Findings from the Survey, 2011

“Curiouser and curiouser!” declared Alice of her adventures in Wonderland. The neologism applies to us as well. At A List Apart, we are perpetually and ever more deeply curious about the lives and livings of people who make websites.

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What educational background or economic circumstance led us down this particular rabbit hole of a profession? By what titles do we market ourselves, which skills do our employers expect of us, what can we hope to earn, and which prejudices hurt or benefit us? How mobile are we, how fluid are our titles, and how, in an increasingly complex and frequently perplexing field, do we keep our knowledge current? About these things and a dozen others are we continually and unabashedly curious.

It is a curiosity many of you clearly share. Each year, when we post our Survey For People Who Make Websites, thousands of you kindly take time to complete it. The resulting data, sliced and diced per a team led by An Event Apart’s inimitable Eric Meyer, presents a living picture of the businesses, backgrounds, and aspirations of professional web workers most everywhere.

Of course, our findings are far from the last word on the comings and goings of designers, developers, UX folk, and related web professionals. We can only make sense of the data we have, so only those who took this year’s survey factored into its results. We are read worldwide, but survey respondents tend to come chiefly from the US, Canada, and Europe—particularly those countries where English is a first or second language.

You can change this by helping spread the word to your far-flung colleagues when the next survey rolls around. For example, if you work with back-end teams in India or China, reach out to those folks. The more of us who complete the survey, the clearer, more accurate, and more informative our results will be.

As always, should your curiosity exceed the bounds of our reporting, you can do your own data slicing and dicing. You’ll find the anonymized raw data files at the end of this year’s results, where you can download and inspect the data your own way.

Now dive in boldly, find out how your situation compares to others’, and keep building respect for this most elegant of professions.

View the 2011 Survey Findings

11 Reader Comments

  1. The links to the raw data files for geographic regions, countries, and postcodes, other gender replies, other race/ethnicity replies, and other job title replies appear to be broken.

  2. The survey was wonderful! It pointed out some discerned beliefs, and shed light into areas where improvement is needed to up the industry. I luv analytics, and your findings show what insight can provide. Thanks!

  3. I have been watching the stats since the first web survey. I find it interesting that the years freelancing and years at current job have remained similar from year to year. Conclusion, most designers will have a customer relationship on average of three years. What this means is that the industry is constantly changing and customer loyalty is a greater challenge than most other industries. I have noticed here in Northwest, Ohio this is a pretty accurate conclusion in that most of the clients I see tend to change their designers every three years or less. I’ve also noticed that our local community will have a new design company every three years and then the designers move the company out of the area. This constant change of loyalty among the designers is creating an industry with high rates of turn over and no long term stability.

  4. The most exciting in the study form is educational background specially The majority of the surveyed were “College diploma, associate’s, bachelor’s, or equivalent degree” Although it is not essential that the standard be the owner of a certain level of education to manage a site .I think its writing skills and delivery the idea to the visitors is the most important of any successful website owner .

  5. I have designed statistical surveys for public health, where ethnicity and race are highly relevant. I smiled at Ruth’s comment, that in Europe, white/ Caucasian IS indigenous/ native. I’ll need to remember that for sample populations beyond North and South America!

    These 2011 survey results where referenced in a March 2014 article I just read, Demeaning titles: Ninja, Rockstar or Jedi . Does A List Apart have an update of the People Who Make Websites survey? If so, when might it be released?

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