Your job title?
What are your main tasks / responsibilities as an web designer?
I design and build websites for clients, mainly using the WordPress content management system. I also help clients structure their content and provide training so they can maintain and update their sites once they launch. I often also develop branding, assist with photo shoots and help brainstorm ideas for content.
How do you use mathematics within your job?
While creating layouts I consider concepts such as the golden ratio in how the page is structured and the fibonacci sequence for the relationship between different text sizes. Scale, symmetry and pattern are also mathematical ideas which designers use all the time. Almost all sites will be based on a flexible grid system, perhaps a 12 column grid which can be divided in 4, 3, 2 columns or other combinations depending on how the content is to be presented. Further reading on grids systems: http://www.markboulton.co.uk/
While developing responsive sites I use math as part of the code to control how the website is displayed based on the size of the screen it is viewed on.
What type of mathematics do you use to solve problems?
I use arithmetic, geometry, ratios and percentages on a daily basis.
What aspects of the mathematics curriculum or mathematics courses have proven most useful to you?
Leaving Cert maths along with the detailed study we made of grid systems as part of my degree.
What is your education to date?
I have an ordinary degree in Visual Communication and an Honors Degree in Interactive Media from Dun Laoghaire College of Art and Design. I am also a CIW certified Web Designer.
What advice would you give to someone considering your job?
Web design and development is evolving all the time so it’s important to be curious, good at problem solving and to keep on top of new developments within the industry. A good grounding in fundamental design concepts is vital also in order to create accessible and appealing sites.
What do you find most interesting in your job and what do you find are the main challenges?
I like that web design and development is a combination of creative and technical work. I enjoy the project-based nature of my work and the variety in terms of clients and website subject matter. The web is constantly evolving which is both interesting and challenging – it’s important to keep up to date with trends techniques and technologies. As I am self-employed balancing client work with business admin can be a challenge also.