Excellence in website design, achieved through 18 years of experience and a lot of hard work

I've been doing website design work for over 18 years now. Out of these 18 years; 14 years have been with my own business MiracleworX Web Design. In this period we have worked on every conceivable type of web project from portals to corporate sites. Each project and each client has taught us something. In an industry with a lot of technology churn and new ideas cropping up every day; it's been hard work and sometimes steep learning curves.

We have seen the dotcom boom and then the dotcom bust. We have seen browsers come and go and we have seen the rise and rise of Google with awe.

Some of the trends we have had the privilege of experiencing includes:

  • The rise and fall of the Netscape browser and the rise of Internet Explorer.
  • The starting usage of Flash and Flash driven websites
  • Search engine domination from first Inktomi and then Google
  • The rise of today's leading web hosting companies both in India and abroad
  • Amazon's incredible evolution into one of the foremost online stores in the world
  • The sale of Hotmail to Microsoft for a mind bending sum by Sabeer Bhatia.
  • The generational growth from Perl to PHP programming languages.
  • From simple navigational websites to complex user driven websites and portals
  • The incredible rise of the broadband internet connections and the not so sad demise of the slow modems.
  • A whole new generation of entrepreneurs trying to make it big online
  • The fun introduction of online chat and video chat
  • The rise of YouTube and subsequent purchase by Google.
  • We could go on and on all the way to Facebook and Twitter.

In a nutshell, we have witnessed and participated in the birth and rise of an entire new industry.

What I have learned about myself and our web design industry through all of this?

  • Never get attached to one technology or software. There is always something new on the horizon. Certifications and standards become obsolete in a blink of an eye.
  • Learning curve is being accelerated year after year. No one can take it easy anymore. There is always some young gun out there with a better idea.
  • The rules of business apply to the online world as much as they do to normal businesses. Anyone who says otherwise is trying to pull a fast one. Companies still need to make sales and make profits.
  • The dotcom bust proved that pie in the sky ideas don't translate to real hard cash. Success still requires research, planning and flawless execution. This is even more important online where good ideas are a dime a dozen but great websites are rare.
  • Good website design requires as much common sense as it requires design skills. A fancy website might win you awards but might not get you much needed sales.
  • As in every other industry - the customer is always right even when he's wrong. I don't waste time trying to convince determined customers. I go with the flow. If it turns out good I put it on our portfolio otherwise its forgotten.
  • We are professionals - web design professionals. It's as much a noble profession as any other and must be recognized as such. We have given many years of our lives to this profession and being a web designer is something I am proud off.

Somewhere along the way I took a breather and started thinking about excellence in web design. What would it look like? How would it be measured?

After a lot of thought I came up a few simple rules:

  • Give the client his money's worth and then some.
  • Behave professionally and honestly as befits a member of a great profession
  • Always have fun , explore, innovate and be on the lookout for the next step in website evolution.
  • Be excellent.

 

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