Launch Your Career in Digital Design

Aug 30, 2018

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Digital design is one of the most sought after skills in today’s job market. From tiny tech startups to global giants, nearly every company is looking to improve its web performance. So whether you’re hoping to move into user interface (UI), user experience (UX) or even information architecture (IA), there are a wealth of work opportunities out there. That being said, many students struggle to land their first job after graduating. So we’ve put together some tips to help you launch your web design career.

Polish Your Portfolio

Digital design is a little like baking. You can read all the cookbooks in the world but unless you’ve got a big shiny cake to show off, the chances are people won’t be too fussed. So though degrees in web design and development show employers an understanding of key programs and platforms, what they really want to see are examples of your work. A cake might help but I can’t promise anything.

But how can you put together a portfolio without first having a job? Sounds a little chicken and egg doesn’t it? The good news is, you can build your portfolio at uni and even earn a bit of cash while you’re at it. 

Pitch It

Pitching improvements to a business may seem intimidating but it’s a great way of building a portfolio, developing contacts and honing key business skills. Have a look online for small businesses and start-ups. More often than not, new businesses won’t have a dedicated design or UX team so your services will be particularly useful.

Whoever you pitch to, it’s important to offer them a clear incentive. If it’s an ecommerce business, perhaps you could improve a checkout while startups may need a sign up method improved. It may sound rude but showing a business a problem is a great call to action. You can even demonstrate the user experience by recording your journey on the site. 

Once you’ve highlighted a problem, explain your solution. Demonstrate how you would do things differently. Most importantly, how will it benefit them? You can offer this service for free but you’re well within your rights to charge a small fee, after all you’ve done all the hard work for them!

Show It Off 

There’s a chance you may never hear a peep from some but if you’re targeting small, local businesses, you’d be surprised how much work you can get. Once you’ve got some solid examples under your belt it’s time to show them off.

Build a website that shows off your skills, not just your portfolio but your ability to create a beautiful, practical web experience. Take inspiration from your favourite brands and designers to create something unique to you.

Graduate Schemes

Having a catalogue of inventive, effective work means you can apply for work experience and entry level positions with confidence. But if you’re on the lookout for a graduate scheme after university, there are plenty to choose from.

Deloitte are offering students the chance to earn as they learn with their extensive graduate programme. Incorporating web design, user experience and content strategy, this programme offers world class training from a market leading firm.

Or if you fancy some sea air, check out Redweb’s Developer Graduate Scheme. As one of the largest digital agencies outside of London, Redweb is a great first step on the digital career ladder. Plus, it’s right on the beach. 

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