Evolving Trends and Personal Growth: Spotlight on Amanda Hughes

Amanda Hughes has been a valued team member since 2013 and has recently reached a significant milestone—her tenth anniversary with immediac. To commemorate this special occasion, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Amanda to chat about her journey in the world of web design. From knowing nothing about web design to her current position as a skilled senior designer, Amanda's story is one of passion, growth, and commitment. Join us as we explore Amanda's decade-long adventure in shaping the digital landscape here at immediac.

The Early Days of Web Design

In the early 2010s, web design was still a relatively new and evolving career path. Back then, the digital landscape was very different from what it is today, with trends and technologies that are now considered nostalgic relics. Flash design, for instance, was all the rage, bringing dynamic animations and interactive experiences to websites. HTML and CSS were in their earlier versions, and the possibilities they offered were limited compared to the advanced capabilities and libraries we have access to today.

When we asked how Amanda developed an interest in web design, her first response was to laugh. “This probably isn't going to be the answer you want,” she said. After returning from a trip to England, her parents led her to the crossroads that many young adults encounter: start paying rent or pursue higher education. With her options laid before her, Amanda turned to her local community college's website in search of a new adventure.

Although she had no prior background in computers, Amanda stumbled upon a web design program that piqued her curiosity. Intrigued by the prospect of blending technology and aesthetics, she set off on this new journey with an open mind and a hint of uncertainty. Little did she know that this leap of faith would unveil a natural talent and a decade-long career.

Entering an Ever-Changing Industry

Amanda's rise in the web design industry aligned with a period of significant change and evolution . Throughout her ten years at immediac, she has witnessed firsthand the dynamic changes that have shaped the industry. When she first started out, web designs were relatively simple, and although we approach design with a mobile-first approach now, desktop compatibility was the primary focus at the time. 

However, as technology advanced and smartphones became an integral part of people's lives, the challenges faced by web designers started to become more complex. The demand for mobile-friendly and responsive designs skyrocketed, pushing Amanda and the rest of the team to adapt their skills to ensure seamless experiences across all devices. 

In addition to the technical aspects, Amanda also witnessed a shift in user expectations. Over the years, clients and their customers began caring more about the visual appeal, user experience and load times of websites. As a result, Amanda had to balance her artistic creativity with the need for optimal performance, ensuring that her designs not only capture attention but also deliver exceptional user experiences.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about a shift in the importance of online presence. As physical interactions diminished, businesses and individuals relied heavily on their digital footprints to connect with the world. Amanda's role as a web designer became even more critical, as she worked closely with clients to craft online experiences that truly reflected their brand identities and effectively conveyed their messages. 

The Design Process

When it comes to Amanda’s creative process, she admits that it's a fluid and instinctual approach. After finding her initial inspiration, it’s a matter of trial and error, putting together different pieces of the design and constantly asking herself what is most important to the client. 

Listening to the client's needs and understanding their brand and voice is crucial for Amanda to kickstart her design process. She often begins by establishing a colour scheme, as it plays a vital role in shaping the overall look and feel of the website. With the colour scheme as a foundation, Amanda envisions the website's appearance in her mind's eye. From there, she continuously communicates with the client, refining the design based on their feedback and preferences. It's a collaborative process of striking a balance between incorporating the client's desires and ensuring the design aligns with Amanda's artistic vision and modern web trends.

When seeking inspiration, Amanda finds modern and updated websites to be particularly inspiring. She loves exploring beautifully designed websites, drawing ideas and insights from their innovative approaches. Platforms like Pinterest and Dribbble serve as valuable resources for her, providing a curated collection of visually captivating designs that fuel her creativity.

What's next for Amanda?

Having mastered the front end of web development, Amanda Hughes now stands at the threshold of new possibilities and exciting opportunities. 

Looking ahead, Amanda is eager to expand her skills and knowledge in programming, with a particular focus on JavaScript. Recognized as the backbone of modern web development, JavaScript plays a pivotal role in creating dynamic and interactive experiences for users. By diving deeper into JavaScript, Amanda aims to unlock its full potential and harness its power to enhance her designs with innovative functionalities and seamless user interactions.

In her quest to further enrich her skill set, Amanda is also venturing into the realm of Three.js, a JavaScript library renowned for its ability to create captivating 3D graphics and animations on websites. Intrigued by the limitless possibilities offered by Three.js, Amanda is excited to explore its features and push the boundaries of traditional web design. 

With this newfound knowledge, she envisions infusing her designs with immersive three-dimensional elements, elevating the user experience to new heights and leaving a lasting impression. This is an exciting time to work alongside Amanda and we believe her journey serves as an inspiration to aspiring designers and professionals, reminding us of the boundless opportunities that await those who dare to pursue their dreams in the ever-evolving world of web design.