lazy or what?

Discussion in 'Web Design' started by Phreaddee, Feb 17, 2013.

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  1. Phreaddee

    Phreaddee Super Moderator Staff Member

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    <rant>
    when I started working in this field, there seemed to be a level of learning of your craft you had to do to consider yourself "competent" enough to then start charging clients money for your services.

    These days I'm seeing more and more folk considering themselves a "web designer" and/or a "web developer" and then asking rudimentary, basic entry level questions.

    I'm wondering if this is due to the abundance of "paint by numbers" site builder such as wix, or the high % of developers using the online equivalent of lego - wordpress. Both of which can create simple basic websites that even a monkey can manage to spit out.

    It's certainly possible to utilise the interface for both of these and create an OK website without even having to dig into the html/css/js at all. Even easier to simply grab someone elses "template" change a few colours and text and say its your design. But does this make you a designer? certainly even harder to then claim to be a developer because you can implement a site on these platforms.

    Are "designers who know code"/"developers who can program" going the way of the dinosaur these days? Is the criteria these days simply you know how to turn on your computer, know how to make pretty pictures in photoshop, know how to connect to the internet and "I know wordpress!"...

    I know we are all learning all the time, and sometimes somethings that seem simple to someone is complex to another. But really, centering on a page? margins on the body? howto...[css1]? why not psd>html>tables? how to change text? I would think you would learn these things before getting paid clients, yes?
    </rant>
     
  2. Phreaddee

    Phreaddee Super Moderator Staff Member

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    by the way I'm not saying you cant make f*cking-amazing-knock-your-socks-off websites with wordpress.
     
  3. chrishirst

    chrishirst Well-Known Member Staff Member

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  4. ronaldroe

    ronaldroe Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It seems lately that there is a separation growing between web "design" and front end development. I've started referring to myself as both to ensure it's clear that I code, and I'm serious about it. But like you said, there is a huge issue with people who don't care about any of that. They'd rather mock up and slice a PSD, and then ask for help on why the code won't work. I do think that we owe part of it to these god-awful web builders. I also think it has to do with a general laziness in our societies as a whole. People just want to do what gets the job done, and don't want to put the time and care into their craft. It isn't as if CSS or HTML are difficult. Sure, there are concepts that are a little more difficult to grasp, like positioning and box model, but not learning it and calling yourself a web designer is simple laziness.

    One note on WP, I know this isn't what you were trying to say, but others may not: It takes a lot to be able to make really good sites with WP. It is a powerful platform, if you know how to use it. Is it the best? Probably not. The most secure? Not by a long shot. Any idiot with an internet connection can get it online and make it pretty, but to make it truly work for you/your client, and have it not look like a cookie cutter blog site takes a good bit of skill. Skill you won't get by using someone's theme and just changing things.
     
  5. Phreaddee

    Phreaddee Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I know, and thats not what I was implying.
    But using the "lego" analogy this is what I'm talking about.
    [​IMG]

    not this (which is what ronald is referring to)
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Brian Angel

    Brian Angel Member

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    Agreed.. I actualy had someone tell me " WIX has HTML5 now"...Yeah.. Looked at the code.. made "grumpy cat" face. Its one of the reasons I stopped hangin round these parts so much. It's like saying " Hi, I'm a doctor, how should I remove a splinter".....
     
  7. notarypublic

    notarypublic New Member

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    Short answer: It depends.

    Long answer:
    I'm back to this community after a several month (year?) hiatus, because I've been too busy doing contracting/consulting to consider many clients for freelance work. I've moved from website development to javascript development, and now on to web application/mobile app development, so with any luck I'll be launching my first web app by September. Phreaddee, nice to still see you around :)

    I've looked at local web designers' work in the area I live, and I see a lot of what you're talking about. It's a widespread problem - unfortunately even the people who are going to school for web design/dev just don't seem to be up-to-snuff. I cut a lot of them slack though, because I can look back at where I started with making websites and I wasn't much different. I started with tables and Dreamweaver (far past when this was acceptable), but that's all I knew how to do at that point - and I still pitched myself as a successful and capable developer. No one would have hired me, otherwise.

    I didn't become a good developer until my first contract working for a professional "website factory" kind of firm. I had to construct websites from a .PSD file into a final HTML site of 20-30 pages in an 8 hour development cycle, and at that intensity there wasn't room to be just mediocre. I couldn't afford to use shortcuts and trial and error to make these sites; I had to actually know what I was doing in order to succeed. I don't think you can learn some of the truth to that until you've built your XX-nth website. You'll see a lot of those beginner designer profiles, and rarely will they have in the double digits of client sites to show off what they've done.

    I don't think they dilute the talent pool as much as we want to think, sometimes. Typically, clients will choose them because they'll offer some kind of "beginner's" discount rate for their services. Cheap clients are not fun to work with. Clients with budgets and/or big aspirations will gravitate towards better designers to work with, the moment a beginner's face goes blank and they have to say "I don't know how to do that."

    I think anyone can get started in this field, and when I come across people asking those kinds of questions I pat them on the back, congratulate them on choosing to try out the field of work I love, send them to codecademy.com, and go out of my way to help them with any questions, pointers, or tips they need help with along the way. Kind of just paying it forward, if you will.
     
  8. iniedrauer

    iniedrauer New Member

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    Phreaddee - Very well put. But with all that said, I think the issue is the reality of our industry that you can pretend to be anything on the internet.

    Are these so-called "web designers" actually making money and running legitimate business? I highly doubt it. A person can setup a fake Facebook profile, pretending to be a hotshot underwear model from Hollywood. It's fakeness does not discredit actual 6-pack bearing Calvin Klein contractors. In the same way, those of us who take what we do seriously and are continually honing our craft, shouldn't be overly concerned about the other "companies". We know that our online image is a reflection of something real based off our latest bank statement.

    Not our calling Aunt Stephanie a "client" because we "made" a website for her bake sale.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013
  9. Frank

    Frank New Member

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    117
    Fully agree. I find it annoying that so many beginners ask for help here during surgery while they haven't even gone through the first year of med school, if you now what I mean. (It's not busy here, but otherwise I would suggest to create a separate forum for WordPress and Joomla/CMS questions...)

    And worrisome is what they do out there, presenting themselves as web designers while they hardly know how to make a custom layout. I guess there is only remedy against that, and that is to make clear to the public, at least to our potential clients, that there are quality standards that should be met if the site is to be regarded a professional one.

    I haven't actually started my own design business yet due to being too busy with other projects (which make very good money), but when I will, I will create a .doc with such quality standards. That .doc I will give to the people asking for a cost estimate.

    I am thinking of these standards:
    • Valid HTML
    • Separation of content and make-up.
    • Custom layout.
    • Cross-browser rendering, from IE7 to the latest Chrome
    • On long pages, the menu must stay inside the viewport.
    • On comprehensive sites, it must show on which page one is.
    • Multi-level menus must also work on touchscreens.
    • A custom text size function plus a reasonably text size-proof layout.
    • Clients must be able to easily change the content themselves.

    Hopefully the clients will agree with all of them, which should put the cowboys out of business.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  10. Edge

    Edge Member

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    I don't think much has changed in terms of idiots passing themselves off as web designers - it's always had such a low entry level and no regulation - kind of a recipe for cowboys so nothing new there and I can't see there being any regulation being introduced as it's a global market. Standards have always been there but they only mean something to developers.
     
  11. leroy30

    leroy30 New Member

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    485
    Interesting topic. I've often felt the same thing although I can't knock it too bad because it's where I started - complete novice and charging people for money.

    I don't know about the rest of the world but when I started here, the most advanced courses were way below my skill level, having only ever completed one or two websites. Pathetic.

    No doubt these days there are much more advanced courses but I can see the industry splitting in two. Design really is a separate industry to coding and development. I guess it's like a design engineer designs a bridge then starts building it. As far as I am aware, it doesn't happen. The design engineer is specialised in one field, the construction engineer specialised in another.

    But this is a good thing for you if you happen to be specialised in TWO fields then you can build a company that can offer the complete package without outsourcing.

    Also your approach will be different and separate you from others.
     
  12. leroy30

    leroy30 New Member

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    485
    Also part of the problem is that our customers often have no idea what a website really is and how it works. They perceive it as an IT solution so they think anyone who is good on a computer must be able to produce a money-churning website.
     
  13. chrishirst

    chrishirst Well-Known Member Staff Member

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    Not forgetting; that when you give them what they 'specified' they realise it wan't actually what they wanted anyway.
     
  14. leroy30

    leroy30 New Member

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  15. AsheSkyler

    AsheSkyler New Member

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    I've felt the same way so many times. I'm still unsure about running a webdesign business because there is SO MUCH I still need to know and get better at, and then I see somebody that's already charging people and asking dumb questions that I learned the answer a long time before considering this for a job.
     
  16. Edge

    Edge Member

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    461
    My biggest learn has been how to handle clients who don't bring knowledge to the table and who are finding out mid-project what they want and what it's all about. The danger is, as has been mentioned, they only find out what they want at the end and it's not what you've given them. You then get blamed for not giving them the right advice.
     
  17. drding

    drding New Member

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    It seems to vary person by person. Some folks want to put the cart before the horse and then address a problem when it comes up. Others are focused only on making money. Some are running on pure ego and ignorance, while others are simply out to learn the craft and learn through practice. And then there are hybrids of those.

    I personally don't promise things I can't do. If I find that whatever this "thing I can't do" is in high demand or is something that's really worth learning, I'll learn it. And I won't utilize it until I know it well enough. I might not know it backwards and forwards but that will come in time.

    And it's true, if you're going into a business that's delivering a product or service for someone, you better KNOW that product or service. And if you don't know something or come across a problem, look it up, and if you can't find the answer that way, ask about it. The fact that there are designers/developers out there reeling in clients without knowing what they're doing is really disheartening.

    I agree too it's not just about knowing what a certain line of code does or what color will make the viewer feel your site is way awesomer then your competitors. It's the whole package: functionality, aesthetics, expandability, marketability, and what goes into achieving that, which is a lot. And it should be a lot. Cause all that stuff is important and should be treated as such.

    Basically it should be about having a respect for what you're doing, who you're doing it for, and putting in the time and effort to hone your skills. People who do that are the real craftsmen.
     
  18. chrishirst

    chrishirst Well-Known Member Staff Member

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    And that sentence should sum up the whole ethos of just about anything that we put our minds to.

    Maybe some day we will get to the "Star Trek Utopia" where the pursuit of money is no longer the driving force for 'happiness', and our efforts go towards the betterment of ourselves and others.
     
  19. AsheSkyler

    AsheSkyler New Member

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    ...Annnnnnd then enter the Ferengi! But, yeah, a Star Trek world would be awesome. Picking your career based on your passion instead of scrambling in misery to pay bills.
     
  20. chrishirst

    chrishirst Well-Known Member Staff Member

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