“I Want to Venture into Web Design, What Do I Need to Know?”: Expert Shares Experience

“I Want to Venture into Web Design, What Do I Need to Know?”: Expert Shares Experience

  • A young Nigerian is prepared to embark on a career in web design and sought insights into the field
  • Seeking guidance, he turned to Tope Akintayo, a seasoned web designer with years of industry experience
  • Tope Akintayo gave valuable advice, informing him about the essential aspects to be mindful of in his journey

An anonymous Nigerian asked:

“I am a young student who wants to have something to do before I complete my degree. I researched and found out I can build a career in web design. But then, I want to have an idea of what it takes from an experienced expert. Please tell me what I need to know to forge ahead. What kind of work do web designers do? Is web design a good career?”

Web design encompasses the creation and maintenance of websites, focusing on aspects such as layout, user interface, visual aesthetics, and overall user experience.

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It involves a combination of graphic design skills, coding knowledge and an understanding of user behaviour to ensure that websites are both visually appealing and functional.

Web design expert Tope Akintayo shares useful graphic design tips for beginners
Web design expert gives detailed advice on graphic design to beginners. Photo credit: Tope Akintayo
Source: UGC

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A young man is eager to start a career in web design but needs guidance and expert advice.

In response to the man’s inquiry, Tope Akintayo brings his experience and lessons to bear.

Tope Akintayo is a web designer with many years of experience. He has been tasked to work on several projects, including the website of the Petroleum Equalization Fund in Nigeria.

Growing portfolio

My journey as a graphic designer began when I was a student. I was browsing online for things one can do online to make money as a student and web design was one of them. Luckily, there were some free web design classes being advertised around campus during this period so I quickly took advantage of the opportunities. I started by building blogs and websites for friends and family, and eventually, my portfolio grew, and I began getting paying clients a few months down the line.

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Significant projects

Some significant projects I've worked on include being contracted to rebuild the website for the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (Management) Board before its eventual merger into the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority. One major challenge was communicating effectively with clients to understand their needs and preferences. Another challenge was handling payment issues with clients, especially some clients, which can prove difficult with changing requirements and, thereby, extended timelines.

Community engagement

To stay updated, I participate in online forums and communities. I also visit websites like Awwwards. I also experiment with new design tools and technologies to stay ahead of the curve.

Keeping up with international trends

To be honest, I incorporate Nigerian culture and aesthetics only if the client requests it. I mostly follow international design trends, which are also applicable in Nigeria.

Importance of user experience

Common misconceptions about web design in Nigeria include thinking it's only about making websites look pretty or that anyone can do it. This has made most people in the Nigerian target market always say, “I don't need a website yet” or “I can do it myself: is it not Wordpress?”: I address these by educating clients about the importance of user experience, accessibility, and responsive design, which are things a professional designer will pay attention to while working on the job, whereas just a random person can’t do that.

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Optimizing designs for mobile devices

From the visitors' point of view, to navigate internet accessibility and slow connectivity, I optimize my designs for mobile devices, use lightweight images and code, and ensure fast loading times. But from my own point of view as a designer, I had to resort to using multiple network providers so I could switch between them based on availability per time.

Balancing creativity with demands

I balance creativity with client demands by understanding their goals and preferences while also educating them about best design practices and user experience. I just make suggestions and hope they buy into it.

Advice to prospective designers

My advice to aspiring web designers is to keep learning, practice regularly, and build a strong portfolio. Also, understand the local context and user behaviour to create designs that resonate with Nigerian audiences. Sometimes, when working with Nigerian audiences, some designers, like my graphic designer cousin, like to force US-styled designs down the throats of Nigerian business owners. This always backfires because the Nigerian client will then assume they are just not good enough. To be honest, I think that part of your skills as a designer is being able to adapt to client specifications.

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How do I get better school grades?

Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported an expert's response to an anonymous reader who wanted to know how they can do better in school.

In a related development, there is also an advice from experts on how to set up solar in Nigeria.

Proofreading by James Ojo Adakole, journalist and copy editor at Legit.ng.

Source: Legit.ng

Authors:
Basit Jamiu avatar

Basit Jamiu (Editor) Basit Jamiu is an award-winning journalist and a human interest editor with more than 5 years of experience in the media (Ikeja Bird, Prime Progress, The Movee). He started his journalism career after graduating from Ekiti State University in 2018. He is a 2023 MTN Media Fellow, OCRP Fellow at ICIR, and Accountability Fellow at CJID. He also has professional certificates in Information Management, Technical Writing, Digital Marketing from Google. He can be reached via basit.jamiu@corp.legit.ng.

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