2014 Design Graduates Surveyed About on Their Future Career Potential

UK New Designers 2014 – survey of design graduates reveals that:

  • 90% are confident of finding employment in the creative sector within a year
  • 97% believe they are equipped with transferable skills for related sectors
  • 69% have undertaken industry experience before completing their course
  • 42% see themselves setting up their own businesses within 5 years

As New Designers 2014 opens today, Wednesday 25 June, a survey reveals that this year’s crop of design graduates feels experienced, entrepreneurial, confident and equipped with the transferrable skills to find employment.

New Designers, which has helped to launch the careers of well-known designers such as Thomas Heatherwick, Bethan Gray and Matthew Williamson, sees 3,000 of the best emerging designers exhibit at the Business Design Centre in London between 25-28 June and 2-5 July 2014. Selected from universities and colleges across the UK, this year’s exhibitors were polled by New Designers throughout April, May and June 2014 about their employment prospects and the benefits of a design-related degree.

90% of the design graduates who responded to the survey are confident of finding employment in the creative sector within a year of graduating. Almost half of them, 46%, expect that this will be take the form of paid work, with another 44.5% prepared to undertake unpaid work experience before finding the right role. Over two thirds, 69%, have already undertaken some industry experience before completing their course. 13% have already been offered a position prior to graduation. 97% believe that studying a creative subject has equipped them with transferable skills which will allow them to find employment in a closely related sector.

Isobel Dennis, Director of New Designers comments:

“I find these results very encouraging. They are grounded, intelligent and realistic. Studying a creative degree encourages you to explore and discover what your potential is. Qualifying from a creative degree equips you with great skills for the working world. The nature of their structure promotes individuals to problem solve, work in shared environments, regularly critique their ideas and organise together in groups, all of which inspires creative and productive work.”

A third of those polled, 32%, believe that ‘creativity’ is the quality that prospective employers in the creative sector will value most in new graduate employees, above attributes such as ‘entrepreneurialism’, 2%. Qualities such as ‘experience’, 19%, ‘innovation’, 15%, ‘professionalism’, 11%, communication skills’, 11% and ‘technical skills’, 9%, were also seen to be important. A third of graduates believe that innovation, 33.5%, or problem solving, 30.5%, are the most important roles of design, with the rest split between making aesthetically pleasing things, 14%, and making a difference to society, 17%.

The graduates seem to be well informed, according to industry employers who regularly recruit at New Designers. Katie Greenyer, Creative Director at Pentland fashion brand Red or Dead said: “I always look for: creativity, innovation, communication first. The rest can be taught.” Laura Towers, Creative Assistant Manager at Tigerprint agrees: “We seek out creativity and innovation in a graduate designer. You will develop skills to become professional and learn how to communicate on the job, but creativity is what makes you stand out as an individual. Creativity can come across in your work, your personality and the way you present yourself.”

An entrepreneurial mindset is evidenced by the fact that almost half of this year’s New Designers, 42%, see themselves setting up their own creative businesses in five years time. The figures also represent the choice that many makers and innovators face when entering the job market – whether to set out as self-employed or to apply their skills to a role in the industry. A quarter of graduates, 25%, hope to be employed by a major brand or agency within five years, whilst almost another quarter, 21%, see themselves working for a small studio. Only 12% see themselves freelancing.

Salary expectations are realistic – over half of this year’s design graduates, 57%, believe that they will still be earning under the national average wage of $45,000 (£26,500) after five years of graduating. An optimistic 9% see themselves earning over $60,000 (£40,000) within this time.

*Total polled = 256 responses from 1000 surveyed by email using Google Forms

Information Provided By: www.newdesigners.com

 

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Posted in Business, Design, Job Preparation, Jobs

When Does a Business Need to Invest in a New Website?

Many clients may wonder and ask the question, “When do I need a new website?” A few quick answers, when your…

…copyright is last decade (“2009”)
…website search traffic is not going up, but down, down, down…
…website keeps having errors or downtime.
…competition’s website looks way cooler.

A business may hope for 10 years (or forever), but typically the lifespan of website technology is 3 – 5 years. Not only will a new look help refresh a business image, but the technology changes quickly. We have reached CSS3 and HTML5, while not every browser is up-to-date yet, it’s on the way. The latest coding will provide a faster working website. Speed and user-friendliness are just as important as the look and feel.

The web is also not restricted to desktops anymore, in the not so far off future Mobile Web Browsing (which includes smart phones and tablets.) will match, if not exceed the amount of traffic to a website on a desktop. It has even become a new standard and recommendation by Google that can affect your search rankings.

So the main sign it’s time to update a business website is to make sure mobile and tablets browsers experience optimal viewing.

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Posted in All

2014 List of Top 5 Free Online Web Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tools

Every good web designer and developer has a toolkit of online sites that are their go-to for website optimization. There are hundreds out there on the Internet. Here are my picks for free online website tools that will help to make your life easier. Tools I use on a regular basis.

Google Analytic - Website Statistics Tool
This is an obvious one, but let’s be honest, Google Analytics is the standard in website traffic tools. Everyone uses it, it’s constantly evolving. You can look at others for reference, but nothing really competes. My favorite functions are creating custom dashboards, visitor’s flow and in-page analytics (the last one doesn’t always load.)

WooRank - SEO Analysis Tool
This is a great SEO, Social Media, Mobile and Conversions testing tool. Get a free report on what you need to do for improving your website. Generate a nicely designed report for you clients.

SpyFu - Competitor Analysis Tool
Is a sneaky way to get an idea on how much the competition is spending on online advertising. So when you’re client complains that the competition appears higher them on Adwords, here is a tool to show them it’s because they are spending hundreds more.

XML Sitemap Generator - Sitemap Tool
Every website needs a site map to be optimized and indexed with Google and Bing. This is a very easy, free tool that will automatically generate an XML site map and provide multiple file options for download. There is a paid software tool you can download if you work on a lot of websites.

ClickTale – Heat Mapping ToolI have posted about this site before and it’s good to mention again because there are not a lot of heat mapping tools out there and this one gives you a free sampling. It provides more insight than the In-Page Analytic tool offered by Google.  Seeing where users move there mouse and hover can be pretty eye opening.

What is your favorite tool?

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Posted in Marketing, Web Design

Stop Bad Logo Usage! The Clean Logo Initiative

This is a public service message to all business owners and graphic designers. If you place your company logo on a colored background or image, DO NOT leave a white box or rough white edge surrounding your logo. Clean it up! Use a transparent background. Please, we beg of you,  you are causing eye sores, it’s painful. If you know someone who suffers from sloppy logo usage, forward them this picture. Help save a logo.

 

Example of Bag Logo Practices

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Posted in Design

Upcoming Event: Insider Insights from an Expert Online Marketer

Editor of YDG, Rebecca Adolf will be speaking at

Inaugural Digital Megaphone Social Media & PR Measurement Summit

Program Description

Learn tips and tricks from seasoned online marketer, Rebecca Adolf as she walks through live case studies demonstrating how to analyze a brand’s social media presence and website interface.  The analysis will include how to discover weaknesses and potential areas to maximize.

This session will include the latest tactics for making sure traffic driven to your website from social media converts to leads. Tools such as heat maps, A/B testing and Custom Google Analytic Dashboards, demonstrated using real life client examples.

You’ll walk away with a better understand of online tools and reports that can help give greater insight into your brand’s online presence and target audience to create qualified leads and how to use your expertise and knowledge to find unique opportunities by looking at your brand from a different perspective.

You’ll also learn how to maximize a website’s effectiveness across multiple desktop and mobile platforms.

Friday, November 15th
9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Microsoft Innovation Center, Chicago, IL

Register Online

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Posted in Business, Expert Advice, Marketing, Networking