How My Mother Makes Me A Better Web Designer
Sunday is Mother’s Day, the one day a year dedicated to the 365 they invest into us. Of course we can all attribute most of who we have become to our parents who helped to guide us through this world and keep us alive, probably for more years than we would assume. So I started thinking about how my mother makes me a better web designer.
As a Special Education teacher in Indiana at first glance it wouldn’t appear as though my mom had a whole lot of influence on my computer skills. The fact of the matter is that neither of my parents is entirely savvy when it comes to using a computer at all and throughout middle school and high school my mom was constantly telling me to get off the damn computer.
Which brings me to my first attribute. I am as hard headed and stubborn as anyone, I never listened to my mother when she told me to get off the computer because I was just as set in my ways as she was, thanks mom! Not so fast though, because mom was right. Having trouble thinking up fresh design ideas? Stuck in a coding rut and cant figure it out? Do your eyeballs hurt? “Get off the damn computer.” Its true, one of the best ways to clear up some creative block is to get off of the computer and get outside for a while to think about something else.
Lets fast forward a little to present day. Since I don’t live with my mom anymore she won’t tell me to spend less time on the computer because she knows I will just lie about it anyway. But she has more to offer in terms of web design. When I am testing out a site I often think of my parents as a user reference. Chances are, if my parents can use this site and interpret the message being sent 99% of my user base will be able to as well. Sorry mom but that’s the percentile I am placing you in when it comes to computing prowess.
Moms have a great ability to keep things in perspective. Mothers are notorious for being supportive when their kids are down on their luck or need some encouraging words. Lucky for my mom her son is totally awesome at everything! One might be able to imagine that my mom spent much more time reminding me that I am not entitled to special treatment and hard work is the best way to earn your achievements.
These traits are not lost on a web designer. Being the best in the world at this profession today does not guarantee you’ll even be in the top 10 tomorrow. In a field that shifts and moves as quick as web design having a ‘work hard every day’ mentality pays large dividends. Sure, its important to have some time off every now and then but when you come back to work you should realize that there were people all over the world who didn’t just spend a week on the beach.
Finally, be thankful for what you have. If you are short on cash and Joe Smith down the road wants a web site for less than half the price you normally charge well then maybe you should thank your lucky stars that Joe Smith exists and actually wants you to make a web site for them because… “Back in my day we didn’t even have web sites and if you wanted to make some extra money well you would probably be stuck doing manual labor outside somewhere and it just didn’t matter what the weather was going to be like or how long you were going to work because if you needed the money then you needed the money. And that’s just the way things were back then.”
So thanks mom.