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What is a Full-Stack Designer, and Should You Be One?

Being able to quickly and efficiently one-line our skills and the focus of our professional life has a lot of value. The title that we use can effectively tell others what we do, and where our career is heading. Despite this importance, titles are something many of us have trouble with.

designers who understand code, produce more realistic mockups

It’s definitely hard to find a title that clearly explains our skills and limitations as a professional. Understanding the full-stack terminology isn’t only beneficial to help give ourselves a title though. It’s also immensely valuable to become that team member who can step in at any phase of a project to help out. Or just to use the skills in planning ahead of what our main job focus may be (It’s common knowledge that designers who understand code, produce more realistic mockups). So, how do we get started?

WHAT IS A FULL-STACK DESIGNER?

In the “old” days, it was fairly straightforward. There was very clear separation between the design and development groups, with very few people doing both. Now though, it’s fairly uncommon to find a web designer that doesn’t also do some sort of development or UX work as well. With many of us branching into more skills within our industry, we’re becoming increasingly more resourceful. The problem is that now a “web designer” could mean someone who only does design, does design and some code, or may even handle the full design to development process! We’ve become an industry of renaissance workers not content with learning just what we need to get by, and that’s a great thing.

“web designer” could mean someone who only does design, does design and some code, or may even handle the full design to development process!

Enter the full-stack designer. Being full-stack simply refers to someone who is cross-disciplinary and able to take a project through to completion. In this case, it’s referring to an individual who has the skills to carry a project through the first few major project phases. Full-stack developers have been around for years now, handling everything from front-end dev, back-end dev, back-end server management, and more.

I know what you’re thinking: “Great, another marketing phrase is just what this industry needs!” But I can assure you this one is sticking around, and it has more value than a hip moniker. Take a look at a large selection of job openings and you’ll undoubtedly find many “Product Designer” and “Full-Stack Designer” listings.

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The WebRecital is a dedicated User Interface/User Experience professionals who come together to provide design and research workshops, portfolio reviews, and educational outreach to the greater Seattle area.
http://webrecital.com/

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