The Web Design Survey, 2007

by ALA Staff

112 Reader Comments

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  1. It was definitely a good first survey, though I have some comments like some of the others posted.

    Definately the biggest issue I see is in whether we are self-employed, someone who incorporated their business and is considered an employee of it, traditional business employees, unpaid interns or volunteers, or any combination of the above. Since I’ve always been a business owner/self-employed (literally, from the point I was legally able to work), I’ll show you what the way I felt like I had to answer some of these was. Who knows, it might give you an idea of how other business owners may have answered.

    #4. What is your job title?
    I typically try to answer those kinds of questions with what I do most often. So for this, I answered that – but already you are losing data because there is no question before it asking if I am a business owner or not (should be able to choose more than one).

    #6. Regardless of how competent you believe yourself to be, in which of these areas does your employer expect you to be proficient?
    For this I simply answered what I expected from myself.

    18. How many web design jobs have you held.
    I wasn’t sure about this question. Again seems geared toward the employer/employee thing, but my instinct was to answer this as how many clients I’d done work for. Obviously that’s not a good reflection of the number because it only goes up to 10 and its far beyond that. I could’ve instead answered ‘1’ since I’ve always worked for myself, but that wouldn’t necessarily be a good reflection either. Perhaps the question could instead ask – how many different websites have you worked on – that could potentially cover both freelancers and employees.

    Other comments – not related to the employee/employer thing.

    You might want to make #9 (What is your educational background?) a question that includes the word ‘some’. As in ‘some college’ or in some way indicating that the person might actually be in school currently. I sometimes portion out work to interns, so they would fit in that category of ‘some school.’

    Question #15. For how many years have you been working as a web professional?
    You might want to ask also how many years total someone has worked in the tech industry. You might find some interesting data about people who are web pros now who were previously in other fields. Personally, I started out as a desktop applications developer, then became a database architect, and then to web design. Might show some interesting data.

    Just my two cents :)

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  2. Like another commenter earlier, I was somewhat surprised to not see “Software Engineer” in the list of titles, so I was forced to choose “Other”.  I know that many software engineers do hate working on UI of any sort but there are some of us who like it and do quite a bit of it.  :)  In my job I do everything from database queries to Java/JSP to HTML/CSS to Javascript to graphic design.  But I guess the companies I’ve worked for have always required that their UI person also be able to handle large-scale server-side Java coding – cheaper than getting separate back-end & front-end developers, I guess!

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  3. Thanks for very interesting article. btw. I really enjoyed reading all of your articles. It’s interesting to read ideas, and observations from someone else’s point of view”¦ makes you think more. Greetings

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  4. Is there an archive of people who have completed this form? It would be interesting to see who has.

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  5. I’ve not read all the messages, so someone else may have mentioned it … many of the questions weren’t that relevant to people who work in Education – teaching Web design.
    I noted earlier that someone else commented on the difficulties of self rating on skill sets – a binary choice between “can” & “can’t” doesn’t give much scope. A few more grades such as “know a little”, “know a reasonable amount” “Considered by my colleagues a guru – but I know that there’s still more I could learn” could be useful.

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  6. The introduction asked where we live, who we are, yet there are very few questions related to these issues.

    Do you own or rent?
    What city do you live in (there is a big difference between living in NYC and Burlington, VT)?
    What is your monthly housing cost?
    How do you get to work?
    -public transportation
    -car
    -bike
    What do you think are the most relevant new technologies?
    -video
    -virtual worlds
    -online games
    -blogs
    -other

    More in-depth questions about technology would be great too..

    What platform do you use?
    -Linux
    -Windows
    -Mac

    What browser do you use for personal web surfing?
    -Firefox
    -IE
    -Safari
    -Opera
    -etc

    What browser do you test web sites in?
    -Firefox
    -IE
    -Safari
    -Opera
    -etc

    What software do you use (design)?
    What software do you use (development)?
    What software do you use (multimedia)?

    What other mediums are you developing/designing for?
    -Cell phone
    -iPhone
    -online games
    -console games
    -online video
    -podcasts

    What technology are you looking to add to your arsenal
    -video editing
    -video production
    -3D modelling
    -3D animation
    -mobile apps
    -etc

    We could go alot deeper than this survey. I’ve seen surveys with these same questions for years, they are to general. You asked if we had a web site/blog. They are 2 VERY distinctly different things. Most web designers/developers have a portfolio site, sometimes their own, sometimes on a portal like CreativeHotlist. But other than showing off their work, how many of us are talking about what is going on in the world or our industry via blogs? Are they using text blogs or vlogs? How many to podcasts or vodcasts? How many own their own URL? How many own their own SWURL (Synthetic World URL)? What do we use for email (webmail, squirrel mail, office, etc)? What is their primary communication platform with clients (phone, email, face-to-face, web meeting, virtual world, letters, etc.).

    Come on, let’s get into the nitty gritty!

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  7. Thanks to all who commented on ways we might improve the survey as a tool for discovering where and how folks like us work. Many of these suggestions will find their way into next year’s survey.

    To those who wished the survey had asked about platforms, browsers, standards, etc., we will run a second survey later this year that asks precisely these kinds of questions.

    Two surveys are needed. The most critical survey, in our estimation, was the one that tried to find out who we are and how we work. That was the survey more than 30,000 of you have just completed. We will publish the results in about a month, and we will conduct the survey again next year.

    The second survey concerns skills and attitudes. Look for that survey in four or five months.

    A List Apart intends to run both surveys each year, about six months apart. Over the next few years, with your help and support, we will be able to sketch the first true picture of web design as it is practiced around the world. Thanks again.

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  8. Congratulations on taking the first step, ALA. It was a trail blazing effort, and I am honored that I had a chance to participate.

    Somewhere in this sea of comments I read an excellent observation, that this survey has “touched some nerves…” indeed. I think the complaints, feedback, and tide of comments stem from an enthusiastic, passionate (albeit sometimes juvenile and immature) crowd who wanted themselves represented as accurately as possible, afraid that the chance may never come ‘round again.

    Glad to see you’re taking it all in stride, and I hope the next one will be as illuminating as I expect this one will be.

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  9. … We will publish the results in about a month, …
    posted at 11:38 am on May 20, 2007 by Jeffrey Zeldman

    Can’t wait ;-)

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  10. eey all,

    overall the survey seems good, …

    cheers…

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  11. The suspense is killing me. Are you guys EVER going to post the results?

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  12. Come on guys, it’s been a month since the last promise, we’re dying of curiosity here!

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  13. Seriously, its been quite some time. Is there any progress?

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  14. Did something go wrong?

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  15. I too cannot wait!

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  16. Is everything ok?  Need help?  I’m really curious about the results and hoping that they aren’t too out of date when we see them.

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  17. The data will be becoming redundant soon it seems. I sure hope this wasn’t a data mining exercise.

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  18. Just seen Zeldman has announced they will be publishing the results today! Hooray for my sense of timing… :/

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  19. This message has been appeared.
    The web design survey is now closed.
    What’s next???

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  20. I like it

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  21. Noticed a typo on question 24. $10,000-$19,9999 has an extra 9. Thanks Don.

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  22. Matt Cutts from Google has included in his blogs that he intends to penalise websites that are “˜over optimised’ on back links, directory listings and inappropriate article submissions. I have kept my ears close to the ground on this issue and lately I have been reading a few horrific stories of the outcome. I don’t want to alarm or scaremonger but you will need to go out and find the facts for yourself and consider how it could impact on you if you are a website owner.

    The uncertainty at the moment is felt by all — whether web owners have participated in Good organic link building or even SEO Companies who have built up good portfolio’s and used proper “˜White Hat’ methods, nobody knows the outcome of the Google Algorithms. If you have access to Google analytics for your website all you can do is monitor the trends, the sad thing here is that there is no “˜system restore’ and if you have built up a number of poorly placed back links you will find it near impossible to have these removed. You Could ask your SEO specialist why your hits have dropped and ask what are they going to do about it.

    I know a few who are just sitting back and praying!

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