How Many Hats? A Designer - Developer discussion topic...

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by Photomax, Dec 12, 2007.

  1. Photomax macrumors regular

    Nov 26, 2007
    Here is a Designer - Developer discussion topic...

    One of the things I encounter and wrestle with lately is how many hats do I wear as a web designer?

    I have been a photographer for years but have moved into offering professional web design as a service.

    I create lean "Strict" XHTML and CSS brocure style sites. My emphasis is on clean structured Web Standards sites with custom graphics and photography. It has taken a considerable time investment in learning all this stuff.

    But things in this arena change quickly. More and more clients expect some kind of dynamic capability, CMS or 2.0 Apps. This means learning one or several CMS systems. You have to customize and set up all the Admin functions and install the modules. Want these systems to look unique? Then you have to create or adapt custom CSS "themes." This means getting your hands dirty with PHP. You had also better be comfortable with Photoshop and or Illustrator. Not going to even mention the word Flash.

    Then there are new technologies, frameworks, and developer tools like Ruby on Rails. All kinds of components like PHP, Net2, MySQL and server systems have to be figured out.

    Pretty soon you have morphed from an artistic designer into a computer geek. Obviously formal design studios have specialists that have individuals with separate talents and skill sets. But if you are a "one man band" designer then when is enough enough?

    Its not as simple as comparing the separate roles of web designer and web developer. These days there are lots of shades of gray between the two.

    So, how many hats?

  2. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    as a web designer, I just took photos of some buildings..
    as a web designer I just had to create a basic CMS...

    So I'm looking at 3 hats so far, Web design, code development, and photography..

    The problem is this makes me a jack of all trades, and a master at none:(
  3. angelwatt Moderator emeritus


    Aug 16, 2005
    I know the feeling. I'm good and knowledgeable about many things, but an expert at not so much.

    There's lots of hats laying before us and we can try to wear them all ourselves or find a partner to wear some of them. This area isn't the only field that comes with a closet full of hats though. Web design/development is just a hobby for me. My actual work is in research and design and rarely get to use my web skills for work purposes.

    Some of my more frequently worn hats (no particular order),
    • Psychology
    • Interface Designer
    • Web Designer
    • Web Developer
    • Writer
    • Researcher
    • Artist
    And those are just my weekly hats. Got one for each day of the week, ha ha. Acquiring more hats is good though, it makes you more desirable to employers. And personally, I enjoy learning new things, but can't keep up with my fields as much as I'd like. Web technologies and techniques are changing quickly and it's a hard decision as to what to make time for.

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