A web designer, pretty simple isn’t it? I know what you’re thinking – it’s someone that designs websites right? Wrong!
For years I’ve considered myself to be a web designer based on that exact thinking, but perhaps that’s because I’ve worked in this industry for a number of years. I’ve lost count of the amount of web design projects I’ve been offered that aren’t anything to do with web design and are actually web development projects.
I design websites, I code a little html/css and I tinker with a few off the shelf CMS’s – but what I don’t do is any form of programming. It doesn’t excite me, I don’t enjoy it and I doubt I ever will. I’m a visual person, I respond to the way things work and the way they look. I am of the opinion that you’re either one or the other, a designer or a developer. Great designers don’t tend to make great developers and vice versa. There are of course exceptions but these tend to be few and far between. There are many aspects and roles in the development of a website and design is just one of them.
What’s the answer?
So, back to the original point. What the hell is a web designer anyway? Well that would entirely depend upon who you ask. Ask a designer, they’ll tell you it’s a designer. Ask a developer, they’ll tell you it’s a developer. Ask a client and they’ll tell you it’s the person that does the whole thing from start to finish.
I’ve attended conferences in the past that were aimed at web designers and mostly revolved around code and coding – I felt like I’d totally misunderstood the terminology. Maybe it’s me and my old school ways. I’m old enough to remember when Internet Explorer was the best browser (if you’re under 28 you may not even believe there ever was such a time), maybe I need to update my thinking. Somehow though, that word designer in there always makes me think I’m right.
As always, I’d be interested to hear other peoples takes on this – your comments are welcome!