Sometimes it is important to stop for a moment and just think about how far technology has progressed. And I’m not talking about in the last 100 years, 50 years, or even 20 years (although they are pretty impressive). No, I’m talking about in the last five years.
In the last five years the opportunities for a web designer have changed the role beyond all recognition. And it’s all thanks to the advent and normalisation of mobile technology.
Nowadays, there are as many designers working on apps and other mobile programs as there are regular computers. And the nature of what they are creating is much changed too. Nowadays, simple retro tools, sites, services, and games are as popular as the cutting edge ones. This has altered the nature of the work.
But the advent of mobile technology has also changed the lifestyle of designers too. No longer are they chained to their desks and manacled to their desktops. Nowadays most jobs can be done on the move, with either a tablet or one of the latest generations in lightweight Ultrabooks.
Designers have joined the ranks of the remote workers.
Because there is nothing to stop a designer working on the go. With the right device and a reliable internet connection, most projects can be completed from anywhere in the world. Shared offices are an asset to some, but there are also plenty of designers working out of coffee shops, libraries, and, dare I say it, pubs.
And why not. Why tie yourself down to a dingy office and a depressing commute, when you can do the same job and see the world at the same time.
Of course, there are a few things you have to consider if you want to be a designer on the go. A few sensible practical precautions that everyone should think about before e-marking on a career on the road.
As someone who has worked remotely in this field for the best part of a decade, I know the kind of mistakes many people make; hell, I’ve made most of them myself.
So I have compiled my top 4 practical tips for the traveling web designer.
- Encrypted Cloud Storage
It sounds like a no-brainer perhaps, but you will be surprised how many people still reply on a USB drive or even just store stuff on their device directly. No! No matter where you are in the world, if you are on the go, there is a greater chance of your computer being lost, stolen, or damaged. Why take the risk of losing your work too?
Put your data safely in the cloud, but not just anywhere. Make sure you use an encrypted service too, to ensure any confidential data is not likely to be open to prying eyes.
My pick is Tresorit, but there are plenty of others out there too. Have a look around and find the right one for you.
- Waterproof Laptop Case
It sounds silly perhaps, but you would be amazed how often my waterproof case has averted disaster while I have been on the road. Whether it is protect from spilled cups of coffee and pints of beer, dropping my bag in a stream while hiking, or being caught in some serious rainstorms, my laptop has emerged intact every time.
I dread to think of the amount of money it would have cost me not to have one. There are plenty on the market so have a look around. For what it’s worth my one is an Aqua Quest Storm 15.
- A VPN:
For anyone working on the go, a VPN should be the first bit of kit they invest in. They reroute all your online activity down an encrypted pathway meaning that everything you do online is secure. Even if you are using a Public Wi-Fi network, you can do so with confidence if you have a VPN running.
They also change your IP Address which allows you to work completely anonymously online; another string to your privacy bow.But there’s more. Not only does a VPN protect your privacy and enhance your online security, but also it gives you access to services otherwise restricted from accessing from within the different countries you may visit. This means you can still get into all the news sites, tech sites, and of course streaming sites, which might otherwise be unavailable overseas.
- Password Manager
Last but by no means least, get yourself a password manager. Passwords are notoriously vulnerable and almost none of us actually use passwords which are really up to the task.But with a Password Manager you can, without having to worry about remembering them. A Password Manager will create secure passwords and do the remembering for you. It will even autofill them for you.
All you have to remember is a single master password; but do make sure this is a secure one as well! My preferred Password Manager is LastPass, but there are lots of other good ones around too.