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  1. #1
    Senior Member slyder's Avatar
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    Hey guys,
    You might've seen a few of my posts here and there, but I was getting ino freelance web design, and everything was going ok, had a cuople clients so far, but nothing I could really make a living off of.

    So I took a part time web-designer job in my area (20hrs/wk) and apart form working with the 3 or so clients i've done so far, this will be my first actual JOB as a web designer.

    I was just wondering what advice you guys have for me. MY first day was today, and the bossman had me make a small graphic ad for a site, create a new page on an existing clients site, and create a couple contact forms for some other client.

    I'm used to working on my own, designing with standards, using css to layout everything, etc.. and these guys are all windows based, table-full, javascript heavy sites. I found today that it was really tough trudging through line after line of table based markup just to create a simple form.

    Anyway, the job should be cool, I seem to like it so far, but I'm interested to hear what ya'll think.

    As always, thanks a ton guys.

    Chris
    http://christopher-scott.org - Ramblings of an amateur web designer
    http://childfreechoice.com - An online community for the positively childfree

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  3. #2
    Senior Member planetgman's Avatar
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    It is what it is. When you work for someone, you will have to adapt to their format/way of running their business.
    As you get several projects under your belt, you may want to bring some ideas to the table on how to improve things.
    Doing it right off the bat can sometimes be taken as that you aren't willing to adapt or that you may think your way is better. That is why it is always best to wait until you have some good work behind you to bring up ideas and suggestions.

    It is good you like the gig and you can always continue to freelance (especially only working 20 hours at the other place).

    Good luck.......
    GMan

  4. #3
    Senior Member slyder's Avatar
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    Thanks for the support gman.

    Yeah, I want to redo all of their sites into css layouts, just to make my job easier, but I think i'm gonna consider the whole thing experience for what it's worth (and paid at that). I actually have a day job, so I'm gonna cut out mostof my freelance stuff (I say most, i'll probably still do some stuff), until I can get this gig down.

    They actually dont know or deal with css layouts, accessibility, standards too much, and I think I bring a lot of expertise in that area, but like you said it would probably be best to wait until I get some solid work done before I try bringing them outta the dark ages.

    It's kinda funny too, cause I'm having to relearn all those bad practices with tables and such and it's almost a challenge in and of itself. I keep having all these flashbacks to the 90's and everyones obsession with DHTML, JS, and table-based layouts.

    I think one of the cooler things abotu it though, is that they have tons of work to do, so if nothing else, it will be a good lesson in time management (as far as designing) and how to get things done, as I am a terrible procrastinator especially when it comes to designing sites.

    again, thanks for the support bro.
    http://christopher-scott.org - Ramblings of an amateur web designer
    http://childfreechoice.com - An online community for the positively childfree

  5. #4
    Senior Member Steax's Avatar
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    Thats a problem I've had to endure so many times. More often clients have a page that resembles a trash can but already has content and all they wanted me to do was "redesign" their site. If only they used semantic markup...

    Well if you work for someone thats the problem. I'm personally a team player but I think we should all be on the tip of technology and I very very dislike people who choose the old techniques instead. Oh yes, I remember my first job with a "partner". He spent 3 days refining a javascript-based clock that follows the cursor around.

    Now I'm no expert, but in times like your what I would do is build a page from scratch with my technique, and show it to my boss. More often then not, after I explain the fixes, he'll just take my design. It might not be the best way to build a relationship with your teammates, though.

    I'm not an adult yet, so I haven't really felt the problem of not able to support my everyday life. So far I've been working alone because I find I do so much better. I think a team with proper team management and specialized software would also work for me, but when I have the chance I pick up jobs on my own.

    Philosophy has always been a big problem for me, who has a strong emphasis on accessibility, usability and form-follows-function, unlike my "colleagues" who like flashy pages. I've deduced that a lot of web designers want to impress the client, which for me is simply unacceptable. I'm sure all of us (here) would rather impress our future clients who drop by the site while looking at our portfolio.
    Note on code: If I give code, please note that it is simply sample code to demonstrate an effect. It is not meant to be used as-is; that is the programmer's job. I am not responsible to give you support or be held liable for anything that happens when using my code.

  6. #5
    Junior Member zonker's Avatar
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    Hi Slyder, I can sympathise, because I have seen a few of our employees go through the same thing.

    We have built a lot of websites for a lot of small businesses, and when I started out in 2001, I didn't even know what CSS was.

    Now we do all our new sites in CSS XHTML complient code wherever possible. But the old clients are still there. They come back and might want 1 new page. We might only charge them $100 for the small change, so we can't afford to reprogram the whole site again. (As much as we would love to).

    We encourage our client to get re-designs, and upgrade the code then.

    My advice: Let your boss know, (politely) that there are better ways to code, and where possible, do it the right way but whatever you do, don't waste time re writing code that the company is not getting paid for. Those extra hours here and there can hurt a small business.

  7. #6
    Senior Member raspberryh's Avatar
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    Hey,

    I agree with Zonker as far as doing all your new sites in CSS, and only redoing the old sites into CSS if the client is paying for it (if it's a redesign).

    In fact, at the place I work at, I don't always mention the technique I'm using. They just say "build out this website" and I just do it. So half the time they don't even know. I don't know how your workplace works though, maybe you have to be very communicative about the way you work. If so then I guess you would have to mention it to them. Otherwise, just wait till next time you get to build a site from scratch and just do it however you want.

    But yeah for website updates on websites that are built horribly, I just force myself to bear it. Sometimes I do get very frustrated by how some sites are built out though! But I feel good knowing at least MY websites aren't like that.

    In fact, sometimes looking at the way these other websites are built makes me feel a lot better about my own. It's like an ego-boost. Like "Wow, I do sites so much better than whoever made this one!"

    H
    choosy developers choose gif!
    website | paintings | blog

  8. #7
    Senior Member
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    I've only been at my work for 5 weeks now, but I managed to convince my boss to go with me on a new design.

    The old site had frames and was table based and just awful looking. I asked him if I could have a play and so I designed it and he was well impressed.

    If you have a relatively cool boss then I reckon you should approach him about adapting to the latest standards.

    On the other sites I work on, they're all table based...and it's almost tempted me back to the dark side for when I can't get the CSS bang on. So far I've resisted


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