Becoming a successful Web Designer

Portfolio of Audrey Blumeneau

Becoming a successful Web Designer

Kaili Zhuang, Times Staff


Audrey Blumeneau is a web design teacher who teaches web design at: San Jose City College, Cabrillo College (in Santa Cruz) and at UC Santa Cruz Extension.  When SJCC art instructor Audrey Blumeneau was a college student, she was a freelance web designer and worked with small companies because her school program required her to have real clients. Blumeneau received her bachelor’s degree from University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). She majored in Environmental Studies. Later, she studied Interactive Design at UCSC Extension and then got a Master’s Degree on Education with an emphasis in gender and technology.

How would you like freelancing?

Becoming a freelancer is really nice because it gives you freedom to work anytime in the day, sometimes it’s incredible because you will meet different clients and work on different topics. It’s freedom to work in anyplace and anytime but also create a lot of pressure on you to work with different topic and clients at the same time. I don’t like to market myself, being a freelancer is good but will be more stressful because I don’t know when I will get the next client. It is very unpredictable.

What made you decide to choose web design as your job?

Because of a class I took. I think my life was changing within 6 months. I was studying in environment major, but there was not a lot of jobs for it.  So, I changed my major to web design, and at that time it was called interactive design. I started learning and found that I liked it so much. My life changed because of the teacher in interactive design class, also. The teacher was so encouraging and patient.

Why don’t you do a full time job in a big company?

I was working in a big company, but the company was shut down, so I went back to teaching and to becoming a freelancer. At that time, it was too hard to get a full-time job because I was brand new, I didn’t have work experience and a big portfolio to get into a company. Companies are generally less willing to train new staff. They are more willing to hire a more experienced person.

What are the most important and difficult part of web designing?

Do things, understand HTML, CSS and user’s experience are the most important things for a web designer.

Is there anything you would like to share to help students who are going into this field?

If you like solving problems, being creative, working with technology, and if you are patient, then web design is work for you.

If you have another chance would you choose web design as your job again?

I don’t know because I always like to try new things. If I have another chance, I hope I have a job that I can travel and take photos or do art and help people because I always want people to have a better life, so maybe I would do teaching. But if you had asked me if I would like to be a teacher 20 years ago, I would laugh and say, “Teaching? No!”  Look, life has been changing us.