Joshua Wold

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Embracing New Life and Enjoying the Summer

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Wow, what an amazing and fun filled year this has been. I haven’t added a post to my blog since last September. I’ll see if I can blaze through and share what has been happening in the Wold family in a few words.

As of May 15, 2013 my beautiful wife and I were extremely blessed to welcome the newest edition to our home. Ethan Wold was born at 9lbs 13oz at 11:43am. He has brought such joy into our lives ever since. Attached to this post is a picture of him at about 10 days old. Thank you Mary Banducci for the photo!

We’ve also moved to beautiful Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The decision was made after much research and soul searching on the part of my wife, Monica, and myself. We wanted to move to an area that would match what we wanted as we started to raise our family. In hindsight I don’t think we could have picked a better place. While I can’t foresee the future, I see no reason why we would ever have to leave this place. Idaho is such beautiful country with the mountains, evergreens, and beautiful lakes.

This past weekend I was able to join friends and family in hiking with the sunrise over the lake, kayaking, jumping off rocks, watching the sunset, and just enjoying the long days of Summer. I’m extremely blessed.

I’m also busy with projects of all types. I’m looking forward to the next year and all that is in store!

How to Ensure Your Work as a Web Designer is Successful

Have you had experiences where your website designs, designs that you thought were perfect, were flat out rejected by your client? Yeah, that’s happened to me. As a result of some painful experiences I’ve had to learn to adapt. Now I do things differently.

Do you want to know my biggest secret for getting my web design projects accepted by my clients? I show them what I’ve got, often. The answer may seem counter intuitive, but follow along.

Instead of hiding out in a cave with your laptop for a month and creating a masterpiece, which you then present to the client in expectation of immediate praise and acceptance, try something different. Every step of the way get feedback. Make sure you and the client are on the right page.

Get a written scope of expectations at the beginning of the project. Then, start working, and check in with your client often. Have you developed a site map? Make sure it still fits with what your client needs. What about wireframes? Send them, and send them early. The more involved the client is in the design process, the more likely that the result will be something that’s not only good, but is something the client loves.

Now, there is a warning. You’re still the designer, the client came to you because they can’t create this website by themselves, they need your help. Your expertise is still extremely important, you’re not there to just push pixels.

I’ve identified three reasons the client doesn’t value your opinion.

  • The quality of your work just isn’t there.
    Maybe you’re new? Maybe you are rushed for time? Whatever the case may be, sometimes the client doesn’t like the project because the quality of your work isn’t as good as it should be. If that’s the case then that’s your problem, not the clients.
  • The client is a psychopath
    Ok, honestly this just isn’t the case 99% of the time. But sometimes the client can be a pain to work with, if that’s the case then it’s still your fault. You need to pick better clients next time.
  • You’re just not communicating well enough
    This is most often the case. You’re a good designer, and they are a good client, but somewhere in the middle the conversation isn’t going both ways. If you find yourself in this situation, double up your efforts while you still can and make the project a success. If you’re about to start a new project, put in the effort to make communication a priority.

The perfect project is where the client’s customers, the client, and you, all love the end result. The only way you’re going to achieve those results is if you’re willing to effectively communicate each step of the project. Make sure your scope outlines all the steps, and as you work through the project clearly explain what it’s going to take to move from step 1 to step 2, and so on.

If you take it upon yourself to over communicate every step of the way, getting feedback and making changes as necessary, you’ll come up with a project that is a success.

6 Tips on Becoming a Better Designer

  1. Be curious. Let your curiosity inspire you to learn and grow. You’ll go a long ways if this is your attitude in approaching new projects and technologies.
  2. Have fun. Continue to play around with designs, getting feedback, and always revising.
  3. Look at what other awesome designers are doing. Dribbble.com is a great site to find inspiration.
  4. Steal. Don’t be afraid to rip off ideas wherever you see them. Ok, I say that with a disclaimer. Make sure the final product is your own and is unique enough that it will not be confused with something else.
  5. Pick a design program and get really comfortable with it. My personal suggestion would be to get used to Photoshop or Illustrator. Either will work fine for web design. I personally use Illustrator, but it’s just because of what I’m used to.
  6. Read books on the topic. Use Amazon as your friend. I did this when I was learning web design.
  7. Develop a thick skin. Ask for feedback from those that will actually give it, and let them know up front that you want their honest opinion. Find a few trusted friends that will regularly give you feedback on your work.