Project 5 – Professional Practice – Task 1b – Research and report on employment opportunities for web designers

This Task consists of two parts:
1a: Research and analyse a range of personal portfolio websites.
1b: Research and report on the range of employment opportunities for web designers in the Brighton area and the role of the freelancer in web design.

In this part I will research and report on the range of employment opportunities for web designers in the Brighton area and the role of the freelancer in web design.

Employment opportunities for web designers in the Brighton area

There are a few ways of finding jobs in Brighton, via Google, I’ve found the general (national) job seeking websites where you can add your location of choice, such as:

Although Friday Ad and Gumtree both also house ads of web designers offering their services, sometimes (especially on Gumtree) there are people looking for web designers too. Total Jobs, Indeed and Simply Hired find their jobs from all over, such as the Guardian and job seeing websites, so they are quite handy to look through.

Then there are websites specifically for freelancers, that are either national and worldwide, such as:

I’ve used People per Hour to hire a developer to customize a plugin for me and he was really competent and affordable. The payments go through the website itself and it’s really safe, so I would recommend both these websites to either try to find work or to find someone to help you with a part of your design or development.

Last but definitely not least:the ultimate and BEST place to find jobs in BRIGHTON is Wired Sussex.

This is because Wired Sussex is a Brighton-based membership organisation for companies and freelancers operating in the digital, media and technology sector in Sussex, UK, so it is catering exactly for us Web Designer Britonians looking for jobs locally!

The role of the freelancer in web design

The Freelance Web Designer needs to have lots of skills, if I were to write a job description for a freelance web designer, this is what it would look like:

Skills, Knowledge and Experience:

  • Confident and competent with designing in Illustrator, PhotoShop, Dreamweaver, (X)HTML (or WordPress) and CSS
  • Experience with CSS and XHTML coding.
  • Willingness to improve knowledge of CSS, XHTML and other web languages.
  • Good experience with using PC or Mac Computers
  • Have a flair for design
  • In depth knowledge of current web-design trends and techniques.
  • Ability to produce (basic) graphics and/or animations
  • A flexible attitude with proven experience of working in a small team.
  • Knowledge and experience of SEO and web accessibility.
  • Good communication skills are essential for liaising closely with customers and potential colleagues at the design stage and throughout a project.
  • Ability to use initiative and work under pressure to achieve tight deadlines .
  • Ability to fix bug fixes,as fast as it is possible by utilising Google and Forums.
  • Organised with attention to detail.
  • Ability to work individually and excellent at motivating oneself

As you can see, apart from having experience and skills in certain design and web techniques, one also really needs to be able to multitask, work fast, work hard and be able to communicate and listen well.
Communicating is so important, something some designers overlook; because you need to really know what your customer wants in order to prevent creating more work for yourself and be able to communicate back to your customer that you understand what he or she wants so they are confident you are up to the job.

As a freelancer you also need to be able to sell yourself, both on your website and in meetings. This is the part I do find hard, but will hopefully come with more experience!

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