Job Title: Web Designer
Type of Company: The company makes automatic industrial controllers.
Education: BA English, BS Medical Technology
Previous Experience: I worked as a Med Tech for four years right after college. I wrote sales training materials for pharmaceutical reps in my next job, then six years in Marketing Communications for industrial automation software start-up. I tested software for medical devices for three years, and then did graphic design and web design for a small industrial automation company for 10 years.
Job Tasks: I create graphics to support company marketing efforts, including website, datasheets, brochures, product photos and diagrams, and documentation. I write datasheets and documentation in conjunction with engineers and format it for presentation and consistency, and write stories about customer applications in conjunction with our customers. I design, create, and maintain the company web site and e-newsletter.
I manage the search engine marketing program, so that when Google users search for a product my company sells, our ad will be displayed by Google and users will be directed to our company's site. I create animated banner ads for display on other websites. I developed a 150-page comprehensive product catalog of all our products for our customers. I create icons, other graphics and online help for integration with the company's software. I send out press releases, promote the publication of stories on corporate activities in the press, and track where those stories and press releases are published. I designed a new company logo and a second logo commemorating the company's 30 years in business. I created animated interactive online tutorials on several different products. I serve as a technical resource to others in the company for everything from copying and printing cds to fixing their Internet connections. I also served as a language consultant to engineers who did not enjoy writing documentation.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best parts of my job are the variety of things I do and the freedom and flexibility I have for my work schedule, plus the fact that I can work at home if I have to. I really enjoy creating pictures and designing web pages or brochures that look nice, and I like the mix of technical and creative skills that I need to do my job.
The worst part of my job is probably the lack of job security.
1. Try to get into a small company. I was a writer at a small company but when the web designer left, my company let me fill her position, even though I had no experience.
2. If you are starting out as a web designer and have no clue what you're doing, ask the "Google gods". 9 times out of 10, they will have the answer.
3. Avoid training, which is a total waste of time and money. You're better off just sitting down at a computer and just trying to do it.
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