Pro Seattle Washington


Sparrow Web Design

Jerri Andreasen
Designer Stats
Rank: #522
Points Earned: 245
Member Level: Copper
Member Since: 2013
Seattle, WA 98133 USA

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Please tell us a bit about your background. How did you get started in design?

I got started in web design in 1996 when a creative friend of mine had an idea to create a website about Homeopathy, and needed someone to do the backend Perl coding for it. She asked me to join in, and since I had just quit a very unsatisfying job in Tech Support, I said sure!

I didn't know anything about Perl or developing for the web, but I had a background in programming, and had recently learned the fundamentals of C and Window programming, so how hard could it be?

We went on to create a (sadly now defunct) website called Homeopathy Online, which was quite innovative for its day. It actually won a few web awards for its design and effects.

From that one website, I would up getting a Web Designer position at Microsoft, where I worked for 3 years on their IT intranet site.

My daughter was born in 1999, so I took a few years off, and did a few other kinds of jobs. I finally came back to web design in 2008 when I started Sparrow Web Design with another designer friend. She left to run her own design company a couple years later (we still collaborate on projects), so I am now the sole owner of Sparrow Web Design.

How long have you been with your company?

My friend and I started Sparrow Web Design in 2008.

Are you self taught or did you attend school for your industry?

A little of both. I started off teaching myself Perl and HTML, then learned on the job at Microsoft. When I started with web design again in 2008, I took a couple quarters of web design & development classes at Seattle Central College to get myself up to speed. Since then, I've been continuing to learn every day.

What web browser do you use?

I usually use Firefox, but I also use Chrome, Internet Explorer and Opera.

What social media do you use for work and play? Do you have a favorite?

I spend way too much time on Facebook.

What is your favorite thing about the type of work you do?

So many things! I really love giving voice to small business people, and opening their businesses up to a wider customer base. I love the creation and construction of their websites, and figuring out how to make it all work.

What advice would you give to someone looking to get into the web design field?

Attend conferences and meetups. You'll learn more and find both mentors and new clients.

Who is your typical client at the moment and what types of projects are you working on?

My typical client is a small business person who either does not have a website yet, or has one that isn't reflective of them or their business. I do most of my work in WordPress right now. It's a great platform for a small business person to be able to easily add content and interact with their customers.

What advice would you give a client in order to prepare for a new project?

Think about what it is you want your website to do for you. What is the goal? Also, look around at websites from both your competitors and completely different businesses to get an idea of what you like and don't like. Communicate this to your designer along with links to sites. This can be really helpful in the design and development process.

What is the most common problem you deal with when working with new clients who do not have much experience with working with designers?

Clients not providing content (images, text) in a timely manner. Also clients wanting to do the designing for me and/or changing/adding requests as the project progresses.

Do you use a CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) or any type of project management or proposal software?

Not at the moment, but I'm looking into it.

Do you have a minimum budget for a new client?


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