Web Industry Job Titles: Where Do You Fit In?

Posted in Freelance, Tips, Web Design • Posted on 11 Comments

With the continuous evolution of the Web, web industry job titles are created at a very impressive rate, opening up a lot of possible career opportunities for more people each day.

Speaking of careers, what do you call yourself? I mean, are you a web designer or a web developer? Or are you the kind of person who’s somehow stuck on both boats? I believe that learning your real job title will be tantamount to learning where you’re good at. In my previous article, I have explained that you should be an expert on something. And honestly, stamping your identity through a job title could be considered as the first step.

To begin with, I would like to make it clear that there are a lot of job titles on the Web. The confusion between such jobs is understandable because they do meet ways. So, how do we know which is which and where we fit in? Let’s take a look:

Web Designer

As the name suggests, a web designer’s main job is to design. Taking literally, this job focuses on the ‘look’ of the whole website. We can consider them as the architects of the Web. Web designers should be masters of the visual arts.

web-job-titles-01

What Web Designers Do:

  • They plan for the over-all look of the website, including considering the costs of actually developing it.
  •  They should be able to create a look and feel that catches the viewer’s attention to keep them glued to the screen.

What Skills Web Designers Should Have:

  • They should be competent in color scheming, graphic design and information flow.

There is an ongoing debate if web designers should learn how to code or not. This talk has been prevailing around web design and development forums for over a long time now. However, there is really no definite answer for that right now. 

In my opinion, they should learn how to code. It lessens the burden of hiring another person to write the code and consider the feasibility of the design. But then again, there’s no telling which is correct or not.

UI/UX Designer

UI designers are responsible for creating unforgettable user experiences. Using their keen observation of trends and eye for creative and totally neat designs, they make your browsing experience a once-in-a lifetime opportunity.

web-job-titles-02

What UI/UX Designers Do:

  • They collaborate with product managers and engineers to orient themselves in the themes of the design.
  • They execute the plans from conceptualization to actual development. This, of course, will include wire-frame creation, storyboarding, among other things, so to facilitate communication and interaction between the design and the user.

What Skills UI/UX Designers Should Have:

  • They should have broad experience in the design process (that includes manipulation of Photoshop, Illustrator and other products).
  • They need  skills to code (told you, learning the basic is important for fast prototyping).

Portfolios are important for the designers for this will show the designers’ design style and skills. If you are interested being a UI/UX designer, better get it started.

Art Director

Art directors or design directors take designing into an administrative level. They are supervisors of the workflow. They head a team of designers.

web-job-titles-03

What Art Directors Do:

  • They are responsible for coordinating with the client and supervising the design process.
  • They update the clients from time to time regarding the progress of the work.
  • They check the quality and uniformity of the design.

What Skills Art Directors Should Have:

  • They need to have an excellent taste of design.
  • They must have the ability to create designs in minimal supervision.
  • They must have an excellent grasp of the technologies used in designing.
  • They should have the skills needed to fully utilize the talents of the team and transform them into outstanding results.

Web Developer

If web designers are the white-collared architects of the Web industry, we have the developers as the ever-hardworking blue-collar builders. Web development can be considered the building industry of the web. Without web developers, the design will just remain in plans, or in the Web industry, PSDs/mock-ups. They use a lot of tools in producing an optimized and interactive website.

web-job-titles-04

What Web Developers Do:

  • They are responsible for the production, modification and maintenance of the website and its user interface.
  • They work with designers in making semantic mark-up languages like XHMTL/CSS, and turning their static PSDs to working browser pages.
  • They implement server-side codes to develop a complex and interactive website.

What Skills Web Developers Should Have:

  • They should be experienced in programming languages like PHP, ASP, Ruby, Phyton, HTML/CSS and more.

Web Content Strategist

Of course, the website won’t just purely be designs. It needs content and this is where web content strategists come into play.

web-job-titles-05

What Web Content Strategists Do:

  • These guys are responsible for planning, developing and managing information placed in the website.

What Skills Web Content Strategists Should Have:

  • Being in-charge of the content of the website, web content strategists should have great command of the English language.
  • They should have ample amount of knowledge in copywriting and audience experience.

Information Technician

Just because information technicians deal with hardware doesn’t mean that they can’t be considered having a web-related job. Truth is, without these guys, the web won’t probably run as smoothly as it does right now.

web-job-titles-06

What Information Technicians Do:

  • They are responsible for hardware and software maintenance.
  • Training, consultation and recommendation about future planning and development of resources are also part of the job description of the information technician.
  • They are the point person when it comes to ensuring that technology is accessible and equipped with the up-to-date hardware and software.
  • They are also called in to perform troubleshooting in hardware, software and networks.

In short, information technicians tend to the basic needs of the computers and networks per se.

Product Manager

I have mentioned the role of the art director. Well, art directors have bosses too, and they are called product managers.

web-job-titles-07

What Project Managers Do:

  • They ensure that every facet of the project is well-tended.
  • They deal with clients, art directors and lead developers and steers the whole project into the projected results.

What Skills Project Managers Should Have:

  • They should have great multi-tasking skills.
  • They know how to take charge.
  • They know how to communicate effectively with clients and the developers too.

Customer Service Representative

As every product or web service is not flawless, it is a must to have some people who are alerted if these flaws reach the customer. Smiling Telemarketer

What Customer Sales Representatives Do:

  • They make sure that each client meets what they want.
  • They help the client or tell the developers to solve problems met by the customers.
  • Their main job is to talk to people and help them solve problems from navigation to unruly website bugs.

What Skills Customer Sales Representatives Should Have:

  • They need to have a clear grasp of the product or service being offered.
  • They can easily make the regular customer understand what they are trying to ask that customer to do.

SEO Specialist

Search Engine Optimization specialists work with copywriters (sometimes, copywriters are also SEO specialists).Facebook Postcard Design 

What SEO Specialists Do:

  • They develop the website’s visibility on the Internet by continually trying to improve the website’s ranks in the search engines.
  • They are also responsible for maximizing the traffic a website gets through the addition of keywords.

What Skills SEO Specialists Should Have:

  • Basically, when you speak of SEO specialists, they are the common people who makes a living out of understanding what Google, Yahoo Search, or Bing wants.

Conclusion

So there you have it guys, these are some of the many web design job titles that we commonly encounter. Now, knowing the different job titles, are you now aware of what you will be called? Well then, if you are, you may now start adding the title in your business card. Flaunt that name, but flaunt your work more.

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Rudolph is a geek. He loves reading: books, blogs and even nutrition facts found at the back of products. He loves to read interesting internet stuff. Since joining 1stwebdesigner last year, Rudolph has written several articles that concerns Typography, Wordpress, Freelance Lifehacks, Graphic Design and Showcase of Beautiful Web Designs. He also write poems, movie reviews and he puts them in his blog together with rants and some daily life updates.

11 Comments Best Comments First
  • Louis Barnard

    Tuesday, March 4th, 2014 07:06

    5

    Hmm… Locally our art directors are web designers as well ;)

    +3
  • lando

    Sunday, March 2nd, 2014 04:08

    2

    and all this time I’ve been calling myself “front end developer”… d’oh!

    +3
  • Kev Adamson

    Friday, March 7th, 2014 03:29

    10

    I think as a freelance web designer like myself, it is often that you have to be “all-of-the-above” to a certain extent.

    If you are working for a team then labels are important to designate responsibility, but where you are the sole go-to guy/gal for a project, I think it is possibly un-wise to get too hung up on labels. You need some level of expertise of most of the above, or – at the very least – decent knowledge and awareness. Especially in a freelance capacity.

    I think of the skills listed under the labels in your article as circles. How large those circles are, and how much they overlap depends on the person. Of course circles can be removed if you are designated only certain roles.

    +1
  • Ben

    Tuesday, March 4th, 2014 03:31

    3

    You mentioned Product Managers, but then talked about Project Managers. Which did you mean? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts about both :)

    +1
  • waqas

    Tuesday, March 4th, 2014 03:52

    4

    I don’t know what I’m, but I do everything. Does that make make “Everything Manaloper”?

    +1
    • Astro

      Tuesday, March 4th, 2014 09:39

      7

      Design Unicorn!

      +1
  • Faith

    Thursday, April 24th, 2014 11:13

    11

    I’m stuck on what to call myself. I do both design and development but those titles create a lot of assumptions.

    If I say I’m a web designer, people might assume I can hardly code or expect me to have some kind of art degree. If I say I’m a developer, the assumption is I work only with code and know programming. And front-end development is a term many clients won’t understand. If only there was some good way to say ‘I make websites’.

    0
  • InfinPixels

    Tuesday, March 4th, 2014 16:10

    8

    Everything Manaloper! : ) I do everything too except development so don’t know really who I am : )

    Ezgi

    0
  • Ashley

    Wednesday, March 5th, 2014 08:55

    9

    So… I have been pondering this post since yesterday. First I want to say that I really enjoyed reading this and I have shared it on Facebook and Twitter. It has made me re-think what is on my business cards…but then I had a discussion about this last night and it really made me think that this in no way can apply to all of us in the field- though I wish it did!

    For those of us who live in a place where there are only real distinctions between web DESIGNERS and web DEVELOPERS, how do we market ourselves? In an ideal world I would love to just be a UI/UX designer, but when job hunting that is not an option (now this is where I live). You are either a web designer or a web developer. BOTH know code and NEED to know code to have a job. On my business card (for any free lance work) I don’t want to list Web Designer, UI/UX Designer, Content Strategist and CSR…it’s just too much. If only all companies had a need for just one of those areas, but it seems they want the whole package…

    0
  • Drew

    Thursday, February 27th, 2014 22:14

    1

    Design and development are ever changing fields and it isn’t hard to learn them well. On the other hand, costumer relationship management which is essential to produce a website that will sell, requires arduous work and people skills.

    -3
    • Astro

      Tuesday, March 4th, 2014 09:39

      6

      Unless you’re someone who is just amazingly talented, say a Luke Wroblewski type, it is NOT easy to learn design or development well. Both disciplines take years of education, talent and practice.

      Look up the article “Teach Yourself Programming in 10 years” by Peter Norvig. He gives a good explanation
      http://norvig.com/21-days.html

      “Researchers (Bloom (1985), Bryan & Harter (1899), Hayes (1989), Simmon & Chase (1973)) have shown it takes about ten years to develop expertise in any of a wide variety of areas, including chess playing, music composition, telegraph operation, painting, piano playing, swimming, tennis, and research in neuropsychology and topology. The key is deliberative practice: not just doing it again and again, but challenging yourself with a task that is just beyond your current ability, trying it, analyzing your performance while and after doing it, and correcting any mistakes. Then repeat. And repeat again. There appear to be no real shortcuts: even Mozart, who was a musical prodigy at age 4, took 13 more years before he began to produce world-class music. “

      +3
  • Faith

    Thursday, April 24th, 2014 11:13

    11

    I’m stuck on what to call myself. I do both design and development but those titles create a lot of assumptions.

    If I say I’m a web designer, people might assume I can hardly code or expect me to have some kind of art degree. If I say I’m a developer, the assumption is I work only with code and know programming. And front-end development is a term many clients won’t understand. If only there was some good way to say ‘I make websites’.

    0
  • Kev Adamson

    Friday, March 7th, 2014 03:29

    10

    I think as a freelance web designer like myself, it is often that you have to be “all-of-the-above” to a certain extent.

    If you are working for a team then labels are important to designate responsibility, but where you are the sole go-to guy/gal for a project, I think it is possibly un-wise to get too hung up on labels. You need some level of expertise of most of the above, or – at the very least – decent knowledge and awareness. Especially in a freelance capacity.

    I think of the skills listed under the labels in your article as circles. How large those circles are, and how much they overlap depends on the person. Of course circles can be removed if you are designated only certain roles.

    +1
  • Ashley

    Wednesday, March 5th, 2014 08:55

    9

    So… I have been pondering this post since yesterday. First I want to say that I really enjoyed reading this and I have shared it on Facebook and Twitter. It has made me re-think what is on my business cards…but then I had a discussion about this last night and it really made me think that this in no way can apply to all of us in the field- though I wish it did!

    For those of us who live in a place where there are only real distinctions between web DESIGNERS and web DEVELOPERS, how do we market ourselves? In an ideal world I would love to just be a UI/UX designer, but when job hunting that is not an option (now this is where I live). You are either a web designer or a web developer. BOTH know code and NEED to know code to have a job. On my business card (for any free lance work) I don’t want to list Web Designer, UI/UX Designer, Content Strategist and CSR…it’s just too much. If only all companies had a need for just one of those areas, but it seems they want the whole package…

    0
  • InfinPixels

    Tuesday, March 4th, 2014 16:10

    8

    Everything Manaloper! : ) I do everything too except development so don’t know really who I am : )

    Ezgi

    0
  • Louis Barnard

    Tuesday, March 4th, 2014 07:06

    5

    Hmm… Locally our art directors are web designers as well ;)

    +3
  • waqas

    Tuesday, March 4th, 2014 03:52

    4

    I don’t know what I’m, but I do everything. Does that make make “Everything Manaloper”?

    +1
    • Astro

      Tuesday, March 4th, 2014 09:39

      7

      Design Unicorn!

      +1
  • Ben

    Tuesday, March 4th, 2014 03:31

    3

    You mentioned Product Managers, but then talked about Project Managers. Which did you mean? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts about both :)

    +1
  • lando

    Sunday, March 2nd, 2014 04:08

    2

    and all this time I’ve been calling myself “front end developer”… d’oh!

    +3
  • Drew

    Thursday, February 27th, 2014 22:14

    1

    Design and development are ever changing fields and it isn’t hard to learn them well. On the other hand, costumer relationship management which is essential to produce a website that will sell, requires arduous work and people skills.

    -3
    • Astro

      Tuesday, March 4th, 2014 09:39

      6

      Unless you’re someone who is just amazingly talented, say a Luke Wroblewski type, it is NOT easy to learn design or development well. Both disciplines take years of education, talent and practice.

      Look up the article “Teach Yourself Programming in 10 years” by Peter Norvig. He gives a good explanation
      http://norvig.com/21-days.html

      “Researchers (Bloom (1985), Bryan & Harter (1899), Hayes (1989), Simmon & Chase (1973)) have shown it takes about ten years to develop expertise in any of a wide variety of areas, including chess playing, music composition, telegraph operation, painting, piano playing, swimming, tennis, and research in neuropsychology and topology. The key is deliberative practice: not just doing it again and again, but challenging yourself with a task that is just beyond your current ability, trying it, analyzing your performance while and after doing it, and correcting any mistakes. Then repeat. And repeat again. There appear to be no real shortcuts: even Mozart, who was a musical prodigy at age 4, took 13 more years before he began to produce world-class music. “

      +3

Comments are closed.

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