The Survey, 2010
Issue № 329

Findings from the Web Design Survey, 2010

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.

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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.

View the survey findings

16 Reader Comments

  1. Is the raw table of data available? I would be highly interested in looking at it myself.

  2. One of the charts in section 4 confusingly doesn’t match the structure of the others and is therefore hard to interpret–it looks the same visually, but the data on figure 4.6 was plotted differently.

    All the other “Satisfaction by X” charts show “x” down the left side: The labels on “4.5 Satisfaction by Age Range” indicate ages; likewise, “4.7 Satisfaction by Geographic Region” quite reasonably lists geographic locations. However, the chart in between them, “4.6 Satisfaction by gender,” shows levels of satisfaction down the left rather than gender. In other words, figure 4.6 is actually showing “Gender by Satisfaction”, which isn’t nearly as meaningful as satisfaction by gender would be.

  3. While the graphs are great every year, would love to timeline the results you’ve created over the last few years and be able to move a slider and watch results change.

  4. it’s so excited to see evolution state of web. who knows which form will have web in the near future…

    thanks a lot for that article…

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  6. Thanks for putting this together. As mentioned previously it would be nice to see a timeline over the years to get a better understanding of how things have shifted, as it’s a bit hard to get a feel from referencing past years numbers.

  7. Great use of Web Standards for visualization. Wilson Miner would be proud. I spotted a typo at
    Fig. 1.5 Percentage of job-title holders who earn salaries of $100k+

    “A significantly greater percentage of Information Architects, Usability Experts, Creative Directors, Information Architects, Accessibility Experts, and Web Directors make more than $100,000.”

    “Information Architects” repeated twice.


  8. This is so interesting. I would like to use the data and will acknowledge the source. Are there any other requirements for using the data?

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