Web design is a passion of mine as well as a job. It nicely combines a range of different skills which are all of interest to me - visual design and layout, coding and programming, commisioning and selection of photographs, user interface design, and writing.
I started to learn web design in 1994 while working with James Thin, but it was a very different web to nowadays. Graphics had not that long begun to appear on sites and they were very basic. Site backgrounds were grey and text was Times Roman. Standards were developing fast along with the browser wars between Netscape, who were the dominant force, and Microsoft, who had only belatedly realised that the internet might turn out to be important. As they developed so did I, learning HTML and finding out what aspects of desktop publishing were and weren't appropriate to web design. Modems were very slow - I remember buying a US Robotics Sportster and being thrilled at its 14.4 k top speed - so you had to keep images to a pretty small size unless you thought visitors would wait minutes for a page to load.
Over the years the web became more visual and I started using Dreamweaver to speed up visual design instead of hand-coding in a basic editor and visualising the result - that was getting harder as nested tables made the code more complicated. The James Thin site grew to around 600 pages and keeping the content up to date was a major task even though I was now helped by having the lovely Pauline as an assistant.
By the time Thins went down and I was cast off into the outside world the web had really changed and CSS was beginning to become a viable method of design. While working with Bigmouthmedia I set to learning this method as thoroughly as I could and built a number of new sites in my spare time as well as the ones for work.
A period of unemployment gave me more time to devote to it and when John Hughes offered me a job with Indicium Web Design I was ready to use full CSS commercially and to learn PHP programming to go along with it.
I had been planning to start my own business if nothing else had come along and I created the SpiderWriting Web Design website for it. This later became my full-time freelance work and I've run it together with my SEO work as an integrated internet consultancy for over 10 years now.
My most recent design was for Lucinda Ellery's US hair studios.