Dean Birkett is a User Experience Designer based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. With a winding career path including working for a biscuit manufacturer, running a not-for-profit internet music label, and the European Space Agency, he now can be found working for The Cultural Innovators, Europeana.
UX Fears from a former Webmaster
I will hold my hand up, for many years my job title was that ill-fitting one that in recent years only produced stifled giggles as a response – Webmaster.
Now for those of us who reluctantly answered to that title, we generally did stuff that management didn’t quite understand. Companies knew they needed one, but they didn’t really know what one was. Those who answered to that title have since dispersed (primarily) into other functions, and although you do sometimes see the job title thrown about, it is generally from smaller companies who are still playing catch up.
Webmasters are now front end developers, system admin, web designers, even marketers. So broad was the scope, and so different the job requirements, we have branched out into various more specific job titles...
...except for myself.
I am one of those UX Designers – I do all of that stuff that management don’t quite understand, and more worrisome, I do the stuff that companies that are hiring don’t quite understand either.
A quick search for User Experience Design jobs shows that we should have mastered HTML and CSS, have a portfolio on dribbble, be skilled in Axure, Adobe Creative Suite, Visio, Omnigraffle, worked with various platforms from Windows, to iOs and Android devices, from small screen to large, (maybe even refrigerator), have skills in social media, creating content, photography, research, interviewing, project management, visual design, user interfaces, information architecture, content strategy, have knowledge of mobile first, progressive enhancement, etc. etc.
UX Designers are the new Webmasters. We will be around for the next couple of years, when we split into more specific job titles, but until then, be prepared for the impending stifled giggles.