Behind the Walls of OnWired from an Interns Viewpoint; Week Two
This is the second of a four part series. If you missed the first one,here ya go.
August 8, 2008: The majority of this week was spent playing, on Photoshop of course. In the interview, Tony told me that I could spend some time during my internship just learning, and I happened to have never used Photoshop. (This is a big deal to a Web designer.)Sean started me off by giving me links to good beginner’s tutorials. I taught myself as much as I could and played around with it, only wishing to create masterpieces like Sean does. Sean was willing to let me watch him design a site with Photoshop while he explained what he was doing, giving me advice on some Photoshop do’s and don’ts. Until now, I did not even know you could create websites with Photoshop; I was still stuck in the HTML bubble. A law firm contacted OnWired with interest in a website design. Sean asked if I could find some well-designed law sites for a little creative inspiration. I found about 20 great sites, all with different styles. He told me that the list would be very helpful when he started designing their site. This made me feel useful; I always appreciate feedback and confirmation that I did something right.
This week I got to witness special characteristics of a start-up business. I learned that start-ups take out their own trash…and hang their own blinds and put together their own Ikea furniture. I have listened to their ideas about redesigning their website and business cards, and talks of planning a client appreciation party. I would have never experienced all of this at a large corporation; it is great to see the “underbelly” of a business.
I also had to readjust. If you couldn’t guess, I am living in a Mac world, and I was born and raised in the complete opposite land of PCs. I have used Macs in middle school, but I would still consider myself a foreigner. My recollections of computer navigation are being forced to drive on the left side of the road. I am getting used to it now, but sometimes when I get on the computer at home, I use commands that don’t work or look for the close button on the wrong side of the screen. To me, this is funny, but for others it may have been a not-so-fun rollercoaster ride.
My next task came from Tony. I had to create a competitive analysis for OnWired. Tony gave me a head start by telling me who he considered his competitors to be. I remembered a few of them by overhearing past conversations. To start the analysis, I first looked up common questions to ask yourself when you do an analysis, and then I created a table to fill out as I checked out the websites. Some of the things I looked for were the services they offer, their location, the appearance of their site, what kind of content they include, what kind of community benefits they have (blogs, newsletters, etc.), their pricing, what their portfolio looks like, and any interesting clients they have. I also discussed what I liked and disliked about each competitor’s site, as well as noted who the owners were—for Tony to familiarize himself with. After I thoroughly went through 12 competitors’ sites, I had a good idea about where OnWired stood in the mix.
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