On the rise: Diversity of digital design roles & titles

Feb 1, 2016 1:32:23 PM

Digital/Web/Online/Visual/Integrated/UX/UI/Interactive designer – the list could go on…! 

In 2016, it feels like the diversity of Digital Design roles and titles is on the rise. In fact, if I was an ecommerce designer I think I’d be on the verge of an identity crisis! Already this year I’ve been briefed on “digital”, “ecommerce Graphic”, “visual”, “integrated” and “online” design roles. And as a seasoned creative recruiter I can’t help but ask the question each time I start a new process – “what’s the difference and does it matter what we call it?”

Does a job title matter?

The short answer is “yes”, of course it matters…a lot! “Design” is an exceptionally broad term, and in the wonderful world of ecommerce, creative teams have diversified and specialised to an extent that we need these titles to differentiate. The title helps drill down into the detail of the role and the needs of the business. However, only when used appropriately.

Of course when you branch into more specialist design functions (by and large, a luxury befitting larger teams and businesses) there is a stark difference – a purist UX, UI or Interactive Designer is a highly specialised skillset and highly sought after at that! However I had a great conversation with one of my senior visual design candidates this week and we were debating the different specialisms and the struggle faced by smaller ecommerce businesses who need the equivalent of “3 for the price of 1” when it comes to hiring.

From their perspective, visual design, UX and UI are co-dependent and it’s about a marriage of all three to create compelling and seamless online user experiences. A good digital designer (whilst not an expert) should intuitively understand UX/UI. However, brands sometimes struggle with defining this recipe for success and emphasis on one or other specialist design skillsets seems to be a common occurrence when the process moves to interview stage. They think (and I’d agree) that companies are struggling with where they need the focus – and at times, this can muddy the water in terms of the job spec and hiring requirements of the role. There seems to be a grey area over what businesses want and need – and defining this at the early stages of the recruitment process is essential to a successful process and hire. 

Know where your strengths lie

Whatever you are or aspire to be as a designer, make sure you are clear about where your strengths lie. And be confident to tell me, my clients and other employers what function you thrive in and what areas you’d love to expand your skillset in. I love it when I can debate with candidates the merits of a particular role and whether the design focus is right for them. And I love it MORE when candidates tell me a role isn’t quite right for them and can articulate why.

In a time when digital buzzwords are everywhere and it’s not always clear what is being asked of you – ask the right questions and TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE. There’s enough room for Digital/Web/Online/Visual/Integrated/UX/UI/Interactive designers of every shape and size…! What an exciting year this is set to be for us Creative Pandas. 

As our creative panda extraordinaire, Yasmin specialises in creative roles within ecommerce. From digital design to online content, she is the go to panda for all things creative! Why not connect with Yasmin on LinkedIn, if a creative ecommerce role calls to you?

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