WPDFD Issue #60 - March 01, 2003

Web Design as a Career

I get a lot of mail from people who say they would like to make a career in Web design and want to know the best way to go about it. Unfortunately, the question is usually along the lines of "How can I get a job as a Web designer?" Where the concept of 'Web design' is fairly easy to define, the term 'Web designer' is a little more nebulous. This month, I'm going to look at some of the many areas encompassed by the general term 'Web designer' just to show how diverse it actually is.

Although I use a Mac most of the time, there's one thing that really annoys me - Apple's insistence in providing only a single-button mouse. Even though Mac OSes have supported contextual menus for many years, you have to use two hands to access them – one for the mouse button and one for the Control key. To me, this is just plain daft and Apple's refusal to acknowledge that Microsoft has got something right.

There is a raging debate in Web design circles about the relative merits of specifying font sizes in pixels or ems. Using pixels locks the size of type in sync with physical pixels on the device displaying it where using ems sets the type sizes relative to those set up in the reader's browser preferences. As long as the pixels are about the same size from one display device to another, using pixels gives fairly predictable results.