Thursday, 19 November 2009

Stress Free

The second year is well underway and so far I’ve found it a lot less stressful than the first. I’ve passed the first two assignments which is a relief, particularly as I was worried about the SMLP and having to learn a scripting language on my own. I’ve also met deadlines without having to stay up half the night to get everything done which is an improvement on last time round.

I’m currently working on A10 which is all about the reverse design process (designing for an unknown product) and A11 which is about Wordpress.

As with the SMLP, I had doubts about A10 as my creativity is often lacking and thought I’d struggle to fill page after page with designs. However this has not been the case. While there have been some dry spells, I’ve successfully managed to produce some 20 pages of varied ideas which should be ample to choose from when we’re given a product. I handed this in a week early as I will be away for two weeks and miss the official deadline, but even with doing the extra work to make up for missing a week I didn’t find this exercise nearly as stressful as I thought I might.

A11 is also going fairly well so far. I’ve just about got the basic structure of my site and now all I need is to get my head round templates and such in Wordpress. I’ll be concentrating more on A11 this week as I devoted last week to A10 and I’m confident I can pull ahead with this as well to give myself less work to do when I come back.

So in summary the second year seems to be running a lot smoother for me than the first and hopefully this will continue throughout.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Interview Questions

1. Do you work better on your own or in a group?

Most web design jobs that I have looked at require the candidate to work with their existing design team. Employers will be looking for candidates with good people skills who work well with others. Even if there is no group work as such, they will need to deal with people at some point. The answer to this question should give an indication as to whether they are good with people or not.

2. How do you feel about accessibility, is it something you strive for in your work?

Websites need to be accessible so that everyone can view them, regardless of any disabilities. Clients should be looking for this as it gains them more custom and so candidates who are not interested in making accessible sites or have no knowledge on the subject are not desirable.

3. List 3 ways to make content more accessible to visually impaired users

The candidate needs to know how to make websites more accessible as well as the importance of this. In answering the previous question they could also be making out they create websites with accessibility in mind but in reality they don’t give it much thought. If they can answer this question correctly it proves they do care about accessibility.

4. How do you spend your spare time?

Employers will be looking for candidates who keep up to date on the latest technologies within the industry. Candidates should spend some of their spare time researching new technology. The answer to this question should also give an insight into how interested the candidate is in the industry.

5. Tell me some news relating to the industry, such as a new version of CSS and what it’s features are going to be.

As with the above question, web designers need to keep up to date. This would show the employer that the candidate does keep up to date, regardless of how they answered the previous question because as with accessibility, they could just be telling the interviewer what they want to hear. Answering this correctly proves they do actually keep up to date.

6. Which browser would you design for?

A website’s no good if it doesn’t display or function properly across browsers. The candidate should know this and how to fix problems in other browsers.

7. Do you validate your XHTML and CSS? Why is this important?

The candidate should be used to validating their code and should know why this is important. Employers will be looking for candidates who can produce valid code.

8. How would your friends describe you?

This should give an insight into the candidate’s personality and if they do need to fit in with a current design team, it should give the employer a feel for if they will actually fit in or not. And as with the group question, it should also give an insight into whether the candidate is good with people or not.