Tuesday, November 06, 2007

guilds of the web

I can't believe that I missed this thread at the time it came out. But I picked it up recently on the web design classico and guru extraordinaire, PPK's blog. He started a wave that finally led to the creation of the Dutch Guild of Front-end Programmers.
The topic was debated by others too. Mark Boulton and Eric Meyer both expressed their ideas and concerns regarding the matter. The main problem raised was obviously the need for a standard method of evaluation.
So what makes a web designer a professional web designer?
Beats me :)
Personally I feel that the "web designer" term should be dropped. I am happier when I talk to a person who calls himself or herself a designer and is also able to point out the advantages and shortcomings of doing interface design for a web site or a web application. Be it Ajax or Flash. Who approaches every problem related to web design from the user's perspective and is always aware of the need to make things easier for the user. Sure, the final result has to be pleasing to the eye. But that's not the only thing that matters.
As for the css separation of content from design, the box model, sliding doors and graceful degradation, I prefer to talk about these to a web developer. Front end developer to be more precise. He is the one who has to go back to the designer and ask for a different visual solution in the cases when the current design is too hard to implement in a clean manner.
The real problem is that the technology is moving too fast to allow the creation of a standard set of evaluation methods. Openess and willingness to continuously learn and perfect your skill set is the critical part. The candidate just has to be in the right mindset to fit in a web development team on the long run.
So the positive vibe has to be there along with the skill set. One of them can't be neither learned nor taught though ;)

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