Things they don’t teach you in Toronto web design school

Being in the Toronto web design industry, apart from being afforded the misconception that “anyone with Photoshop can do this”, is that you inevitably get asked the following: “How do you get started?  Where do you even start to learn to do this?” and most often “My son/daughter/nephew/cousin/(whoever) wants be a website designer in Toronto, what can you tell them to help them get a job?”

I have worked website development in Toronto for Rebel Trail as a designer for the better part of 15 years.  Looking a back, it’s hard to compare what I learned in school to what I use on the job, on a daily basis.  Apart from the software (that no longer resembles what we use today) and basic design or business training – not a lot.

They don’t teach OCD, a compulsive attention to detail, or the ability to tune out distractions. You just have to love what you do and Toronto web design schools can’t teach you passion.  BUT I will list the some of the things you SHOULD know or try to learn while trying to make it the Toronto website development industry:

Learn to ask the right questions.

If you ask 20 people to describe the colours of autumn, you will get an infinite amount of variations of what those people think autumn looks like.  Asking someone to describe what they envision for their Toronto website design project, without guiding them with the right questions won’t get you the end result the client seeks.  Most website design clients have a good idea of what they want in the design, while some don’t.  Using a standard questionnaire for projects in the beginning is a great way to focus the discussion and keep on the project moving forward.

Hone your listening skills

Learning to pick up on keywords during Toronto website design meetings or phone calls will help you enormously during the web design stage.  Things like, ‘clean’, ‘edgy’ or ‘soft’ can carry a design in different directions.  Sharing ideas and encouraging open dialogue between client and website designer can accomplish more than a design but also a solid business relationship.

Lorem Ipsum is my best friend.

Oh ‘Lorem Ipsum’, where would my website designs be without you!   Using lorem ipsum text in the design stage is essential.  It gives you and your client an idea of what the design will look like with text without burdening your client to come up give up new content right away and impeding design.  Not everyone knows what lorem ipsum is though.   The definition is :

Lorem Ipsum is dummy text which has no meaning however looks very similar to real text. Common names for Lorem ipsum text include: – blind text – dummy text – greeked text – placeholder text – mock content – filler text.

It’s still the biggest tool I use almost every day.  Make lorem your friend too.

More to come!  Stay tuned…

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