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A Day in the Life of a Web Designer

I recently had someone email me and ask what a day in my life, or that of a web designer, was like. A slightly unusual request but I thought I would take up the challenge and document an average day.

I don’t mention it very often so I am not sure how many people realise I have a full time job. The websites I run I work on around the day job so I need to be very careful to balance work, and my websites, and my home life.

My day job is at Miniclip.com where I am the Director of Web Development. The job involves overseeing the design and programming teams that do the work on the Miniclip website.

Below is an outline of a typical working day.

  • 0600 – wake up. I get up early and straight into the shower – 6 sounds pretty horrible but I am used to it and find myself getting up early at the weekends without an alarm.
  • 0630 – breakfast and then an hour working on my own websites, writing blog posts and developing themes. I find I am most productive in the mornings.
  • 0730 – leave for the day job.
  • 0900 – start work. A typical day consists of emails, phone calls, meetings, and sometimes even some web development :)
  • 1230 – lunch time, I often eat at my desk, but I am trying to do that a bit less often as I don’t think it’s healthy.
  • 1800 – time to go home.
  • 1930 – I get home to dinner, cooked by my awesome wife – Jo.
  • 2000 – The evenings vary, sometimes I will watch tv with my wife, other times I will work on the computer, and occassionally we will go out somewhere.
  • 2300 – watch some tv in bed and then sleep until 6 the next day.

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19 Comments »

  1. Interesting, thanks. Three hours per work day commuting? I’m curious if you use that time more for productivity or recreation. (Of course, recreation is the foundation for productivity.)

  2. I am also most productive before in the morning, before 10 AM actually. Once ten-o-clock rolls around it’s a different sort of productive. I can’t say I’m lazy or less-productive, but it’s definitely productivity of a different kind. I also eat at my desk. Sometimes I force myself to go outside and eat on the lawn, just so I actually take a break.

    I also do my best problem solving in the early AM.

    • During my commute to work I walk about 2 miles to and from stations (between home and station, and office and station), and I do that twice a day, so I walk about 4 miles a day at least.

    • plus time in the evenings and at weekends – but yes, I am most productive in the mornings before work. It’s amazing what you can do when you know you have a limited amount of time to do something in.

  3. See I could not write a post like this because I find it hard to put my life into order like this.

    Take today for example, I spent it messing about online on the pretense that I was working, when in reality I did no work at all.

  4. I am living in Vietnam and my job is Web content editor, I have just begun about 1 year. And my time same u, i work form 8am – 3am, about 12h a day.

    I have not wife but i live with my family is father, mother and sister. Next 4 year, I begin new family.

  5. Hi Ben, I know this is totally off topic, but I came across your blog while searching for information on TimThumb and I just wanted to say “you are awesome” I know how many times people take for granted all the effort others – in this case you ;) put into sharing free projects. Your code is amazing and I’ve been using it a lot, funny that I just *now* found your blog. So thank you again for the great resource!!

  6. Kudos!! Thumbs up!! Wish I culd create a schedule daily like this…….my biggest issue is getting clients real time – any tips? I know its unrelated to d above topic…but will really luv suggestions…..

    • unfortunately (possibly fortunately :)) I work for a company – and do not take freelance work – so I don’t have to worry about finding clients. I’ve done freelance work in the past and I agree that it’s a challenge – and unfortunately I don’t have a solution.

  7. @Chieke
    There are a so many articles online (find-able via Google) about sourcing clients for freelance, and how to market yourself to potential clients, as well as marketplaces where you can bid on freelance work. So skipping over that stuff, one thing that helped me was putting my work out there to advertise my skills for me. Such as, contributing information to open source projects, releasing open source code, and creating creative commons designs. Results may vary for you but for me it’s been great. About five years ago I was able to stop chasing after clients because they all find me now, and I have a waiting list. I’ve been a freelancer for about 11 years.

  8. what skills would you consider to be a web designer I know html/css/photoshop/dreamweaver/flash, but I don’t know any programming skills eg java php or any of the like I taught I might get by on the skills that I mentioned I have any suggestions? please!!!!!!!!!!!

    • The skills required depend upon what you want to do. To be a good web designer, you need html, and css for sure. Programming skills would be helpful – but not essential. Your creative and problem solving skills are really important. I think the best thing to do is simply to work and practice and work some more. As long as you’re open to learning new things then you can learn the skills you need as you go.

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