General Question

Shippy's avatar

Can you become a web designer with no qualifications?

Asked by Shippy (9889points) March 16th, 2012

A friend of mine does websites, I am doing what I call the panels. I design the panel in photo impact, Or I use Gimp. I got very interested in what I call panel design through 3D developing for IMVU virtual games. My question is, how could I use this talent?. Would website designers be interested in my panels? if not who would? (The panel is then uploaded for form a page). Just to clarify.

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6 Answers

majorrich's avatar

You COULD, and many I have seen with qualifications design like they don’t. It depends on talent/ability and training. It takes a balance of the two. If a person were competent and talented I don’t see any reason why they couldn’t design small web applications and sites. For larger projects, where the big money gets spent, clients like to see papers.

Jeruba's avatar

Do you mean no credentials? If you’re actually creating good, professional-quality web images now, you’ve got qualifications.

This field is still so young and haphazard that I’d imagine a lot of employed and employable people in it have no piece of paper that says they can do it.

funkdaddy's avatar

Web design (and design in general) are both fields where your portfolio is more important than your education or specifically who you’ve worked for before.

Start building great work that you believe in and that can lead to more work. Eventually the experience and portfolio is your qualification. That’s not to say any study you can do to improve yourself isn’t worthwhile, but generally people want to see what you’ve done more than they want to see your degree or previous employers.

Would website designers be interested in my panels?

Maybe. Many programmers work with a designer to either create or improve their ideas. Try to find more people like your friend and see if they’d be interested in working with you.

ETpro's avatar

I’m a web developer. I’m a Yahoo! Small Business Partner and do mostly Yahoo! Merchant Solutions Stores. I generally avoid designs that use a large, single graphic because they take so long to load, too much of the page is graphics which are invisible black holes to search engine spider eyes, and they are too difficult for site owners to modify.

That said, the graphical look and feel of a site is vitally important. You can’t grab visitors with text alone. Text is vital for SEO, but it won’t win click-throughs for you. Web research shows that users decide whether a page they land on “has what they are looking for” in 50 milliseconds. They may linger quite a bit longer, but if their initial impression was that “this ain’t it” they almost always back button out to the search engine that sent them, and try someone else’s site.

Your graphics skills are valuable. A top notch developer could guide you in what to do, and use the graphics you develop. If you want to go it alone, you need to learn HTML, CSS, JavaScript, at least one Web based query language such as PHP or ASP and an appropriate database such as MySQL or Microsoft SQL. You also need to learn about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and human engineering (designing in calls to action to get visitors moving through whatever the site’s purpose is; making sure the user interface is stupidly obvious and easy to grasp, yet fun; etc).

I’ve had external graphic designers forced on me by a couple of clients, and each has been a headache. The graphics people generally understand almost nothing about web design, usability or SEO. Get a leg up on those issues, and you will be way ahead of the pack. Best of luck. If you’re interested, PM me with a link to some of your work.

Carly's avatar

From what I’ve heard from some of my graphic designer friends, the software called “Dreamweaver” allows you to visually design websites while it writes the code for you. You might be interested in that.

But I’m kind of like you. I design my “panels” in photoshop and give them to @camertron to put up online.

SABOTEUR's avatar

Depends on what you mean by “qualifications”.

This may seem an overly simple explanation, but it seems to me that If you provide a service that someone is willing to pay you for, you’re qualified.

The real dilemma is finding parties who are interested in what you do.

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