Web-Designer "Defined"

xrayspx's picture

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Why do companies constantly classify programmer/DBA/admins as "Web Designers"?

My wife is a web designer. What does that mean? She sits in Photoshop much of the day and creates layouts based on, in order:
Company-Wide template
Customer's Preference
Her Creativity

That's as far as I can tell, it always seems as if truly innovative designs get shot down, but that might be her prejudice, anyway...

I see entirely too many jobs posted around, at Monster and other places for "web designer", which include:


See a pattern? What these people want is like an application/engineer type position, and what they're posting is a design/creative position. That wastes everyone's time. The Super Duper Master .NET/SQL guy will skip it because it's an artistic position, and the artist will look into it and see a bunch of acronyms they don't understand. WTF. Is that an acronym people get?

Natalie is not, to the best of my knowledge, looking for a job, but I am, and I will pop in to see if a given Design job is totally interesting and see if it's something she could do on the side or whatever. 99% of the time it's a webmaster/programmer position that they've decided to "dress up" as a "designer" position.

And honestly, programmers and designers have very different, shall we say, "aesthetic tastes". Even the best programmers I've ever worked with are very rarely any good at making a website palatable to the average visitor or conveying a message through their placement of creative, etc. That takes an artists eye. I know of one exception to this general rule. Aside from that, any programmers reading this, you suck. Believe it. It's not just my opinion.

The corollary applies. I've never met a truly good designer/artist who has a mastery of the intricacies of programming and maintaining a decent site. They might think those swell roll-out menus are the shit, but in reality they're too fucking slow, and they take time away from me as I'm trying to figure out which over-priced diploma factory to send my kid to. Knock it off.

So if you're planning on hiring a web developer, and think you're going to get an All in One package for 1/3 the price, STOP IT, you won't. Stop wasting my time (as someone who is versed in Apache/IIS/Linux/Windows/Cisco, etc) by making me look harder for work, and stop making artists waste their time by clicking through only to see a requirements list that is, and this is cut and paste from a position advertised as "Web Designer":

• Candidate should have 3-5 years experience as producer -webmaster building and troubleshooting web sites in a corporate environment.
• Strong knowledge of the Microsoft suite of web based technologies, W2K, ASP, IIS, Commerce, SQL Server; Expert-level knowledge of PHP, Javascript, AJAX, and relational databases;
• Proven experience and knowledge of HTML coding, including authoring tools such as Adobe Illustrator, FrontPage and Dream weaver.
• Good understanding of browser compatibility issues.
• Strong graphical and web design and prototyping skills, able to convey site requirements visually.
• Bachelors in Computer Science or related field of study;
• Candidates should have a passion for web development

Show me an art-school Graphic Design grad that has "a passion for development" or a BACS and I'll show you a shitty painter with no concept of spatial relationships who couldn't "design" their way out of a wet paper bag with a shotgun.

Oh well, rant over I guess, since it applies to me like, zero, but it's a huge annoyance living with a "designer" and knowing that they hate this shit.

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