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How To Self-Prepare For The Future As A Web Designer

It is written in our DNA to prepare ourselves for the future; mankind wouldn’t have evolved without a perpetual concern about the state of tomorrow. The web designers are also human beings and it’s quite normal for them to be interested about their future. Besides that, web design and the entire Internet is exponentially growing, therefore it is normal to ask yourself about how the future will be.

User experience: the future of web design

On the other hand, because of the heavy daily schedule, many web designers simply don’t have enough time to have a clear strategy for career evolution. It could after all become quickly outdated if a web designer ignores to pay attention to the new techniques and new updates of coding languages such as HTML, CSS or JavaScript. Thus, even if some workaholics consider reading the new feeds of the blogs or some design related books as a waste of time, no matter how many projects you have in queue, self-preparation is mandatory.

I constantly try to have a plan for tomorrow and the near future, I can’t say that it is the greatest but at least exists. I classified all my activities into three main categories for a better approach for future evolution:

  • Work related activities– it includes all the activities that suppose the effective work, more pragmatically, these pay the bills.
  • Self-preparation and hobbies– is referring to the time spent on developing new skills and sharpening the existing ones. Some activities are mandatory for career evolution while others are just for fun. Learning the new tags of HTML5 is mandatory if you want to still be called a “web designer”. While taking photos is a hobby that really can help you to become a better website crafter.
  • Free time, it’s redundant to explain its meaning.

The Future of Careers in Web Design

I emphasize that this classification is made by me, it is not scientifically based at all, but overall it has helped me a lot. The work activities are unique for every individual so it is impossible to offer someone specific advice in that regard without neglecting other people. The same idea is true when we are talking about ones free time. Instead of debating about how one should go about it specifically, discussing the self-preparation of a web designer is a great topic and it’s very interesting. I propose here my own pillars of the “strategy for the future”. You, the readers, are all welcome to share with us your perspective on the subject of self-preparation for the future and your techniques, no matter if you agree with mine or not.

Don’t Ignore Your Health, Enjoy Sports

Epic Music Playlist of 20 Songs For Geeks To Get Pumped Up (And Get Sh*t Done) While Working Or Working Out
Epic Music Playlist of 20 Songs For Geeks To Get Pumped Up (And Get Sh*t Done) While Working Or Working Out

I am not necessarily a very passionate athlete but, willing or not, physical activities must be included in your daily schedule even if the deadlines put a lot of pressure on you. It’s enough to walk for half an hour and you reduce very much your risk of disease and other health related problems, it’s obvious that sitting for a couple of hours in the same chair isn’t beneficial for your health. Besides that, going out of your office, stimulates your mental focus and it is common to come back from your walk with some fresh and brilliant ideas.

Walking is a wonderful activity but unfortunately, it’s not a guarantee that you won’t have health problems. No matter the cost, it’s highly recommended that you take special care for your health and set yearly goals to test your physical state.

It’s far better and cheaper to prevent health issues than treating them, so please don’t ignore your health! Take into account that a good health is the primordial condition for a good career.

Prepare For The Mobile Web

30+ Responsive Web Design Tutorials
30+ Responsive Web Design Tutorials

Undoubtedly, the mobile web is the future of web design. The exponential growth of smartphones and tablets can’t be ignored by web designers; there is a very important segment of users that access websites via handheld devices. The expression ”responsive design” is used a lot amongst designers and you should be prepared to make new websites that are built in such a manner, so that they are perfectly rendered without depending on the previously standard desktop display size.

Another domain that you should be interested in is constituted by the new operating systems for mobile devices. iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile are all still in their infancy and the specialists are very often bringing to the market new and fresh features and fixes to the bugs of the previous versions. The future web designer must be a fine expert of technology and he must have some knowledge in the new operating systems for better understanding and creation of new websites.

Specialize In Adjacent Fields Of Web Design

Easier to Understand 10+ Web Design Trends For 2012
Easier to Understand 10+ Web Design Trends For 2012

It’s a good idea to specialize only in making layouts, but the routine may simply destroy your appetite for design, therefore it is highly recommended to embrace other adjacent fields of interest to keep things fun. If you are unsure about it, take for instance the infographic industry that is exponentially growing and there is constantly demand from clients for it.

Blogging or guest blogging is another type of activity that may be appreciated by designers and it could be an extra source of income. Don’t be shy and share your experience and best practice with other people. In this way, you gain exposure and the reconnaissance of the readers.

Establish Deadlines To Evaluate Your Progress

Web Designers Success Guide (Free eBook)

Even though some self-preparation activities are for fun, you can’t play around with your future. A good practice is to set specific deadlines and goals, then measure your progress and growth. If you don’t pay attention to where you started and your results then how will you know if they have grown? It would be a shame that you did all of that work in vain. Don’t forget this aspect, it is very important at the end of the day if you want the best possible future for your career.

In conclusion, pay attention to the future and be prepared for it. Take action, don’t wait until it is too late!

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  1. 1

    I feel you Dane….there is so much going on it is hard to grab a focus because you feel like if you pick one thing you will miss out or fall behind. I do know this HTML5 and CSS3 are safe..along with JQ..but you now have frameworks that are very compelling. It’s almost like the industry is going directly to the browser or designing and developing straight to the browser and that is scary. But I welcome the challenge. I appreciate the writing on this post.

    • 2

      Yeah definitely Steve – I think a lot of designers and developers are feeling this pressure to adapt or get left behind, its stressful and exciting all at the same time! I agree with the framework thing as well, its hard to know which one to go with, and hard to tell which one will eventually become obsolete – I have tried Zend Framework in the past, I hear Laravel being thrown around a lot and from what i’ve seen that looks to be a good PHP Framework to give a try if you need one.

      Thanks for commenting guys!

  2. 3

    This article was somewhat of a wake-up call for me. I have been trying to become a web designer of sorts, and will start going to school for it next semester. (I’ve been learning up until now through books, articles, and tutorials up to this point) I’ve spent many hours learning CSS3, Html tags, Dreamweaver CS6, Jquery, and I don’t know how much else, and this made me realize much of that may be irrelevent in the near future. While this does scare me, this is still what I want to do so thanks for the article and the heads-up.

    • 4

      Thanks for stopping by Dane! No problem! While things do go out of date eventually (sometimes obsolete altogether) whatever you learn now, as foundational knowledge will usually help you to build upon later or help you to understand certain concepts later. Like Steve Jobs said – its all about connecting the dots 😀

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