Dave Winer’s quipped on his Scripting News blog (one of the longest running websites on the internet today full of knowledge nuggets) a wonderful aside worth reviewing:
I’m annoyed by the use of [the term coders] because it seems to go over our head. It seems there’s nothing we’re involved in. Not the leadership of our own industry, or even helping develop new talent.
I agree. The same can be said about designers. In some people’s eyes, every designer is interchangeable and disposable. We are put into a melting pot and picked out at random to perform our tasks.
Designer is a holistic term. It is about the thinking involved in design. Like the granule details. Or the larger user experience. Also understanding and conveying the solution. Plus implementation and rapid publishing of design. And making design that works for humans.
I don’t just push pixels. I create a bridge between the screen and the mind.
And just as there are different baseball players who perform different functions on their teams, there are a whole host of designers specialized in their categories. To assume that a UX Designer, Print Designer, Web Designer, Mobile Designer, 3D Modeler, and Art Director are all interchangeable is to use a hammer for every nail, Phillips or Pentalobe screw be damned.
Yes, a lot of our roles are similar and have cross-dimension. They are starting to converge and share lots of responsibilities. Even designers and developers are experiencing a cross-pollination of skillsets. That doesn’t mean you can go ahead and bucket us as Art guys or Tech guys.
Respect the roles, respect the titles, and respect the nuances in the differences of our positions. It shows you care.
(As an aside: I appreciate Winer’s use of emoticons as quirky endings and for treating Facebook as a viable platform for dev talk as an alternative to Twitter.)