It was just five years ago that this magazine and its design conference offshoot sought, with your help, to begin determining the precise professional dimensions of our shared craft.
Most serious professions take this kind of self-knowledge for granted. Architects and prospective architects know which are the best architecture schools; they can readily find out the average salaries of apprentice, mid-level, and senior architects in their country and region; they know what titles and honors they can aspire to, and have a generally accurate idea of how long they must toil as apprentices before they can expect to be promoted—or start worrying if they have not been.
Web design, if that’s what we call it, has had no such data. Moreover, no professional organization is dedicated to our field’s advancement in the way that, say, AIGA promotes, explains, defends, and takes the measure of graphic design.
With your help, we took the first steps to change that with the publication of our 2007 A List Apart survey and findings. We have published surveys and findings each year since. Here, admittedly a little late, we present our findings from 2010.
You’ll find plenty of matter in the pages that follow, but little that is unexpected—and that’s to the good, as it suggests that our profession is maturing and developing fairly consistent parameters despite the immense technological change and extraordinary market turmoil of the past four years.
As always, when our findings differ from those of previous years, we call your attention to those changes; when they are about the same as in years past, we point that out as well. And, just as we have always done, at the end of the present findings, we offer the anonymized raw data files for those who wish to slice, dice, and inspect the data their own way.
Our 2011 survey will come out in mid-summer. Watch for it! We can’t do this without you.