William Leeks

William Leeks

Designer & Developer Joined about 7 years ago

  • 1 story
  • 24 comments
  • 0 upvotes
  • Posted to Quit job and start freelancing ?, Dec 08, 2016

    This is quite a big question, and plenty has been written about it elsewhere. As someone who freelances full time, I'll do my best to give some quick, digestible help:

    • The daily life of a freelancer is quite different to an employee. The ‘freedom’ must come with discipline – do you want that change or might you be better suited by a new job?
    • Do you have some savings in case of tough weeks or months? I'd strongly recommend it.
    • As above, do you enjoy a relatively expensive lifestyle? Or have dependants? These things are very possible as a freelancer, but harder to pay for when starting out! That's speaking as someone who has a family, pays rent, etc, etc.
    • Do you have any freelance clients or projects lined up? There is nothing to stop you lining these up or even doing some on the side before going full time (better check your current contract first, just in case).

    Hope that helps!

    3 points
  • Posted to Who is still designing desktop first?, Nov 30, 2016

    I would definitely second a lot of the comments here about designing for your user base, etc.

    However, one thing I think important to add is that, in my mind, ‘mobile first’ is less about your visual starting point and more about keeping performance in mind when developing. E.g. starting with lightweight CSS and adding min-width breakpoints, that sort of thing.

    0 points
  • Posted to What is a good workflow for working with a macbook plus a desktop mac ?, Nov 10, 2015

    I mainly work from an iMac, but occasionally need to sync up some files to work somewhere else on my MBA. I have found BitTorrent Sync to be a pretty fast and handy tool to just keep selected folders in sync over two machines.

    1 point
  • Posted to Show DN: The Code Kit — Web Design & Development Resources, Apr 21, 2015

    This is a great collection, thanks for sharing. It would be cool to see a UX/testing section with some tools for gathering users, running tests, A/B testing, heat maps, all that jazz.

    0 points
  • Posted to Undo, in reply to Leon K , Feb 19, 2015

    Whilst that GitHub feature is sensible, I think the issue here is that sometimes you think you want to do something but the results aren't what you anticipated.

    Consider Sacha's Sidebar example in the article – this wouldn't be solved by making droplets harder to delete. Sometimes you only realise an action is a mistake once you've seen the consequences.

    0 points
  • Posted to Ask DN: What are your favorite podcasts?, Feb 11, 2015

    I listen to mix of music and podcasts depending on the task at hand. Here are some of my favourites:

    • Giant Bombcast • Idle Thumbs • Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo's Film Review • 8-4 Play • The Nerdist • Obligatory This American Life / Radiolab

    0 points
  • Posted to ASK DN: What Makes a Great Client?, Feb 10, 2015

    I think one thing to consider here is that, sometimes, ‘people who don't understand design’ and ‘people who are difficult to work with’ get unfairly grouped together.

    In the case of the former, if a client is frustrating because they, for example, send image assets embedded in a Word document – yes, that's a problem but it isn't (necessarily) their job to know about hi-res images and a designer’s workflow. A bit of friendly instruction and this problem should disappear. That, to me, isn't a bad client.

    In that sense, being friendly and enthusiastic goes a lot further than having the perfect understanding of the project from the start.

    0 points
  • Posted to A collection of useful .htaccess snippets, Feb 10, 2015

    This is really useful collection, thank you!

    1 point
  • Posted to Ask DN: What would you do in this situation?, Dec 08, 2014

    You have a lot on your side in terms of time and money. I suppose it really depends whether what you want is a life of freelancing, or to invest your time and money exclusively into a product of your own design?

    If the answer is the latter, then ultimately it's going to carry a lot of risk. If your product needs to eventually serve as your income, then there is a lot more pressure on it than the average side project. I can't offer much advice about that route.

    If you're just looking for the flexibility of freelance life, the issue is really about timing. As someone who has been freelancing for about a year, I'd offer the following:

    • It's good to start freelancing with some money behind you. However, this needs to be for the odd dry month rather than a way to fund a lifestyle. Obviously that money could help you travel, attend events, etc. but the bottom line is that if you can't operate without it then your freelancing isn't really sustainable. • Putting pressure on yourself by diving straight in is useful – I had a period where I freelanced without the pressure of rent, bills, etc. and it wasn't until we moved and I had to support my family without any safety net that I reached my current level of motivation and productivity. • That said, having some projects and contacts when you start is very useful. Getting the ball rolling from a position of employment will certainly take some of the initial pressure off and avoid the day one, blank screen, ‘Okay, what do I do now?’ scenario.

    Hopefully that helps a bit! Good luck :)

    0 points
  • Posted to The Ugly Truth, Nov 27, 2014

    I don't think it's the bad design that's ‘working’ – as people have pointed out it's the price, the community, etc.

    Correlation is not the same as causality.

    2 points
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