Design & Front-end

Some think they’re them same thing, some think that Front-end doesn’t really exist. They often think that Front-end development is the new Web Design. Clients often have no clue. Happily, it’s becoming more clear to those in the field what you would call Web Design and what you would call Front-end development.

Designers come in many different shades of #00F when it comes to the web, as they do in many other media. So let’s look at the main design disciplines that help make todays web:

  1. Interaction Design (information / flowcharts, wireframes)
  2. Graphic Design (concept / visuals, moodboards )
  3. Web Design (interface / visuals, mockup)
  4. Content Design (product / promotional content, banners)

These disciplines are common across many of the projects I’ve worked on before the Front-end production stage. I’ve also experienced having four individuals for each discipline on a single project. On top of that each designer often has some skills in one or more of the other design competencies. It’s not unheard of to be hired for ones second tier skill set. Hence the confusion, and I haven’t even included UX design to the mix.

Having multiple skills is great but one should be clear in communicating what you do and what you consider yourself to be. What do you have on your business card? Due to common overlap you can easily find yourself in a situation that you’re hired for one and the other. Smaller companies like breadth, large companies like depth. The trick is being good at that one thing, whatever that may be.

So where do Front-end developers fit in, or Web Developers for that matter? The overlap of disciplines roll in to these profession as well. Front-enders often make mockups suitable for production and sometimes deal a with little direction because the good ones are design savvy.

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