The title of this article is the answer I am dragged to when social convention dictates I have to reveal my profession. But why my hesitation?
Typically I start by declaring myself a designer which is always met with interest, "Oh really? What do you design?". My head bows a little, my voice drops, "mostly websites".
Rarely does this generate any more interesting conversation, sometimes a quote enquiry as they (or someone they know) might be looking for a new website. I try to avoid answering by using the “how long is a piece of string?” manoeuvre and push them towards my website where they can be shocked at the fact it's more than they thought.
Do carpenters suffer the same shame? I don't think they do. I go to a default position of imagining a beautifully crafted staircase or bookshelf and I automatically imbue them with skill and precision. So why the shame in admitting I'm a web designer?
I don't use Dreamweaver or any frameworks to build my websites. I attack all design with a blank sheet of paper and then sit down to hand code the site. This isn't to be snobby or superior but it is the method I have found works best for me to achieve the goal of producing the most engaging website I can. Do I not craft something with thought, skill and precision?
Is it not more creative to design in a medium where you are limited? Where your canvas can change size without your knowledge?
There are terrible web designers out there that do not deserve the title, but there are terrible carpenters, photographers, graphic designers . Most creative vocations require no qualification, that shouldn't diminish our pride in our skills
So web designers, come out of the shadows and say in a loud and proud voice "I am a web designer", I promise I will try to.