The 5 funny truths of a web designer

The 5 funny truths of a web designer

Alright alright. Web designers… we’re cool right? Yeah I know. We do awesome designs with our inspiration. But we know the truth on a few matters that relate to what we do. Well if your in denial, hey ho, let me enlighten you.

1. We’re all Jedi Masters.

Yes we sit there in front of our beautifully designed Macs, not those rubbish PC boxes the minions use. We’ve all done it before… the rooms quiet, your on your own and you raise your hand to the screen. Flick it to one side an the window moves with it. Jedi power I salute you! You do it again this time your moving your window from one screen to the next. Magic.

So astonished with your powers this time, you can’t help but show your meagre office buddies the height of your powers. For added effect you showcase your finger slide on your new magic mouse to control your pointer. It’s not magic and they look at you with a strange bewildering look, maybe it’s jealousy. Then as they walk away muttering something along the lines of “tw*t”, you’re thinking… “if only I had a cloak”.

2. Really we’re just ‘cool’ geeks.

As I said before we’re cool right? We wear slick jeans with t-shirts that say CMYK. Now which chicks wouldn’t dig that!

Think about it though. We like computers, comic artwork, gadgets, CSS styling and Star Wars. We may not know the in’s an out’s of Superman issue 542 or the workings of a computer network, but we know enough. And enough is well… enough. When they say “it’s a thin line”, I think they may be referring to us designers. We are the ‘thin line’ between normality and geekville.

3. The developer is your greatest enemy + your best friend.

Those damn developers! Think they know everything about the web, but actually they know quite a bit. We designers dabble in the arts of HTML, CSS and a bit of the jQuery (can I call it ‘arts?). But every so often, more than often we hit a roadblock. Some stupid code doesn’t work or something doesn’t look right. Enter the developer… The designers enemy.

They look at us like we’re fools, hence we look at them the same. There’s a little battle of the mind, but our Jedi Force will prosper!

After a little tense build up we have communication breakthrough, trying to speak their language and just nod and agree when all we hear is “11000111010101″. But then something magical happens. They sort the problem, we got the job done. We talk a little and realise we have a few things in common. We’re the best of buddies, for now…

4. Sometimes the client is right.

Their paying you. Let them have what they want. No no. They don’t know what they are talking about, we designers know the market more than they do. Pretty design is not always successful design. Finding the compromise between adding the cat on a cat website or not may be the best way to go. There is always compromise, and many drafts in between.

One tactic we designers may use is just pretend to forget what the client asked for and 3 versions down it’s still not in. We play dumb in the hope they forget to. Sometimes it works, sometimes it don’t. But you give it a try none the less. Just think, the client could be right (but most probably not).

5. Last but not least. The dreaded ‘committee’.

Hours of graft, deep thinking, much measuring to the pixel and even the help of your fellow designers for some positive critique. The work is finalised, beautifully displayed for all to admire. And now comes the moment of truth. The long walk to the dreaded ‘committee’. You open the door and there they are. The marketeers, directors, developers, salesman, even the cleaner. Everyone’s a designer these days.

You watch, speechless as your work gets torn apart. Move this, move that, add this, take away that. Your thinking, “is this not the final proposal”. Damn!

And here it comes, the final blow. “can you please add a big bubble over the image, actually just take the image out, oh yeah and can you please make it red”. Your heart sinks. You feel like giving up. But as you walk away you remember, a Jedi never gives up.

There is a saying. “A camel is a horse designed by a committee”. And I’ll leave you with that.

God bless an may the Force be with you.

Jay Karsandas is a freelance designer in web, SEO, print and social media and writes about design, inspiration & philosohy. Also co-founder of gadgets and tech site mwoblog, while you can find him over at e2 community where he acts as author and webmaster.


  1. June 1st, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Ha. Love this post – cos it’s very true. And yes i do have a t-shirt with CMYK on it.

  2. September 2nd, 2011 at 3:32 am

    Yeah that’s what I’m takilng about baby–nice work!

  3. October 30th, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    Excellent article. Design and development are two separate skillsets and individuals who claim to be a jack-of-all-trades are guaranteed to fall short. Even if they have considerable skills in each area, with how fast the industry is evolving, it’s just a matter of time before their skills continue to depreciate in a job where specialized skillsets in each area will always deliver better results.

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