The ALA 2010 Web Design Survey

A note from the editors: The ALA web design survey of 2010 is now closed. Thanks to all who took time to answer the questions it posed. Our findings have been published. Enjoy.
The Survey, 2010

It’s a story as old as time itself. In 2007, our conference division, An Event Apart, hired a research team to provide facts about the web design profession and those who practice it. We wanted to know who exactly our famous slogan, “for people who make websites,” was talking about. What were our kind of people’s salary ranges, titles, working conditions, educational backgrounds, gender, ethnicity, and so on? And what effect, if any, did one statistic have on another? For instance, did gender have an influence on salary? Was there a connection between educational background and job satisfaction? Did web professionals who worked at start-ups have the same titles as those who worked at universities and libraries?

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Imagine our surprise when the researchers came back empty-handed. Nobody, they informed us, had ever done even the most basic research on web designers and developers. Not in 1995, when the commercial web took off. Not in 1997, when Amazon forever altered retail and publishing. Not in 1998, when the browser wars peaked, or 1999, when J-Lo used “Google” as a verb in an otherwise unremarkable romantic comedy, and everyone in the audience laughed knowingly. From boom to crash, Web 1.0 to Web 2.0; from the press’s ten-years-late discovery of blogging to the overvaluation of Facebook and Twitter. At no time had the web stood still, and at no time had the press or academics expended even one brain cell trying to figure out who was responsible for this world-changing whirlwind of creativity and innovation.

Since nobody else was doing it, we’d have to do it for ourselves.

That’s why each year since 2007, we’ve asked you, the members of the web design community, a few dozen questions about your professional life, and compared your answers to those of your colleagues. Each time we’ve asked, over 30,000 of you have kindly obliged with details about your salary, location, background, and more. The data that you provide and we analyze is the only significant information about our profession as a profession to be published anywhere, by anyone. (For the current snapshot, see Findings from the Web Design Survey, 2009, published in Issue No. 315.)

And so, as you have in years past, we ask that you please take a few minutes to complete this year’s survey.

Take The 2010 Survey

17 Reader Comments

  1. My bad… After looking further, it looks like it’s still reading last years survey. I think I must have jumped in to quickly. 😉

  2. Just to verify the above, it’s definitely closed and not working correctly. It’s coming up with a “survey closed” message that you may not be getting if you’re logged in as admin for the survey.

  3. Many, many apologies—I failed to make the survey public before the article was published. The fault is mine and I’m very sorry for any inconvenience. It’s public now and collecting data so please do give it another go!

  4. bq. Has your geographical location slowed the progress of your career,
    *or* made earning a living more difficult than it should be?

    How should I answer the OR-question? The pattern of the question is like “A or not(A)”. So, when I answer “Yes” – does it mean yes for “A” or for “not(A)”?

  5. Is there a statement somewhere of who, exactly, you want to take this survey?

    I am a web application developer, not a designer — should I take it, or will I throw off your stats?

  6. Scriptin: that question doesn’t seem ambiguous to me; having more difficulty earning a living, or having a slower career progress aren’t mutually exclusive (on the contrary).

  7. Wow.. that was pretty comprehensive and actually had me wonder where the data was going while I took it. I can’t wait to see the results! Our business is growing weekly which is pretty darn exciting!

    If you are a dev, a designer, producer or just passionate about web design, come check us out. We need more talent!


  8. In question #20 (“What kind of work did you do before getting involved in the web?”), the choice of answers makes it seem like if one didn’t come from an IT/Web background, then one’s background is necessarily “non-technical” (specially since there is no “other” option). The work that I did was that of a scientific researcher at a biotech company, which is HIGHLY technical. I worked with all kinds of complex equipment and specialized software (even did some coding) on a daily basis. So none of the answers apply to me (I didn’t come from a IT background, design/advertising/art, OR non-technical). Perhaps “non-web/IT” would be a better option than “non-technical.”

  9. Just filled it in.

    I’d be fascinated to see all members of a digital agency fill in the skills bit of that survey. My suspicion is that web design and development has a big crossover, whereas most Social Media Experts and SEO Experts seem to have very few web-based skills.

  10. Thanks for collecting and sharing the data from this survey. I was recently asked to prepare a title and salary comparison report for US Web related positions. The data for that subset from the 2009 Survey was comprehensive and easy to work with. Thanks.

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