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  1. #51
    SitePoint Enthusiast ameran's Avatar
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    Smile

    Hi,

    I believe that Visitors and their interest are very important. If you want to be a good web designer, then you should write down exactly what you are going to give your visitors before you start to design your website. It is very important in your design that your visitors can find very fast what they are looking for.

    I think a bad web designer is someone who has an imagination of he likes and he would be the only person who can surf in his website.

  2. #52
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    I think there are a few things you can watch for..

    1. Is it a userfriendly design, are the important things shown clearly.. clear navigation etc
    2. Does the design represent what the website / company is? Is the design and pictures in the appropiate context.
    3. Doest it look slick, totally subjective but in general lines you can see if it looks cool or not.
    Go visit my site :-D you know you want to ;-)
    www.mech7.net

  3. #53
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    Knowing if a designer is "good" or not is sort of a Catch-22 because you have to be "good" at it to know whether or not someone else is. In this case "good" really just means "knowledgeable." From technical aspects such as tables/css to things such as usability and web standards, you have to have knowledge of these things to know if they're being used properly.

    When it comes to clients, as a designer it's your job to explain why you do the things you do and how that affects the ultimate outcome (that outcome being increasing profits for the client, most times). If you have knowledge of design principles and specific principles as they apply to the web, you can succinctly explain these things to a client in a way that makes sense to them and convinces them of the value you're providing.

    Furthermore, if you're explaining these concepts and technical methods properly, the client will care. What do tables matter? Well, they make a site harder to customize and change (costs more money to change) and make sites load more slowly (visitors leave, costs money) and are generally less accessible (fewer visitors with this need, costs money). Poor meta tags? That gets you poor search results (fewer visitors from engines, costs money). You just have to put it in the perspective that all of these mistakes cost money. That's what the client is going to care about.

    But here's where it evens out: Designers who can't quantify these aspects of a website are the same ones who charge $100-500 and make crap that gets redesigned by another firm eventually anyway. And it makes sense, because why would a company pay more than that for something (as they understand it) is little more than a marker on the web for their business? If you as a designer are "good" and knowledgeable, you can quantify these things and make the client realize that while they're paying you $1,000-5,000+ for a site, they're going to get their money's worth, end of story.

    So, in summation: ALWAYS explain these things to the client. Don't assume they understand why (or even that) you're using CSS, using proper header tags, researching proper keywords for their tags (and copy, if you're a self-proclaimed copywriter, too) and on and on. And if you run into a client that says "Yeah, but firm X can do this for a fraction of what you're charging!" just take a deep breath and start picking apart their work and explaining it in layman's terms, piece by piece.

    If you start your own business, I wish you luck
    Call me Ishmael Tom.
    Nydus Media - We Build Websites.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by binjured View Post
    In this case "good" really just means "knowledgeable."
    That can sum up a huge chunk of what front-end development can sometimes be. We're not exactly developing random algorithms or conducting rocket-level type analysis -- but we do need to know odd things like * html can be used to hack IE6 but IE7 or that Safari/mac is terrible with transparent Flash.

    So a good front-end developer is definitely someone who has a full grasp on the wide range of technologies that come to brush this space of ours: html, css, javascript, ajax, xml, json and all of the browsers of course. He/she has to be knowledgeable enough in those areas to be able to carefully navigate a piece of creative work into actual architecture -- not some collection of tag soup, but something modular, reusable, capable of withstanding change, and accessible as possible to different mediums. The final deliverable of his/her work should be something that another developer can pick up and run with without major documentation.

    Taking the above into account, I guess you could say he/she would also have to be fairly detail oriented and careful and able to provide good estimates while not being late.

  5. #55
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    WTF /\/\/\!

    My usual way of determining a ‘good’ web designer over ‘bad’ is normally based on forward book (unless they are new the industry) anyone good, does not have time to spare and needs to booked in advanced, while if I can get someone to turn round a job immediately then I'll ask myself why?

    Si

  6. #56
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    That's not an accurate indicator of how good or bad a designer is. All it indicates is how busy the designer "appears" to be, and appearancs CAN be deceiving.

  7. #57
    SitePoint Addict tauperkin's Avatar
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    I completely agree, Dan.

    I think this discussion has helped me clarify things for myself.

    There definitely ARE things that are characteristic of good design practices.

    There are also things that fall into the "the person knows what they're doing with code" list, where a site is pretty and/or flashy, but is not necessarily "good design."

    My original question was spurred by my looking at other designers' sites and looking at the code. It got me wondering: if someone calls themselves a website designer (or developer, since some use that to incorporate the many hats they wear) and yet they are, for instance, still using lots of tables for layout, or if they aren't using CSS at all, or if their websites are barren and basic as if they simply slapped some info into a really bad template or have no design clues at all....

    With all these kinds of things being present, then are they really "good" at web design.

    There are many levels of ability, for sure.

  8. #58
    SitePoint Zealot ejg's Avatar
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    After slogging through a mountain of ugly-ugly code, I have the definitive answer.

    A bad web designer uses          to position their navigation menu buttons.

    A good web designer doesn't.

    Q.E.D.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by si@ld View Post
    WTF /\/\/\!

    My usual way of determining a ‘good’ web designer over ‘bad’ is normally based on forward book (unless they are new the industry) anyone good, does not have time to spare and needs to booked in advanced, while if I can get someone to turn round a job immediately then I'll ask myself why?

    Si
    Great designers do not make great sales persons
    Go visit my site :-D you know you want to ;-)
    www.mech7.net

  10. #60
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    Actually they can make excellent salesmen. Especially if they're freelancers (and successful at what they do).

  11. #61
    SitePoint Addict tauperkin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pixelsoul View Post
    Great designers do not make great sales persons
    That's a broad statement and I don't think it's true at all.

    Anyone who is in business for themselves must sell others on their service.
    Marketing is just another hat they must wear.

    Assuming that because someone can "turn round a job immediately" means that they aren't busy and hence must not be good is a really bad assumption. You're ignoring the other possibilities that could be true, like they are really fast workers or know how to manage their time better than the person who needs to be booked weeks in advance. Or maybe they work their business full-time, while the person that needs to be booked in advance only works part-time.

    I'm looking at the finished product and trying to separate good design practices from bad. I think I've got a great start on a list.

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by tauperkin View Post
    That's a broad statement and I don't think it's true at all.

    Anyone who is in business for themselves must sell others on their service.
    Marketing is just another hat they must wear.
    I did not say this was for all the cases.. but really marketing and selling is a speciality all on itself, and most of the time designers want to spend time designing.. not the business aspect of it.
    Go visit my site :-D you know you want to ;-)
    www.mech7.net

  13. #63
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    In which case they wouldn't be in business for themselves. Which also defeats the purpose of being a freelancer or business owner.

  14. #64
    SitePoint Addict tauperkin's Avatar
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    Every business person I know who is self-employed would rather spend their time doing the main activity of their business. Designers want to design. Candlemakers want to make candles. The thing that they love doing, they turned into a business.

    But in order to be successful as a businessperson, you have to take care of all of it. A lot of people who think they want to work for themselves don't understand that. That's why those who want to simply create end up, usually, working for someone else because they can't handle all the different areas of their business or can't figure out how to get someone else to handle the things they aren't good at.

    Marketing isn't really that terribly difficult, but I think some think that just because you're in business people are going to make a beeline for your door.

  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by pixelsoul View Post
    Great designers do not make great sales persons
    If you're a great designer and not a great salesperson you are either poor or work for an agency. At the end of the day, freelance web design/development/etc. is more sales than anything.
    Call me Ishmael Tom.
    Nydus Media - We Build Websites.


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