My name is Phil and I like to design websites

Contrary, to what the design of this website may suggest, I think I’m at the stage where I’m a pretty decent web designer but feeling as confident in my design abilities, as I do now is a relatively new thing.

So what’s changed

So why do I feel more like a designer now, than I did 2 years ago? One word: ‘experience’. The more experienced I’ve got by creating designs plus learning how to notice good design and imitate (and subsequently adapt) it successfully.

My first professional design

MEWAN homepage

During 2003-2004, I did a work placement as a web designer for Manchester City Council – and the above screenshot shows the design I came up with for a project called MEWAN.

At the time, I was very proud of this design – it took a long time and I needed a lot of mentoring to make sure it didn’t look awful but I though it was good. Looking back now, I can see that it isn’t too great. Regardless, of its appearance – it just didn’t do a good enough job of conveying the information it needed to.

A more recent design

New Teachers Abroad
The design above is from a (as yet unreleased) website called New Teachers Abroad.


Although, using a quite similar colour scheme (which I’ve only just noticed) to the MEWAN design, I feel this design not only looks better, but it does a better job of selling the content to a visitor.

Creating the design took a fraction of the time that my first design took, but the results are far more substantial.

Promoting myself as a ‘designer’

Recently, I met up with a client, for whom, I’ve just completed a (well-received) design. Showing them my portfolio, made me quite pleased to realise how far I’ve progressed since those early days. I’ve always been a little scared to promote myself as capable of producing a design as well as creating the HTML/CSS templates but now I feel much more confident in doing so.


To be a good designer, you don’t have to just create something that looks good – you have to get over the message you’re trying to convey. Personally, I think that a lot of web designers (and clients for that matter) neglect the last part and tend to concentrate on creating something that looks nice.

One response to “My name is Phil and I like to design websites”

  1. I made my first website when I was eleven years old, it was about Pokemon and consisted of a single page stuffed with about 50 animated gifs and blinking text. I was so proud of it. Now.. I don’t think I would be so much, haha.

    It took me about four years from age 15, a one year stint at university and a job as a junior web developer where I was seriously exploited (my salary was $20k AUD a year – about £10k..)for me to realise that I’m a considerably good designer. I think you get to a point when you just know that you’re good.

    Looking at your earlier piece and then at the more recent design, it’s very noticeable that you’ve come a long way.

    Well done!

    – Ashleigh