Findings From the Web Design Survey

In April 2007, A List Apart and An Event Apart conducted a survey of people who make websites. Close to 33,000 web professionals answered the survey’s 37 questions, providing the first data ever collected on the business of web design and development as practiced in the U.S. and worldwide.

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33,000 responses is a lot of data. To make sense of it, An Event Apart commissioned statisticians Alan Brickman and Larry Yu to translate raw data into meaningful findings. Here we present what they found.

Like many aspects of web design itself, our research process took the form of a dialog and included multiple stages of discovery. Preliminary findings answered some questions and raised others requiring additional study. The more we unearthed, the deeper we dug.

The attached report shares everything we learned. We offer it freely to this community that has given us so much. For the curious, we also provide an “anonymized” version of the raw data. It contains every answer to every question by every respondent, excluding only personal information—no names, just the facts. Crunch it yourself and tell us what you find.

We did not learn everything we hoped to. Ambiguities in some parts of the survey yielded ambiguities in some data. After an analysis of the survey itself, we now possess detailed recommendations for improving future surveys.

The findings we present here have never been seen before, because until now, no one has ever conducted public research to learn the facts of our profession. This report is not the last word on web work; it is only the beginning of a long conversation. Read, reflect, and let us hear from you.

Download The Findings From the Web Design Survey

Findings From the Web Design Survey (1.6 MB PDF)

Note: This PDF has been tagged for accessibility, however the graphics representing the complex charts do not yet have equivalents. An updated document will be available soon.

The Raw Data#section2

Crunch your own numbers. Anonymized raw data is provided in a variety of formats:

The Prize Winners#section3

By random drawing, the following survey respondents have won prizes:

  • Allison Klein, free ticket, An Event Apart design conference
  • Scott Smith, 80 GB Apple iPod Classic
  • Hannah Sheffield, An Event Apart jump drive
  • Jon Petto, A List Apart T-shirt

Prizes were donated by A List Apart, An Event Apart, and Happy Cog Studios.

100 Reader Comments

  1. Kevin, this is honestly the first I’d heard of your survey. Sorry! Perhaps it would be more fair to say that the ALA survey is the first major demographic survey of the field? The Sitepoint survey seems to have a different and more focused scope than what was done with the ALA survey, focusing on work process as opposed to things like gender, age, location, and so on.

  2. Thanks for putting together this great survey – definitely interesting to read! Two small suggestions for next year:

    * Divide “Developers” and “Web Developers” in the same way that you divided “Designers” and “Web Designers” – otherwise us front end folks get lumped in with the more hardcore programmers. Maybe have additional “Programmer” and “Systems Administrator” categories as well? I don’t know many people who still use “Webmaster” as their title, so I wonder if some front end developers chose that in your survey as the best option available?
    * Have “some college” as an option under the education section – quite a few people out there who have most of the credits towards their bachelor’s degree but haven’t finished up yet, and their only choice is “finished high school” (as they did not attend/graduate from a junior college).

  3. Nice survey, but I was disappointed not to see a breakdown of salary ranges compared to the skills that web professionals posses e.g. do professionals with back-end skills earn more than those who do not, etc. etc.

    Thanks for all the hard work, though, and I’m really glad to see so many people take this survey.

  4. Fascinating, and a bit overwhelming.
    I am no statistician, but after reading the survey results I feel rectified in my position that the lack of diversity in conference line-ups merely represents the field in general. Since that is what got this whole thing going (see I hope facts will ease perception of gender and racial injustice among conference presenters.
    As with most inequality, education is key. There are initiatives to bring design education to grades K-12 in wide-ranging communities (see, for example). Though we may not see a tidal shift in our generation, conference speakers will likely be a more varied lot in the future.
    Good work, A List Apart. this was a huge and valuable endeavor and I look forward to future surveys.

  5. Wow, great study, sad to see how under-represented women still are in all the fields.

    Though, a little disappointing to see the average age range barely above legal drinking age… Maybe contributes to the rather low salary amounts and fast job turnover numbers.

  6. I’m not in the USA and I’m really scratching my head over the two different questions, about paid holidays and paid vacations.

    I thought the word “vacation” was synonymous with “holiday”! There must be some difference I’m not aware of.

  7. I’d be more curious as to what people bill as an hourly wage and for what types of work – obviously the salary figures are heavily skewed by a lot of part timers out there, so what do they charge their clients typically per hour for different types of tasks – initial design, updates, routine maintenance, etc. What do they charge for hosting and who do they typically use, that sort of thing.

  8. 82.8% Male. Surely there are more women who could have taken the survey?

    And it would have been very interesting to know what people charge per hour (if self-employed) for various tasks. Maybe next time?

  9. Agree with Kevin, it seems that a lot of women are missing. But that’s a good thing to know, and it will be fascinating to see the amount of female web professionals rising in future issues of this survey 😉

    By the way, I’m very pleased to know what are my co-professionals like and how I fit in the global landscape. Thanks for that, A List Apart people.

  10. I’m reading the report right now, but before I forget want to quickly point out that “˜paid vacation’ vs. “˜paid holidays’ was extremely confusing to me as a non-native speaker living in the UK. I wasn’t able to figure out the difference at all.

    Now in hindsight and with the figures, I assume that “˜vacation’ means “˜holiday’ and “˜holiday’ means “˜bank holiday’? Maybe I’m still wrong, though, dunno. I guess all of the Americans and even all of the British people may have understood that, but I also bet (it seems rather obvious from the high figures on you “˜paid holiday’ some people didn’t 😉

  11. What a fascinating publication! Thanks, so much for making this available. As an IT/Web freelancer it makes interesting reading for me – I appear to be pretty much right in the middle of every category. Does that make me ‘average’, or just one of the excellent majority?

  12. Fascinating insight into the industry – thank you for publishing the results. The gender ratio does seem to reflect what experience I’ve had in producing magazines and events for web professionals – the crowd does seem to have at best an 80/20 split. As this survey is repeated each year, it will be interesting to see if this figure changes.

  13. If you’re white, male, and 33-38 and whatever changes are that you’re not going to perceive any career bias at all. Results for this category need to be generated from participants outside of the norm.

  14. If you’re white, male, and 33-38 or whatever, changes are that you’re not going to perceive any career bias at all. Results for this category need to be generated from participants outside of the norm.

  15. This is hugely interesting and I know I’ll be digging around in it for a while.

    I think for me, the most interesting parts are around the perceived bias’ information and whether what people think is happening around them actually matches what actually IS happening.

    Kudos for the data.

  16. I am a front-end designer, developer myself but even I feel that there is a bias towards front-end practices for the categories. Whether this is intentional or not I don’t know. Languages like CSS, Javascript and HTML all had their own category while Server side language where all lumped in together, I would have like to have know the specific stats on languages such as PHP and Ruby from this survey. The categories for job title seem similarly bias towards Front-end skills.

    Great work other than that guys it must have taken long hours when you’d rather be doing something else. For that I thank you and look forward to the findings next year.

  17. The good: great design on the PDF! Love the fonts and colours.

    The bad: some of the horizontal bar charts don’t quite line up at the right. (See pages 47 and 48 for examples.) Plus the gaps between bars aren’t equal on pages like 61. It seems to be the charts that use 3 coloured bars that are causing problems. Probably a PDF conversion thing?

    I am using Adobe Acrobat Professional 8 on a Mac to view the file if that helps.

    Hey, sorry to nitpick! I realise you guys have put a lot of hardwork into this. I’m sure it’ll prove very useful!

  18. This confirms what I have always felt – there is plenty of opportunity for women in this field who seek change and a flexible career. In the over 39 age bracket, women earn more than their male counterparts (where else does that happen?). Design and development might take a good bit of re-education in this age bracket (the education never ends for me) but it is so worth it. With all of the wonderful resources available on the internet and with such open access industry leaders via blogs, podcasts and tutorials, my sincere hope is to see more women enter the field in years to come.

  19. Your servey questions should address total compensation. While I received a salary increase at my last review, medical insurance increases and plan changes decreased my overall compensation.

  20. I tell you what, I knew that, as a female in this industry, I was in the “low end of the diversity spectrum”. But when I saw this, I was *shocked*. And what surprised me even more was that I must be some *really* unique woman in this industry, because most of my answers (not all – but most of them) fell in the low percentage range.

    I know this survey isn’t the end-all on the subject, but it’s the first time my eyes have been opened to my status in this industry. It’s a little bit unsettling. It has given me quite a bit of food for thought – it brings the question to mind: because of my unique status (as it stands based on these results) does it give me a step up in the industry, or is it really holding me back?

    No, I don’t plan to use the first-time survey to figure out what to do for the rest of my career (which, based on my age should be shorter than the rest of you youngsters – however, I have a TON of longevity compared to the rest of you, as well – so I guess it evens out!) because I *adore* what I do. But damn, maybe I need to get a job at a corporation so I can rake in some of *that* dough.

    Nah – I hate bosses. They piss me off too much. I’d get fired in a week.

    But anyway, I do appreciate the effort here. I really had *absolutely* no idea that someone like me was so far in the minority (in all kinds of ways!) – it really is shocking. Someone else who participated in the survey (and let me know the results were up) had mentioned that perhaps making a *clear* stance on defining the job titles/professions might be a good idea, as women will more think of themselves as a “graphic designer” than a “web designer” (I, for one, do not.) But I do know I found some of the questions a little weird, and answered them the best I could – but yeah, it would have been nice to at least been able to have multiple answers for some questions. For example, my main job focus isn’t *just* as a web designer. I do it all – design, graphics, code, development, accounting, customer service – ALL of it. It was really hard to pick just *one* answer.

    Anyway – sorry for the novel, but it was great, and it did open my eyes a bit – kinda popped my little bubble here. I think I need to start attending some conferences. There’s obviously *way* too much testosterone at those things. 😉

  21. There are a lot of potentially interesting numbers here but there’s no account given of the sampling methodology. How were these 33,000 people selected? How can we know whether they’re representative of the population the study purports to describe? What was the response rate on the survey? Was it conducted on-line or by mail? What potential biases could have been created by the sampling technique and response/non-response rates?

  22. Overall I think it’s a well done salary survey but I’d also like to see a breakdown of skills and job titles to salary. It is kind of confusing as to what title has what salary in the current report. Is this a general assessment of all salaries? Who makes under $20k a year and what skills do they lack?

    The “Sitepoint Survey”: had more on technology trends and languages used. I’d like to see A List Apart survey on trends as well. It would be interesting to know what technologies people are currently using and what they plan to use in the future.

  23. First, thanks to ALA Staff for all their work on this survey. Everyone’s efforts are greatly appreciated.

    As for those from outside the USA asking about Paid Holiday vs. Paid Vacation, “holidays” are specific days off during the year recognized by the US government (e.g. New Years Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, etc.) and/or special religious days (e.g. Christmas, Rosh Hashanah, etc.). A “vacation” is time off from work to travel and relax that can be used at any time of the year, which the rest of the world refers to as “going on holiday” I believe.

  24. @Derick said:

    bq. There are a lot of potentially interesting numbers here but there’s no account given of the sampling methodology. How were these 33,000 people selected?

    The Mothership hovered over an unnamed sub-Saharan metropolis, beamed individuals aboard in their sleep, and _probed_ them.

    Or we could have used the internet. Yeah, that must be it.

    Kidding aside, we put up the survey in our magazine where it was seen by a fair number of readers; we wrote about it in our blogs, where more readers saw the news; we reached out to other web design and development magazines, newsgroups, mailing lists; and the community, as it always does, did the rest. People spontaneously blogged the survey, invited their friends, sent posts to newsgroups.

    How would you have done it?

  25. From the research…

    bq. The only job titles in which we see consistently increasing representation at ages above 32 are “Webmaster”?, “Writer/Editor”?, and “Other”?. The last of these suggests, intriguingly, that older workers in the field fill roles not covered in our listed titles.

    Maybe I’m reading this wrong, but couldn’t this also mean that the older people simply identify job titles differently due to different historical practices? Meaning, people who where doing web stuff during the late 90’s are more prone to call their profession “webmaster” than someone today, who might call it “web developer”.

    Not necessarily that they’re filling different roles but that they just simply use different terminology. I only say this because I know “Webmaster” was super popular when HTML was the only thing you needed to know about websites. Now, the trend is to give people specific titles as jobs are becoming more broken down. “Graphic Artist”, “Usability Expert”, “CSS/(X)HTML Coder”, “Front-End Programmer”, “Back-End Programmer”, etc.


  26. @John:

    bq. Maybe I’m reading this wrong, but couldn’t this also mean that the older people simply identify job titles differently due to different historical practices?

    You bet it could. That is a perfectly reasonable inference.

    The survey provides things we can know (such as what percentage of respondents were women, or at least claimed to be), things we can’t know without further research, and things we may infer.

  27. @Ambrose Chapel

    bq. I’m reading the report right now, but before I forget want to quickly point out that “˜paid vacation’ vs. “˜paid holidays’ was extremely confusing to me as a non-native speaker living in the UK. I wasn’t able to figure out the difference at all.

    Difference between “paid vacation” and “paid holiday” is that a “paid vacation” is something that you can use on any day you want. While the “paid holiday” is a specific day that the whole company or department gets and there is no choice if you take it or not.

  28. I’ll agree with all of the praise here, but of course have my own nitpick to add.

    Similar to the vacation/holiday issue, the definiton of “full time” was rather US- and large corporation-centric as well. In much of the world, 35 hours is considered full time, while the report repeatedly referred to full-timers as those working 40 hours or more a week. Even within the US, many companies (such as mine) have a 35-hour work week.

    “WikiPedia’s blurb on full time”:

  29. A great survey with much information, thanks for providing such a thorough analysis.

    I found that for many of the tables of data, I wanted the opposite summary information, meaning that I wanted the 100% for the other axis. I felt this would be particularly useful for things like income, so I could try to understand what I’d need to do to reach a certain income level.

    Fortunately, with the raw data available, I can make my own pivot tables, etc to mix it all up as I so wish.

  30. I feel sorry for the Arabic/Middle Eastern and Native American respondents, I don’t know if it was included on the original survey (I didn’t take it) but if their options weren’t on there, I bet it would affect how they perceive racial bias in the industry :P.

    Also, in the various job questions, there is no “unemployed” or “between jobs” option, which could account for some of the results of the “other” category.

    I also felt like there could have been more results specifically on the females. For example, I wanted to know the “Salary range by age group” for women (as opposed to a composite), and the overall age distribution of women in the industry.

    It’s a ton of great information. Thanks for sharing!

  31. This is exactly what I would expect from A List Apart, nothing less.

    I was a bit surprised with the income and education questions (did anyone else think it was ironic that the younger respondents thought education was more important than older respondents?).

    This is a resource that past, present, and future web designers/developers will look to for years to come – or, at least, until you do it again.

  32. It was mentioned in the results that there was some confusion with the ethnicity question and it will be corrected in the future. I would like to encourage you to include two questions to cover this topic.

    I think the classifications should be divided by Genetics and Culture. So, for example, I am 1/4 Latino (Hispanic) genetically, but I don’t speak Spanish natively and I have always been identified as white by all my friends. (genetically, I appear white; culturally, I am white). However, my sister (also 1/4th Hispanic) is always asked if she Iranian or Indian (genetically, she is Latino; culturally, she is white). It is more likely that she will experience racial (genetic) discrimination than I will, though neither of us would have a difference in cultural discrimination.

    So, I think that there should be a question like:
    What is your ethnicity: [I look white] [white] [Black] [Hispanic] [Asian] etc..
    With check boxes so multiple answers can be selected.

    I also have found culture differences matter and should be included. I have had culturally middle eastern men discriminate against me. However, I have had genetically middle eastern but culturally (the white American version of) Christian men treat me without discrimination.

  33. @Kat:

    bq. I wanted to know the “Salary range by age group”? for women (as opposed to a composite), and the overall age distribution of women in the industry.

    This was the reason we provided raw data as well as the report itself—even an 80-page findings report can’t possibly cover all interesting ways of looking at the information, but with the raw data, anyone who wants to perform additional analyses can do so.


    bq. This is a resource that past, present, and future web designers/developers will look to for years to come — or, at least, until you do it again.

    Thank you!

    @Dan Wilkinson:

    bq. Thank you for your time, effort and hard work on this project.

    Stop, we’re blushing.


    bq. The PDF looks nice “¦ How was it created? 🙂 Very intelligent survey btw.

    It was created in Adobe InDesign (with charts created in Apple Numbers). Eric has a “detailed post”: about the whole crazy process on his blog.

  34. I don’t know to much about surveys and statistics, but couldn’t this survey imply that ALA readers are doing this and earning that?

    If that would be the case, then we could infer that people who care for Web Standards, who usually are informed about the latest etc etc (whatever the “general” ALA reader is) have actually taken the survey…

    A question like ‘Are you a regular reader of ALA?” would have been probably helpful.

    A lot of answers could be misleading because of this… maybe there are more women working in the filed, but only a small part is reading ALA.

  35. # The issue of sampling is very important for statistical validity, especially since your respondents _self-select_. You must find some way of determining the population that they represent/come from. I don’t have the skills to suggest a solution, though that beaming-up and probing sounds like it might have promise…
    # As I read the report, I found that almost everything was as I might have assumed. Probably means nothing – validation of assumption is as valuable as discovery. Next year the trend plotting commences!
    # I am mystified by the greatly skewed gender numbers since webWork includes so much non-technical input (well *good* webWork). The traditional explanations given ( technical adversion and variants) don’t satisfying me.
    # (May be a different survey): I would love to see how the progression towards strict division of technical framework and content production, with presentation moving more and more to the content side affects things. Questions separating folks into frame versus contents work are very interesting to me. The blog/myspace/youtube phenomenon would be impossible without this division and there _have_ to be people making a living strictly on the content side.

  36. Very excited the results are finally out and really appreciate the complete transparency with raw data.

    From the time the survey was first announced, I began conducting a very different kind of survey: one of subjectivity on a case by case basis. I was very interested in the results the ALA survey might produce, by it’s nature and how they might fit with my own small sampling.

  37. I was very pleased with this survey and it provided me with a few hours of pleasant reading.

    But I have a question: what fonts were used? I especially love the font used with the graphs. The serif one used for plain text was also very nice.

    It’ll probably classics, but I don’t recognise them. Any help?

    ps: Eric Meyer doesn’t mention them in his post.

  38. Wow! It sounds like a great report! Sadly, it keeps timing out when I try to download it. Guess you’re popular! I will keep trying…

  39. Considering no one has done anything of this scope (lets not argue about who was first), you pretty much covered everything. No, it will never be perfect, but there is a ton of useful information here. The design is what it should be – clean and straight forward. Congratulations to all that obviously worked very hard on this ground breaking survey.

    I have always felt that web professionals are one of the most misunderstood group. This survey help us understand who we are. I was personally surprised by some things and just unaware of others. For example I would of thought a higher percent of Web Designers/Art Directors would be CSS and HTML literate. I was totally unaware of how male dominated we are. I would agree that we should be paid more for our expertise, but I didn’t need this survey to arrive at that conclusion.

    Thanks for your hard work, I hope everyone who reads this will walk away with as much as I did.

  40. given that the respondents where overwhelmingly white and male, it’s not surprising that bias based on gender and ethnicity are played down by the study. a breakdown of the data on bias by cultural identity or gender might be more illuminating.

  41. @rob s:

    bq. given that the respondents where overwhelmingly white and male, it’s not surprising that bias based on gender and ethnicity are played down by the study.

    Have you read sections 7 and 8? Have you looked at figures 8.6 through 8.11, and read the commentary?

    bq. a breakdown of the data on bias by cultural identity or gender might be more illuminating.

    Well, gender we covered. (I refer you again to sections 7 and 8.) We didn’t ask if people were Jewish or Hispanic or belonged to any of the other 200,000 cultural affinity groups. But as we keep saying, this isn’t the end of a conversation; it’s the beginning of a conversation that _should_ have started years ago.

  42. These results were very strange to me mainly because I fall into the higher percentage catergories, Male, Caucasian, Web Designer in the US. I didn’t expect that, I thought there would be a more even distribution between sexes and thought there would be more web designers in the UK, but this could be due to the fact that this is the first time this survey has been done and has admitted flaws. Thank you for the time you put in though, great to see these numbers.

  43. Okay, this is going to be a weird question among all the other posts here, but… what fonts did you use in that PDF? They work together beautifully, yet I can’t figure out what they are.

    (I’m a design student, so I like asking about these things. I hope someone will take me seriously enough to answer. 🙂

  44. I was excited to see the results, and hoped to get a bead on how job satisfaction and salary panned out in Europe, US, and abroad. There really wasn’t a way for me to eyeball this and say “Yup I ought to move…the Brits/Yanks/whoever seem happier with a better salary per standard of living.”
    No mention of which skills are growing in demand either.

    So while the survey was great I didn’t get a lot of practical info out of it. Not that Sitepoint provided anything at all useful in their Four Web Types (whoop de doo!)Survey.

    Cheers! I’m sure it will be better next year!

  45. Zeldman, et al–

    First of all, thank you very much.

    Second, a couple of suggestions:

    Within the published results in the future, possibly include the original survey questionnaire? In the interim, possibly reload the content questionnaire page?

    Maybe include in the future, a list of all referring URIs to the survey? This could serve as a source for validation and further demographic research of the respondent pool. In addition, within the survey, allow for a detailed list of where the respondent learned of the survey.

    Again, thank you.

  46. Finally the results! That looks like a lot of work, so many thanks for that.

    The PDF and its graphs look great.

    A suggestion for the next opus: Tables were a bit overwhelming, in terms of data. In order to make them easier to grasp at a glance, would it be possible to improve them using the principles behind tag clouds: change the style of each cell based on the number it contains? The actual cell data need not change.

    For example, change the font size proportionally (e.g. 0%->9pt, 100%->16pt), or change the brightness of the background (e.g. 0%->white, 100%-> some shade of gray), etc.

    PS: Congratulations for the live comment preview feature!

  47. I took a quick look at the raw data and would like to make a quick comment.

    One important information that I cannot find in the data is the location of the web designers who responded. A breakdown by country will make the results more meaningful because the cost of living in each country has a direct bearing on salary and income.

    For example, a web designer in India or China who earns USD10,000 may be much better off compared to someone in the US or Europe who earns the same amount.

  48. I am surprised by the small number of women responding. Maybe they have better things to do with their time? Seriously, this is disappointing.

    Half the students in law school are women and women have taken over the veterinary profession. In 2003-4 over half the applicants to medical school were women. What is it about the business of designing or developing web sites that is either so unattractive or discriminatory?

  49. When I filled out the survey, I found the regions inadequate. I live in Maryland, and I do not consider it either the northeast or the south. Being originally from North Carolina, I probably answered “northeast”; and I bet that many of my colleagues who are originally from much further north answered “south”. We generally refer to the area between Washington and Philadelphia as the mid-Atlantic.

    Also, I’d like to see some statistical analyses. You have enough data points to support more than just descriptive statistics and tables; I suggest correlations, at least.

  50. Oh, and when you say “X is more satisfied [makes more money, etc.] than Y”, make sure you’ve got the significance level to back it up. Within-groups variance can cancel out between-groups differences. Personally, I’d like to see the statistical significance — perhaps in an appendix, to avoid making the body of the report harder to understand for those who are not sticklers.
    And no, I don’t wanna do it myself. 🙂

  51. I clicked everywhere!

    I couldn’t find how to download the file.

    Then I switched to IE – maybe something is wrong with the markup? Zeldman??? No way! but what can I do?

    Then, in IE, I see the big blue image!

    What happened? I am blocking “*banner*” in AdBlock.

    The name of the image is “download-the-survey-banner.png”

    I have learnt a long time a go not to name any element in my code “banner” – be it an image, a div or any other element.

  52. With worldwide disability statistics hovering around @10% of the general population and growing, it would be interesting to see how many people in the profession(s) actually have a disability.
    The “Accessibility Expert, et al”, at 0.4% of the current respondents, would probably have the highest number of respondents, but that is an assumption based on personal perceptions.
    “Accessibility Expert”s come in all shapes and sizes and most of them have a focus based on their own disability.
    Few Accessibility Experts, that I have met, have a holistic view of accessibility and usability with adaptive technologies beyond their own frame of reference.
    Now that I am half way through this post, it sounds like another survey altogether.
    FFT (Food For Thought)


  53. I am somewhat disappointment, no third party, for compiling the results and going through the validity of the instrument used for the research, so interpretation is in question, it feels pedestrian.

    Don’t get me wrong you have some good basic points there.


    Join with Jupiter Research, Nielsen//NetRatings or comScore for your next one, and It will spread like fire. Also it will bring more prestige and reputation.

  54. Fantastic survey.

    It would be very interesting to see data for cities; namely the big ones in the web world.

    London is booming at the moment and salaries seem to be increasing higher than usual, it would be good to find out how this compared in the other big web cities.

  55. As soon as I see a question about ethnicity, I know it’s an American survey. Seriously, haven’t you learnt anything from your Civil War and Little Rock High, etc? You need to move on! This is an ongoing challenge for all of us, but America often seems intent on maintaining the distinction and then trying to pretend it doesn’t matter, when no-one else even asks.

  56. Thanks for the fabulous job on the survey — I particularly appreciated the additional level of discussing how to improve the survey going forward. We’re all enjoying digging through the survey here at work, and I’m hoping that future versions will explore the different skills/tasks done by folks.

    And as a side note, thanks for the wonderful work on A List Apart in general. I always enjoy the articles and comments!

  57. I was fascinated at the dearth of women in the web design field. It might have been a statistical skew by who answered the survey (but the sample was very large which makes me think that there actually are so many more men in the field than women). I was looking for answers as to why web designers are so undervalued by clients (in the freelance world) and did not find my answers.

    I would love to also see a breakdown by skill set compared to fees/pay and even geographic comparisons to figure out what is appropriate to charge for a job.

    I love this magazine because it is beautifully presented and down to earth. Thanks for continuing.

  58. Some of the comments in here are scary in terms of people viewing this as cold hard facts and not simply a snap shot of period of time with only the reach of this company. People need to understand that any ‘trends’ seen are ‘perceived’ trends which the survey very upfront states, and its based on user response not actually hard evidence say, job data from different agencies world wide. Having said that, this is an excellent piece as surveys go.

    @Ethnicity I agree with you, but only to a certain extent. America is actually where modern day racism – in terms of the brutality that was born out of it – began so of course there is relevance and import in showing those numbers, but this is way off topic so email me for a more in depth answer to that.

    What I will say to that end though is again you have to look at this as a snap shot of the time period and reach of the survey. I actually think you should throw out the ethnicity part of the survey, not because I don’t think it matters ( being a US-black myself I was all too keen to see the break down of the data:D ), but because the numbers are too low. 1.25 of 33k is roughly 400 people, which in most US state surveys is a low number, so then base that off a global survey and you can see that any comparison of those numbers to higher participants is vastly skewed. Good job white males for messing up the numbers :D.

    What I did find very interesting is the assertion that people with a perceived bias ( women for instance ) generally make more money than those that don’t, which to me means that there indeed is a bias and either those people work harder to achieve a goal and/or the employer recognizes the bias and is trying to compensate, squeaky wheel gets the oil sort of thing. So all of those that don’t perceive a bias might want to rethink their opinion! (tongue in cheek of course)

  59. bq. As soon as I see a question about ethnicity, I know it’s an American survey. Seriously, haven’t you learnt anything from your Civil War and Little Rock High, etc? You need to move on! This is an ongoing challenge for all of us, but America often seems intent on maintaining the distinction and then trying to pretend it doesn’t matter, when no-one else even asks.

    Conflicts over religious, cultural, “racial,” or national ethnic background do not occur only in the U.S. Last time I checked, tension between groups was taking place everywhere.

  60. There is a question in the survey results that I can’t figure out. It is “Why did you turn it down?” Why did you turn what down? The question before it is about ethnicity slowing your career.
    Otherwise it’s a very interesting survey. I was very surprised at the results and the large number of people who responded.
    Must have been daunting compiling all that data.

  61. bq. America is actually where modern day racism — in terms of the brutality that was born out of it — began

    What?! Man, people have been killing each other over “race”–however you want to define that–for hundreds if not thousands of years. Modern day racism wasn’t born in America; modern day racism was born in ancient times.

    That said, I want to go on record as saying that as a black woman designer, it’s important to me to see numbers regarding minority representation in the field, and the reason is simple. Designers are culture creators, and I’m interested to know the gender and ethnicity of those who are sitting in the driver’s seat, so to speak. Growing up as a minority changes, to varying degrees, how we perceive the world as how it perceives us. (Granted, there are many things that contribute to this: ethnicity and gender are but two.) That perception bleeds into our work–or perhaps _is_ our work.

    If only 1% of designers are black, that’s interesting and significant to me, if not from a design POV, then from an sociological POV. That data allows me to ask interesting questions: what other points of view are we not seeing? How does a monolithic point of view aid or impair our culture? In what other ways are these missing black would-be designers creating culture, or are they?

  62. I just wondered if you did any kind of feasibility or pilot study prior to releasing the questionnaire to the world? I know you’ve said you found problems with some of the questions so I assume not but I’d rather know for sure (as a student doing a research methods module…).

  63. Good that these results are actually free for all to study and see. Kudos to whoever is invovled! 🙂 Hoping something in future for the other side’s survey, ie. the users 🙂

  64. It’s nice to see that the results are free for all to view analyze. Congrats to all behind the scene..:)

  65. Very interesting. I would like to see how happiness and money plot out. Also the bias section took up alot of space, what is the bias definition for each chart? it seems that many of the workers, designers- make less than the managers. I am just learning web design, I am in the 50 plus age group, i want to be part of the exciting world of websites, I am taking classes, trying by doing and reading all I can. Designers should make alot more money. Thanks for the work and results.

  66. Just stumbled on this. Props for putting it together and making it public (even the data)!

    I’d be curious to see if respondents report any education bias: Is not having a college degree, or too high a degree, a hindrance?

  67. I would love to see a survey to focus on some of the data regarding “Years at current job” and “Number of jobs held” and “Next Career Move”. I would like to see this data to explain why such a high percentage of the development community has limited time at a single employer. I would also love to see an employer/management survey focusing on the same data of why they feel designers tend to jump ship so often. Does job stress, constant education, low pay, fierce competition, etc. have anything to do with the career choices? How many web designers have gone from full time to part time and freelance? How many developers feel burned out?

  68. Wonderful information and a great presentation of the data. This survey is the only one I have seen like it. It’s good to know whats happening out there in the industry. Great job “A LIST apart”

  69. like smoking cigarettes cause cancer. But many if not most cancers have nothing to do with how healthily you live your life or how many vegetables you eat or vitamins you take.

    Jeweler’s Tools

  70. it’s just so shocking how homogenous the web industry work force is – in terms of race, gender and age. it’s really awful, shameful.

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