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8 Things They Don't Tell You When Becoming A Web Designer

A Web Design Office - Not Mine

Pic Creds: juhansonin

This is in response to one of Six Revisions latest articles, 8 Things they don’t tell you about being a web designer. Now though the article wasn’t bad, I feel it took a completely wrong approach and if I was trying to decide if I wanted to be a web designer, their article would not have helped me at all!

I remember when I was in high school trying to figure out what I wanted to go to college for.  I picked design because of all the cool perks and stories I heard.

Perks like one lady having a limo pick her up to work everyday, free tickets to events, great gifts that clients give for designing something amazing for them.

Stories like you’ll have so much free time, it’s such a lax profession, it’s always changing.

It’s all bullshit! At least for the majority of designers it is.

So let me say I’m sorry to six revisions but this is the Real stuff they don’t tell you.

1. To be a web designer you need to have artistic talent!

Now I’m not saying that you need to be able to draw like Picasso, but you need to have an eye for design.  You need to know what makes a good layout, what colors work well with each other, etc.

If you don’t, you’ll end up with something that looks like this. And the worst part is, you will be proud of it.

2. To be a web designer, you need to stand out.

You know all those classmates that are with you in college and are majoring in the same exact thing.  You just met a tiny fraction of your competition.

EVERYONE thinks it’s easy to design websites, and I mean everyone.  Web Designers get so much flack with things like, make my logo bigger, and change the colors, etc.  We end up turning into Web Monkeys rather than Web Designers.

We end up turning into a tool that the client uses to create there websites, they just tell us what to do, and we do it.

If you want to make it, you need to stand out.  Don’t be like everyone else, learn what does and doesn’t work and speak your opinions.

3. To be a web designer, you need to plan out your career.

I decided to be a web designer because I get tired of things quick.  Being creative and always working with new amazing clients was my dream… then I became a web designer.

Before you decide on becoming a web designer, you need to plan out your career.  There are many different routes that you can go.  You can get a web design job in a big corporation and try to work your way up the corporate ladder.  You can work in a small company and try to grow with it.  You can also become an entrepreneur and just start your own practice.

The bottom line is you need know.

Why is that important? Because every small, large, solo company is COMPLETELY different and you need to be prepared with what your in for.

4. You are the first one to get fired.

Congratulations, you’ve graduated college and your hunting for a web design job.  You landed it in a nice big corporation and you think your set for life!  You’ve found your career!

Wait a minute!

Recession!!??? Budget Cuts??!!!?!! What’s going on?!?!

In the giant corporate world the first department affected is the advertising/marketing department. Why? Because there are tons of little agency’s that will do your job for half your salary.

5. You don’t have that much freedom

If you decide to work for a small agency be careful.

You know all those cool companies you find online like onwired, where their success in unrivaled and they treat all of they’re employees like Gold. Well Good luck getting into one of those. They don’t just hire anyone, you have to be good, like real real good.

Most chances are you’re going to find a small local web design agency.  The owner is probably some guy who only cares about how much money he’s making.  You are responsible for everything.

If he’s not looking over your shoulder to make sure your working, or asking you questions every 5 seconds, consider yourself lucky.

6.  You will struggle.

If you decide to go into business on your own, you will struggle.  Make sure that you are offering something of Value!  Try not to say Yes to every project in desperation of money.

If you stick with it, good things will come.

7. You need to have a web design passion

If you’re doing this because you think it’ll make you a quick buck or you think its just going to be easy, don’t do it.

You should always love what you do. Web design is no different.  If you love it then you will have a good career no matter where you are.

8. The satisfaction and rewards are great!

Just because you’re not getting free tickets or limo rides all the time, doesn’t mean that web design doesn’t have it’s rewards.

When you’re doing what you love and you see it actually effecting people whether it’s with business, charity, or whatever, it’s rewarding.

Helping people solve their problems through interactive means and succeeding is a great feeling.  Plus the money doesn’t hurt 😉


You can make a great career in web design as many people have.  There are many ups and downs but that can probably be said with any career choice.

Just make sure you know exactly what you are doing and go at it with all you can! Good Luck!

Learn Web Design That Sells

Picture Used thanks to juhansonin.

About the Author
What's UP! This is my site, I write 99% of the articles on here. I'm also the owner of I help out a lot of developers and designers getting into the web game. Helping is fun for me, so feel free to ask me any questions! I've made courses and have a membership as well to help get you on your feet!

0 comments on 8 Things They Don't Tell You When Becoming A Web Designer

  1. Dave PWDC says:

     Dave at the PWDC writes: 

    Jonathan, you forgot to say that the number #1 thing that people don’t tell you about being a web designer is that it’s not all about making pretty pictures in Photoshop… Not only do you need to be able to design the graphical elements, you also need to be able to design the content, understand the goals etc etc…

  2. theR3AP3R says:

    Everything here is the TRUTH!

    I would also add to #1 (or as #9):
    “You will fight!”

    Not physically, but mentally and verbally for your design decisions! The world we live in as designers is full of people without artistic vision or web knowledge that think they know design.

    You will constantly have to justify why you chose your color pallet, text placement, use of photos, choice of verbiage…etc.

    A lot of clients (and bosses) are stuck in the “web 1.0” version of the internet and want to add gaudy elements to websites like harsh backgrounds, atrocious colors and inane text.

  3. Dan Neamtu says:

    Just because you’re not getting free tickets or limo rides all the time, doesn’t mean that web design doesn’t have it’s rewards.- Love this and the other 7 points.. Also, being web designer freelancer can give you the entreprenorial way of thinking, can push you to work harder and find creative ideas.

    1. surefireweb says:

      Absolutely Dan!!! If I didn’t Freelance first I wouldn’t have know what I would be capable of as an entrepreneur. Helps me think out the box, a lot!

  4. All the points you’ve mentioned are totally legit. Web designing can surely be distressing, but then, which job isn’t? Moreover, there’s a lot of scope to learn new things and experiment your design ideas in free lancing.

    1. Jonathan Perez says:

      Absolutely! All I do is experiment! lol 🙂

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