The Four Jobs in Web Design

April 02, 2018

Being such a new industry, web design job titles are endless and all of them feel completely made up. Job titles do hint at specialization, which is nice, but to me there are really only four jobs:

  1. People who make websites
  2. People who write about making websites
  3. People who talk about making websites
  4. People who pay people to make websites

One is not better than another. Or you may do more than one. I actually find myself operating across the spectrum in any given week (coding, blogging, podcasting/conftalks, managing). Coding tends to be very hands-on, salt-of-the-earth making websites stuff. Code Architecture, Design Systems, and UI Design are also a huge part of “making” process but also have the ability to be more theoretical, moving the needle between “writing” or “talking”. Coding too can shift towards theoretical.

One is not better than another. All are necessary. But I will say this. For me, I’ve noticed that if I stop doing #1 for an extended amount of time, I feel myself drifting away from the technology. I start to lose that pratical gut-instinct knowledge of what’s good, how long things take, what’s possible in a short timeframe, etc.

It’s for that reason I try to abide in the Shop Talk “Just Build Websites” mantra and make sure I’m still making websites. Stay connected. Keep riding that wave I discovered when I was fifteen.