks can make an effect that lasts 6 months or even more.

Apart from the scientific proof that expressing gratitude can boost our happiness, wouldn’t it be simply amazing if we would show appreciation and say proper thanks to people that have brought good things in our lives and helped us in the difficult times?

1. Getting older makes you happier

getting-older-makes-you-happy

There is some great aspect about getting older – we tend to become happier naturally by aging. While today, there’s no doubt that older people are happier, researchers still have different opinions about the reasons for it.

  • According to a research older people tend to focus on and remember the happier moments more and the negative ones less after seeing pictures of different faces or situations .
  • Older people have the better ability to deal with negative emotions like anger and anxiety as well as the better acceptance of these emotions according to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Since there is nothing we can do to slow down or speed up the aging, we all might just relax and enjoy the ride.

We need to realize that happiness is a choice. That means it is not something we are born with, but it can be achieved. So if we don’t feel fully satisfied with our lives, we need to take action and change it. How? Well, why not start by trying out some of these weird things that make us happier?

What about you? Are you happy and content with your life? And if the answer is not a big, confident YES, are you doing something to get there? I would like to hear your insights about the ways of boosting the happiness.

About the author

Anna Birzgale is a freelance travel writer and photographer. When she is not exploring the globe she is occupied practicing her other passion – salsa dancing. Anna also writes for her own blog – Baltic Muse.

 

Written by Christian Vasile

Christian is our UX / UI guy. Writing is also something that he enjoys doing, having collaborated with several online publications over the past 5 years. He likes to think it’s passion, drive and attitude that keep the best of us going.

27 Comments

  1. Web design (or whatever slurry of stupid job titles they’re calling it these days… UI/UX designer, Front End Dev..) is a TERRIBLE career to get into.

    Think about it. Content frameworks dominate websites which means anyone can knock a website together in no time = no need to pay a web designer a proper salary.

    Globalization means foreign web designers can knock out the same website for 20% the price you can, so nobody will hire you when money is tight or the economy isn’t doing well.

    The pace of developing technology and the number of different languages and constructs needed is greater than anyone can keep up with and for that reason people have to specialize in one field or basically deal with being a “jack of all trades”. If you specialize, you WON’T be doing what you want. It’s the same monotonous tedious rubbish as any admin job.

    Clients in general are idiots who think lowly of web designers as monkeys with laptops who didn’t define a proper career for themselves so they use “graphics and art” as a fallback. Generally speaking, web designers are not respected by the higher-ups. The term “designer” is frowned upon which is another reason for the prevalance of stupid job titles like UI designer and UX architect (really?!).

    This is a rapidly changing career with no job security, very little job satisfaction (that’s if you ARE making a living from it), and a negative stigma that permeates your very being and causes you to wonder why you even thought this would be a good idea.

    And besides, irrespective of what the MULTITUDE of web devs out there try to argue against, web design itself is a dying commodity. Frameworks and mobile content distribution have destroyed the need for it.

    Sorry guys, that’s the truth.

    Reply

    1. Dainis Graveris January 20, 2016 at 01:48

      Hey Vanquis, thank you for sharing your insights. Definitely a valuable experience, even if a bit more focused on a negative side :)

      Reply

  2. Webdesignbangalore April 11, 2012 at 06:59

    Hey Christian, indeed great article. I have just started out with web designing and these tips will definitely help me for sure. Thanks man.

    Reply

  3. Camille Evian March 9, 2012 at 17:58

    Hi Christian,

    This is a great article and I think you’ve exactly defined what a web designer has to do!

    Reply

  4. This is awesome!

    Reply

  5. The number one requirement for being a web design is MIND READING. Yes, you heard me right, you have to know what your client wants even when they don’t.

    This is actually the reason I partnered with a larger company… just so I didn’t have to deal with billing and client acquisition.

    Reply

  6. Thanks, the tips in this article are really useful, especially to a newbie like me. I already have no illusions that design is an art – it is more of a business because you deal with clients and schedules and the point is how to keep your creativity alive when there are so many errands every day. Maybe if you keep designing for fun and not for a living, you can make it more enjoyable because you don’t have to worry about payments from the client and all the other things but I don’t think many people can afford it. Lucky are those who design for fun and pleasure only!

    Reply

  7. Some great tips here for aspiring web designers. All I’d say really is that it’s a lot of hard work and certainly not an easy route to lots of money like some think it is. Also, if you think trawling through hundreds of lines of javascript is glamorous – you’re in for a shock.

    Reply

  8. I’m a web designer myself, the problem nowadays, almost all companies and freelancers use templates, no one has the time to think or come up with a good concept, which is really bad for real designers, and it can’t be named competition, as even the templates are not treated well :)
    In my opinion the design field itself is going down, by the people taking $10 for a logo , while we used to take $2000 for a logo, and same concept for the websites.

    Reply

  9. I am a self-proclaimed jack-of-all-trades and I honestly admit that I do not master anything right now. It’s just makes me want to learn whenever I see something new and interesting so I always end up learning the basic of the basic from the stuff out there. I wish I would change my habit though. :D

    Reply

  10. Hi Christian…

    You said that we should get written contract with the clients. But how do you think to get the contract if we work online & never meet the clients?

    Reply

  11. Despite how hard the first rule is, I guess in the end I do things because I love what I do. I am currently facing the “is done” phase. This guy is tacking me thing after thing and I am too damn scared to charge the guy.

    Reply

  12. This is great!

    I have begun to say no to clients more and more. Things that are spammy or just poor quality i.e. I fired a client who insisted on music starting as soon as the site opened. No. No. No.

    Great post!

    Reply

  13. very deep article. I have some clients they dont have know anything and it’s really made me sad.

    Reply

  14. I found it good practice to take a screen shot of the web page before you make the changes that a client requests. The webpage could take a turn for the worst and the last thing you want is a site you cannot add to your portfolio. I spent sometime reverting pages offline just to take a screenshots for my portfolio….

    Reply

  15. Great list. If I could also add one.

    ‘People think that web designer means web developer’. They might not know they are asking for two different things, which is where educating your client comes into play. However not all designers are developers and not all developers are designers.

    I run into this everyday. Admittedly the line is becoming more and more blurred. However it isn’t completely gone, not yet.

    Reply

  16. Personally: I’ve never made a contract in my life. Even when I might have think about it after a couple of bad experiences I came up with a different solution to the problem: I never deal with assholes.
    Seems like your base problem is communication. I always talk real and deep things that I think they area a bad idea, the sooner the better; most of times I’m right, some of them not so right and I learned that I’m happier not being chained to a contract and free to say an old-fashioned “fuck you!” whenever I deal with dumb and restrictive people because contracts can be re-interpreted in more than one way and just cannot be as long to describe perfectly the nature of the job… failing to do so will put you to in a position similar to a hooker with a metally disabled costumer; that’s the part of capitalism that really does not work.

    Reply

  17. Yes, we agree with Michela Cappelli that once you start going, it’s the selling rather than in the area of design as a business. Without sales, every business is doomed to tank.

    Reply

  18. I want to come back to the point on leaving the project once it’s complete.

    I know that it is best practice to deliver and forget since you can the focus on something else. The problem is that, today, most clients demand that everything is simplified for them and clearly want to keep their website updated with beautiful content. Since in my portfolio for example, I link back to the original website, I don’t want my potential clients to fall on a low res version of what I designed.

    What I suggest: If it takes signing a long term maintenance contract with your client, probably get some design savy person to maintain the site for your clients. Many people would love to make some quick money. They make money, you keep your work clean and worth showing off. I don’t think a simple screenshot is able to describe a website experience, especially with modern devlopement laguages.

    Reply

  19. What a fantastic article. Bravo! Every point is exactly as you say it is. I wouldn’t change a thing. I agree most with two things. You should always be able to say no to your clients ideas – you are the professional designer, not them. Also, when the project is over, it’s over! I’ve been bitten by this one in the early days. Clients will abuse the he’ll out of your goodwill if you don’t draw a clear finish line.

    Reply

  20. This is a great list for any freelancer to get started with. I realized early on that my portfolio would be one of the most important parts of my business. I have been building onto it steadily as I get projects completed. In fact, this post has reminded me of a couple projects I just completed that I have to add.

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  21. Great article Christian, I built my portfolio designing websites for next to nothing. I pulled many all nighters, and then went to work at my 9 to 5 in the morning. Now that I have my portfolio built and my skills established, clients still want something for nothing. As you mentioned in the article, the contract is a must.

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  22. Being a web designer or a graphic designer, one thing for sure, ensure that you have everything documented with the client, and the project is very clear. As sometimes you will start the project and end up doing more for what you have quoted the client.
    It’s just like painting your living room, you start painting your living room, and then you think might as well do the Kitchen, than the hall way, before you know it, you have pained your whole house.

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  23. The job would be really easy if it wasn’t for clients – however, web design is a service, and we must strive to provide excellent service to our clients as they are our lifeblood. Sometimes this can be a challenge, other times, it’s a joy. At the end of the day, it’s the web designer’s responsibility to give the client a site that achieves the client’s goals – that’s why the client’s paying you. Sometimes they want things you don’t agree with – either give them solid evidence why it’s a bad idea, or voice a concern and build it for them – it’s their choice. The customer is always right, even when they’re wrong :)

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  24. Sadly, the client part is the first you learn. You’re not in the business of graphic/web/design. You’re in the business of selling. It was harsh for me to digest this fact at start. It still is sometimes.

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    1. Keep it up Michela! *hi fives

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  25. I agree with much you said. I’m both a developer and a designer and for me it’s all about creation on multiple levels. And yes the client is NOT always right. I’ve come to the point of breaking a contract because of the endless changes the client demanded. I care first about my dignity and then about the money and if you’re generally good in what you do people will accept and appreciate your work.

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