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Home Forums Other I can develop frontend, but not design. Does this matter?

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    Hey guys!

    I am a senior student at school and have been developing websites for about a year now. I have gotten to the point where it is easy for me to create a website from scratch. But I find it very difficult to accutally come up with fully original designs, I know how a site should look, but I really need a drawing, plan or wireframe to accutally start writing up a site.

    To any front end devs, do you acutally have to design the sites you make or do you collaborate with a graphic designer.

    For example, if someone shows me a site, I can easily reproduce it but when coming up with original layouts that ‘pop’, is challeneging; I find looking at ‘site inspiration’ sites help, but I’d just like to know if it is really that important when it comes to acctually working on a project in a business setting.

    Disclaimer: I don’t mean copy and pasting code and pull togther a site from that, I mean looking at other sites and replicating in my own way to fit with the flow of the site I am deving.


    In short: nope!

    Longer answer: no, it doesn’t matter. If you aim to be a professional developer, then you don’t need to have design skills. At my day job, I develop sites but never do any design; for that, there are (you guessed it!) designers. ;)

    If you want to be a freelancer, it might help to offer a design + develop service. But there’s nothing wrong with just offering development services.

    And personally, I think designs should be done by those who are really good at it, so I’ll stay away from that too.


    I been looking for web development work here. Many positions mention proficiency with Photoshop and at least 3 years experience. Other software was essential as well.

    Other positions ask that you can create what the customer asks. “This includes correctly pathing to the image or video.”

    The grad in me says, “We all have to design the same: head, body, footer. And we truly don’t even have to use tags for most of ’em anymore.”

    If designing websites for yourself, you should already know what it looks like. Plenty of ideas online for everything else.


    I agree with Senff.

    It’s great if you have an eye for design, or take a personal interest in UXD as a sideline (the overlap is useful in some roles, e.g. At a smaller agency where some multi-tasking can be an advantage) but it isn’t absolutely necessary to become a successful front-end developer.

    I’m employed in a multi-tasker “web technician” role for local government, and I mainly work in a niche market – school websites/systems, so there isn’t much call for super-swanky, bells-and-whistles type visual design. That’s fine for me (and the more corporate design style I’ve become accustomed to). I would call myself a front-end developer at the end of the day, although having skills in other disciplines (front and back end, + PhotoShop and AV knowledge) has helped.

    There are many roles out there, and many different kinds/sizes of organisations that need our skills. You just need to find a place where you ‘fit’.

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