Are you a webmaster?

January 2010

There are a lot of different titles associated with being a web designer. Lately I’ve been thinking about what exactly my job title is, so when someone asks me “What do you do?” I reply with my “official” answer.


Web designer

For a long time now I’ve been saying “web designer”. There used to be a time when people would have been like “huh?” but nowadays most people understand that to be something to do with making websites.

But I think this term can be a bit loose. And everybody seems to be a web designer so wouldn’t it be “cool” to be something different?

User experience designer

I like the sound of user experience designer. I put a lot of thought into the usability of websites I design and focus on an enjoyable experience so this title sums that up.

However, I also do front-end development (CSS/HTML/Javascript) and I want to make sure this is clear.

Also, if I tell someone outside of our industry that’s what I do, they’ll likely ask “A user experience designer for what exactly?”, which is kind of a usability defeat in itself.

Front-end web developer

This makes it clear that I code websites, specifically the front-end stuff, but it’s not clear if I do the designing or not.

Interface designer

An interface designer implies that I design interfaces, most likely focusing on user experience and interaction.

But it doesn’t say what I design interfaces for. Websites? Software? Mobile phones?

Depends who you're talking to

It does very much depend who you are talking to. If my granny asks me what I do, for example, I’m just going to say “I make websites” “I work with computers”. But if I’m at a web conference, I’ll be more specific.

Shouldn't all web designers do these things?

Shouldn’t a good web designer be automatically assumed to be a…

  • User experience designer
  • Front end developer
  • Interface designer

…for the web? In my opinion, yes. Or you should at least know a good bit about each, whether it is your primary role in a large company or not.

Which brings us back full circle to the term “Web designer”, which covers it all.

Does it really matter?

Not really. You can call yourself a ninja or a rockstar if it works for you.

What do you do?

I asked the question on Twitter and got various responses.

  • Accessibility Expert
  • Art Director
  • Artist
  • Creative Director
  • Designer
  • Developer
  • Front-end Developer
  • Graphic Designer
  • I Make Websites
  • Information Architect
  • Interaction Designer
  • Interface Designer, UI Designer
  • Programmer
  • Usability Expert
  • UX Designer
  • Web Designer
  • Web Developer
  • Web Director
  • Web Producer
  • Webmaster

Which are you?

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