Having Faith in Yourself as a Web Designer

A recent post by Eris Free on her "binary roots" struck a chord with me, especially:

Most of the other web designers I communicate with are around my age. We all feel this odd pressure to do in eight weeks what some other designers have had eight years or more to achieve. Why do we feel this way? To feel we’re behind before we even begin?

I know this feeling all too well. There is so much going on in the web design field, sometimes it feels impossible to keep up with it. At the same time, in order to be a good web designer (especially a "jack-of-all-trades" freelancer), I feel that I should possess a considerable degree of mastery in all the diverse subjects involved in developing a web site.

Otherwise I worry that I might be short changing my clients by not being completely on top of what is going on in graphic design, CSS, search engine optimization, usability testing and so on.

When I read some of the highly esoteric discussions on leading web design blogs (proper ordering of H tags, anyone?) and look at the great work that is showcased on sites like the CSS Vault, it's easy to feel that I just can't participate or compete at that level - so why bother at all?

However, I recently came across an antidote to such feelings of inadequacy when I happened to visit the web site of Cowgirls Saloon in Seattle.

I'm not sure whether it was the pen (?) mouse icon, the flaming mouseovers, the way everything was painfully slow, the sheer lack of usability, or the fact that you can't even find the site if you do a Google search for "cowgirls seattle", but as I delved deeper looking for some driving directions, my feelings of second-class web design citizenry completely vanished.

"Blimey!" I thought to myself as I thankfully closed the tab on the site, "I'm actually pretty damn good at what I do - I just happen to keep very good company. My clients are lucky to have me."

Okay Mr. super-web-designer, now back to that article on the IE5/Mac band pass filter. Uh oh, I need another dose of Cowgirls, quick!

Footnote: Surprisingly enough, the Cowgirls Saloon itself actually rocks in a big way. Yes, they do have hottie bargirls dancing on the bar like in Coyote Ugly, and it is seriously good fun to watch them at it. After all, as the great Nigel Tufnell once said, "What's wrong with being sexy?"

Posted on: August 21, 2004 | No comments

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