Web designer, LondonWho am I?
I'm a writer-designer who's also a geek. I've been doing professional web design since 2004, graduated from the University of Cambridge with a First in English in 2007, and now my day job is being a professional scriptwriter and technical designer for videogames. I've worked for companies like Free Radical Design, Ubisoft, Chillingo, Sony, and Microsoft. You can check out my games writing presence at my David Midgley, games writer page. But I'm still actively involved in web development as a co-founder of one web startup (now live at http://zone.in!) and the technical lead designer for a new startup in the garments business (to be announced). I also have ongoing web clients whose sites I regularly update in my spare time.
Who are you?
A website is a statement about who you are — and once you launch, it's out there for the world to see. That's why it's important to communicate clearly and constructively during the design phase of the site. You are the world's expert on you, so the question isn't whether you have the capacity to communicate this to the public, but rather whether you have the drive and persistence to design, redesign and tweak that communication until it's as effective as it can be.
What is Design, anyway?
Your website should look good, but professional web design isn't just about constructing a pretty page. It's also important that the content is well-structured, and the navigation and interface is user-friendly. The only way to achieve this is by exploring and iterating over designs, communicating and discussing it, until you nail the right look and 'feel' for your site. As designers across all fields will know, planning ahead will only get you so far — all designs possess a certain je ne sais quoi which is only achieved through testing, play, and iteration. If you're just paying a web designer to build the technical aspect of the website, you're missing a trick: because their more valuable competency lies in understanding how to explore and evolve the usability flow of a site, basing that evolution upon the needs of real users in a wide variety of situations. A designer's technical ability is simply the foundation that must underpin this less-quantifiable but equally valuable 'black magic'.
Grab a Lifeline
If this is sounding more and more like a can of worms you're afraid to open, do yourself a favor and send me an email. I'll respond with some free advice on what you're trying to achieve, and you'll get a better sense of what options are available to you.
Developing an online presence
The best websites grow along with you, becoming more prominent online as time passes, and your content and web presence expands and becomes richer. If you invest your time and energy in your website, it will become a rewarding and self-sustaining entity.
What versus How
As the internet matures, there's an expanding set of existing technologies to perform basic tasks. Wordpress, the blogging software, springs to mind. You might start to wonder if you really need a web designer. Couldn't you take care of it yourself?
Yes, you absolutely can — but these days, the value of previous experience in the online arena is not knowing the "what", it's knowing "how". You might know you could use Wordpress to run a blog, but unless you know how to create a blog that combines a suitable visual design with engaging subject matter, that handles the technical requirements users make, that can be added to in extremely specific ways when you need to, you won't be making the most of the available technology.
I offer highly-tailored bespoke development. In a nutshell, that means that whatever you want, I can get it done. And because web development is a low-overhead business, it allows me, as a freelance designer and programmer, to take on jobs quickly as they arise, devote part of my time to each project, and quickly and cleanly execute the work. The plus side for you is: there's no waiting around, I can tell you what it will cost in advance, and you get someone you can contact at any time with issues and questions. You don't have to worry about the moments when you realise, "Oh, but I actually need it to do that... and I have no idea how".
Please see my portfolio, professional web design articles, and services pages for more information.
Recent Website Design News
Mon May 06, 2013
Zone.In launches to answer the question, 'What's Happening Near Me?'
Zone.In launches to answer the question, 'What's Happening Near Me?' In the past week my startup company, of which I'm...
Fri September 09, 2011
New videogames writing blog
I have recently launched a new blog about games writing, whilst wearing my other hat as David Midgley, freelance narrative...
Mon February 23, 2009
Templates service commencing, and a new project nearly done!
Our webpage templates service will be commencing later today, with any luck. We aim to channel our users through to some...