Monday, 2 April 2012

Year 3 Business Plan

In this business plan I will reflect on the two areas I have targeted, present the purposes of my negotiating learning tasks and the expected outcomes in relation to year three. In addition I will evaluate my skills and weaknesses.
Thanks to my case study “Freelancing vs Employment” I have a better insight of the website design industry in which I would like to specialise. My study helped me to gain experience, to see what the future of this industry is and I believe it prepared me for the negotiating tasks. Now that I know how things work, I will be able to implement my knowledge into practice.
As my first task I am going to design and build a website for DT Sound, plus I am going to design their branding and be in charge of the promoting.
For my second task I am planning to help a freelance web designer.

During my third year I am intending to make more use of the skills I already possess. Moreover I would like to develop them and learn new ones if needed.
According to my mentor, the process of learning never stops and you have to take every new opportunity to learn new things. Without personal development it is impossible to keep up with the industry.
I would also like to examine and analyse how it is like working on real projects with real clients, because I think every project teaches something new.
Boosting my self esteem, creating more material for my portfolio and asking for feedback on my work is my secondary goal for NLT.
During both projects I will prove that I am a customer-focused, multi-skilled person whose aim is to satisfy the client and to deliver an elaborated high quality product.
Due to the fact that I am an organised team player, I will be able to maintain composure and professionalism under pressure and to provide support for my boss and the client as well.
With the help of these two projects I am hoping to develop my Adobe, HTML, CSS skills and to learn about online marketing. I would also like to develop my ability to analyse the designs from the target audience’s point of view and to enhance my project management skills. As another learning outcome I would like to prove I am able to work out and imlpement new strategies if I encounter a difficulty.
In order to show what I have learnt I will submit two process riports in which I am going to describe the processes I have made, what I have done, how I interpreted the briefs, about what inspired my work, what softwares I used and learnt to use.

Interests and learning objectives
In Year 3 my aim is to specialise in web design. In order to do so and gain experience I am going to work on a project as a freelancer myself. Afterwards to practice my newly learnt skills I am going to assist a freelancer.

My desired learning objectives over the two tasks are as follows…

Task 1: Website and promotion for DT Sound

·        My primary learning objective is to practice and enhance my Adobe (Photoshop Dreamweaver), HTML and CSS skills.
·        Furthermore I would like to learn about marketing and promoting, because I think it might be useful for me to know about it if I decide to work with an agency.
·        I would like to examine and analyse how it is like working on a real project, because I am going to use this experience in my second task.
·        I believe this project is going to help me to develop my critical analysis.
·        The feedback what I will get from the client is hopefully going to be positive and it will boost my confidence.
·        Finally, the end product will be a good “live” material for my portfolio.

Task 2: Assisting Robert Nagy

·        My main goal in this task is to practice all that all learnt (technical and other experiences) in my first task.
·        In addition I would like to learn about SEO.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization/ Optimizer) is the process of increasing the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (SERP). The higher a website ranks in the results of a search, the greater the chance that that site will be visited by a user. It is common practice for Internet users to not click through pages and pages of search results, so where a site ranks in a search is essential for directing more traffic toward the site. SEO helps to ensure that a site is accessible to a search engine and improves the chances that the site will be found by the search engine. (

SEO seems to be the combination of tactics and strategies, including optimization of information architecture, usability, content focus, audience targeting, design, development, keyword research, keyword placement, link building, social media marketing and any other online or offline branding/marketing elements that support the goal.
Someone on this forum described it as the art and science of raising a web page’s natural search engine rankings. SEO is broken into two distinct buckets: on page factors and off page factors. On page factors including such items as: a website’s crawl-ability, internal linking set up, keyword selection and placement, meta tags, etc. Off page factors being building link popularity (inbound links) into your website.
A man called Aaron Wall referred to Abraham Lincoln who once said “With public sentiment, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed.”  Aaron says that is where profitable sustainable SEO is headed.

·        I believe by helping Robert I will improve my project management skills, because I might have the chance to work on more projects simultaneously. By doing them I will learn how to tackle those projects. As another learning outcome I would like to prove that I am reliable and I can work out new strategies/ designs if needed. Furthermore I would like to improve my time management skills, to be able to deliver the product on time.
·        I am hoping that I will learn new technologies or tricks which will speed up my working.
·        My secondary objective is to add the designs I will do to my portfolio.

Preferred area of digital media
The main area of digital media I will be working is web design, front-end web development and SEO.
If we look at the job market we can notice that the requirement towards a web designer/developer combination of skills in increasing
Years ago these roles were carried out by two different professionals. It is hard to say why this is so. It could be that companies wish to reduce their outgoings, it is hard to tell.

According to the industry requires employees with a broad range of cross-disciplinary skills. “Firms want a combination of specialist skills drawn from at least two of the design, technical, content and business disciplines, and also a range of more general work-life skills.”
The designer is the one who creates the 'look and feel' of the product. He/ she produces visuals, using software such as Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. The designers must prepare designs in a way that allows them to be easily implemented by developers. The design work must be appropriate for their intended purpose and visuals must be provided in the right format and at the correct size and resolution.
For me it is essential to be able to combine creativity with an awareness of the tools and technologies that are available. As I mentioned before the designer’s role sometimes overlaps with that of the Developer, that is why there are now so called front-end developers.
Skillset. org states designers need creativity and artistic flair but also a certain amount of technical understanding. They need to understand usability issues, the principles of interaction design, and any user–interface conventions and standards that are relevant to the product. Awareness of the technical process used to implement their designs is also important.
A good designer must have a good design talent, a good drawing and diagramming ability. They also need to have knowledge of relevant design, image manipulation, and asset optimisation software. The ability to manage time, prioritise tasks and work under pressure is also essential in today’s world.

Task 1:
I chose to do the DT Sound website as my first project because first I wanted to gain experience and learn more. Feri Sanjar promised to aid me as a mentor; he will be looking at my work, giving me advice and feedback. I am going to ask a sound engineer to help me in the technical details, to make sure everything is correct.
DT Sound is a unique business. They sell hand made high end loudspeakers. The speakers are designed for the clients’ space, according to their requirements.  DT Sound is unique, because they are the only ones who match these speakers to the clients’ existing furniture. While other companies sell well designed high-class but standardised products, DT Sound offers uniquely shaped loudspeakers.
I think it is a good idea that they want to expand their Hungarian and German market and want to break into the UK one.

Task 2:
Although this project will give me a lot of benefits, new experience and knowledge, I feel I don’t have enough confidence to work for an agency. I chose to do work placement in a smaller firm, because despite the fact I want to specialise in web design I haven’t decided exactly where or on what I would like to work.
After finishing this course, I would rather work on a corporate website and learn new skills which are outside of the web design field.
Tom Lawton said, we should take every opportunity, go work for several companies, gain experience, and take part on different courses. I agree with him. The more multi-skilled one is the most he/she can benefit from it.
My age and being a student could be another issue when looking for work placement. I chose to assist Robert Nagy, because I think working for him is better than to don’t do a work placement at all; also I am not as confident in my skills. After finishing my second task, I hope I will have more confidence to be able to tackle other projects, for other clients.

I am a customer-focused, multi-skilled person whose target is to meet the clients’ needs and to deliver a high quality product.

I am a well organised team player, I am good at planning tasks and methodising them and the information, material.

I have advanced skills in Adobe Photoshop CS5, Adobe Illustrator CS5, Adobe Flash CS5, Dreamweaver CS5, Adobe InDesign CS5, Microsoft SharePoint and Cast

My key strengths include a flexible attitude. If I am very passionate about the work I do, I am committed to working until the job is finished.

I have a good eye for details and am precise, I always check the information I am working with and I always make sure there is no mistake.

I tend to be consequent and perfectionist, sometimes I go over the work I have done again and again to check everything matches.

I believe I am a creative problem solver. I always plan ahead and think of a substitute plan in case something goes wrong.

I am a quick learner. When I started my work at the hospital I had no knowledge of SharePoint, but now I am confident using it.

I have a friendly, helpful, cooperative manner towards people, which is useful when handling staff and clients.

I speak four languages (English, German, Hungarian and Romanian) and am happy to learn new ones if needed. I think I could use this if I decide to work for an international company.

What is the need?
I was asked to design and develop a new English website for DT Sound. Furthermore I have to design the branding and be in charge of the promoting.

What areas do I need to take into consideration with this brief?
Audience: I have to research the target audience, what would be their preferences. DT Sound sells high-end loudspeakers which are quite expensive, so the target audience is the rich people.

Is there a budget? No, I am designing and developing the website and creating a Facebook account. If client wants something more, he has to pay the cost.

  • Ask for details of products
  • Ask for a description of what the company is doing
  • Create a pdf about the technical details, how the speakers are made
  • Ask for good quality images of speakers
  • Ask for the names of the people involved in the business, their photos, contact details
  • Ask someone to be my mentor
  • Contact a sound engineer to help with the technical details

How am I going to communicate with the client?
I am going to email him regularly and constantly ask for his feedback.

Task 2:
What is the need?
I am going to assist a freelancer to design websites and help him in the SEO or learn about it.

What areas do I need to take into consideration with this brief?
Robert Nagy works on a lot of projects, for varied companies.

Robert Nagy is going to be in charge of the budgeting, but if you are working on a project that is being paid, you have more opportunities and tools available.

The content will be given to my boss, he will pass it on to me.

How am I going to communicate with the client?
I am going to email him regularly and constantly ask for his feedback.

Case study
For my critical skills case study I did a research on freelancing and being employed.
The primary resource for my study was the internet: freelancer’s website, online magazines and blogs. The secondary resource included the interviews with two professionals.
These months of research were very useful; I got invaluable knowledge about this area of industry.
My case study “Freelancing vs Employment” helped me to understand the website design industry in which I would like to specialise. The outcome of my research was that by it I gained experience, I now understand what the future of this industry is and I believe it prepared me for these tasks.
I found out that before someone starts freelancing, one should first go and work for a firm.
The benefit of this is that working for an agency helps to gain experience. It teaches you what it means to be a professional designer, how to price a job and about budgeting. You get the chance to learn the disciplines of working, how to work in a team, to deliver on time and also it is good for ones CV.
Thanks to my case study I comprehend how things work and I believe I will manage to implement my knowledge into practice.

·        Advanced skills in Adobe Photoshop CS5, Adobe Illustrator CS5, Adobe Flash CS5, Dreamweaver CS5, Adobe InDesign CS5
·        Flexible attitude and commitment to working until job is finished
·        Good eye for details

·        Precise, consequent

·        Creative problem solving and quick learning ability

·        Friendly, helpful, cooperative manner

·        While designing the visuals I will practice my Adobe skills and learn more of HTML and CSS
·        I might have to work on more projects simultaneously
·        I might have to learn new softwares or tools in order to create a visually appealing design
·        If the client doesn’t like my design I might have to change strategy

Weaknesses and threats
·        Little experience in HTML and CSS
·        The client won’t provide enough content and information
·        The client will be vague when asking for feedback
·        The client decides to change the brief
·        The client won’t be satisfied with the end product
·        The client changes the dead line

To combat threats

·        Ask a professional to be my mentor and help me develop my skills
·        Keep asking for content until it is sent
·        Keep asking client until he gives a full response
·        Design more versions or try to change the designs so that it meets the new expectations
·        Keep asking for the client’s feedback during the design process and don’t start developing it until he/she is completely satisfied
·        Work over hours if needed until job is done

Required resources
The most important tools I will require are online tutorials and books.
Furthermore in my first project I am going to ask Feri Sanjar to be my mentor and teach me, give me advice and feedback.
On my second project Robert Nagy is going to guide and aid me.
Because I will have more free time I thought about subscribing on It is a website containing training videos, the monthly cost for subscribing is $25.
In my first project I am going to work from home, so I won’t have a travelling cost. In my second task I might need to travel to Southampton, but I will travel by our car.

The specific timelines of the two tasks:

Task 1
Key moments
Next step
Summer 2011
Client approached me.
I received the (oral) brief.
Ask for content.
It was difficult getting it.
Autumn 2011
I did a research on the target audience.
I identified the colours I am going to use in my designs.
Ask for content.

December 2011
Client emailed some information.
Draw a map of the website and evaluated what is missing.
Ask for good quality photos, contact info and technical details.

January 2012
I made some designs.
I found out I need help in the technical part.
Contact a sound engineer.

February 2012
I found someone who can help.
I showed him my designs.
I asked for his feedback.

31 March 2012
The sound engineer contacted me with his suggestions.
I evaluated the new information.
I have to redesign the site a little.

May 2012
I will start developing the site.
My mentor is going to help me and I will hopefully improve my skills.
Create a Facebook account and learn about marketing and promoting.

Summer 2012
Ask for client’s opinion.
I will find out if I have to change something.
Improve site if needed.

End of summer 2012
Deliver website and any additional things.
I will have more experience in Adobe products, HTML, CSS.

Task 2:

Key moments
Next step
25 March 2012
I contacted Robert Nagy.
I got a positive response; he said I can help him in August.
Check during summer if he changed his mind.

July 2012
Contact Robert again to see if he is still willing.
He will say yes.
Wait for project.

August 2012
I will get the project brief.
I will meet the client or learn about them.
Start designing.

References and bibliography

·        Shoemoney. Available at: (Accessed 31 March 2012)

·        Webopedia. Available at: (no date) (Accessed 31 March 2012)

·        Skillset. Available at: (no date) (Accessed 20 March 2012).

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