Niki CampbellWeb Developer, Boutique By Design
How did you get your start as a web developer?
I have a degree in Communication Studies and have been working in web development and design for over 15 years. Early in my career I worked on sites for both large corporate clients as well as independent business owners. I’ve done corporate agency work as well as large-scale educational portals.
How did you apply your craft working for smaller businesses in the field of web development?
After many years I took a departure from working digitally and decided to create my own retail boutique shop on Main Street in Vancouver, which I operated for 7 years. This gave me firsthand knowledge/understanding of the needs of the small business owner and the huge demands that are placed on them as they grow. During those retail years I continued to do freelance web work for my existing clients – and was able to apply all of those design and marketing skills towards my own business.
What are the biggest mistakes you see small businesses making when it comes to their websites?
You get a family member (or someone else you know who is not a pro) to make a website for you. You may not be getting the expertise, detailed knowledge, and most up-to-date information. Plus if you don’t like it or it’s not working the way you want it to, you feel uncomfortable to ask questions or be critical. But this is your business and your website.
What is so important about the role of web development to your brand story?
These days having a website is a MUST – but the question is how effective is your site, and what it is saying about you? What impression are people walking away with? What is the user experience? These are all critical when it comes to a website.
What makes you happiest when working with your clients?
I have so many clients that are paralyzed by the task of building a new website. I love to guide them through and understand it from the inside. I have trained people to manage their own websites where at the beginning they are almost in tears because it seems so confusing and they don’t even know where to start. I get them to just play with their website so that they become comfortable with the fact that they cannot break it, and then I see them transform within even an hour. Suddenly they realize that it is a wonderful communication tool and they feel free to just play and explore.
What are your words to live by?
Enjoy the moment. Keep on learning. Simplify. Do not let perfectionism paralyze your dreams. Live authentically and meet challenges with your best efforts.
What does life outside “the Nest” look like for you?
I spend a lot of time with my eight-year-old son Arlo, and partner Adam – living life, working on way too many projects, hiking, camping, lots of discussions and laughter. I like to learn new skills and crafts (even if I am terrible at them) and spend time with meaningful friends.