Chris Z. Griffin

Still Sporting the Default Template

Job Titles and Their Irrelevance

Posted by Chris Griffin on March 03, 2007 at 10:20 PM

I am a Designer. I am a Developer. I can plan and create web experiences. I can develop in XHTML and CSS. I am familiar with Javascipt (after reading this book I hope to have more than an a familiarity). I have some SEO experience (although I don’t care to ever capitalize on those skills again). I can create a blog on the Textpattern (ick) and Movable Type (double ick) platform (Coming Soon to this list: Simplelog). I have a little experience designing for print (business cards and letterhead?). I have a little experience in branding. I have a little experience developing in Ruby on Rails.

So, what am I? I’m more than just a Web Designer, I’m more than just a Web Developer (although it depends on one’s definition of these job titles). When I was hired at Planet Argon, I was just Designer, but obviously this job title was too ambiguous.

So we had to come up with an official title. Although, I’m capable of all of above (literally, look above), most of my work at Planet Argon will encompass a mixture of front-end development and design. What title fits this description?

Web Designer? No–too ambiguous and so Web 1.0 blah.

Web Developer? Considering we already call the Ruby on Rails developers, Developers, it would put me in the same category, and I’m definitely not a developer by those terms.

User Experience Designer? That’s a bit more specific, and closer to what I do, but that would imply that I do most of the planning behind the web experience than I actually do. Our Experience Director is in charge of designing user experiences.

Visual Designer? Yet even closer, but I’m not convinced visual is a good word for what I do since what I do is more than just the visual, and it sounds like I’m only involved in the aesthetics of the web experience. I’m not that superficial.

Interaction Designer? I actually liked this one, but when I think of interaction and designer, I would think this person would have a better grasp on javascript than I do. Besides, we already have an Interaction Architect.

User Interface Developer? User interfaces huh? My job descripition definitely includes that, but again I think align myself closer to a designer than a developer.

User Interface Designer? This is the job title we went with. I think it works and conveys what I do better than the previous titles.

So many of us are jack of all trades that specialization is slowly going the way of the buffalo. If you are a Jack, then no job title will ever really fit what you really do. So why does a job title matter? It doesn’t, it’s just something we can tell our friends so we can sound cool.


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Very nice post, I like your blog. Too bad you have only a few posts.

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