Designing in Milwaukee

May 27th, 2009

So, even though I’ve really only been designing/developing for about a year I’m already starting to wonder how this career in Milwaukee compares to the same career in other cities. I already know how the weather here compares, sigh.

One big problem I notice is that Chicago is so close and man are there some real powerhouses of design and development there. This really only matters for medium to large projects as most small projects stay local anyway, but I often wonder how Milwaukee web design firms do any business considering that Chicago based companies usually even come before Milwaukee companies in searches with words like web design, Milwaukee, southeast Wisconsin, etc.

One great thing I see in Milwaukee is that it is a relatively artsy city. UWM has an extraordinarily high number of art and graphic design students, and just on the other side of downtown is the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. MSOE and MATC both teach tons of courses in programming and design fundamentals, so this city has more than enough resources and talent to train an army of web designers/developers.

Milwaukee seems to have a ton of small business owners which is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand there are tons of people who need websites for their businesses, but on the other hand, most small business owners seem to be incredibly busy and have little income to throw towards a web project.

All in all, I suppose Milwaukee is a fair city in which to be a web designer/developer, though I may just be seeing greener grass other places.