Are employers asking for too many skill sets in one job role?

We want a UX Designer that can also build the front end.

We wanted to start a bit of a debate with this blog. Are employers asking for too many skill sets in one job role?

So historically we had two separate jobs:

  • Front End web developers
  • Web Designers who moved into being called UI Designers (user interface). The move was triggered by designers not just making it look pretty, but designing the web page with the user interaction in mind.

Tradition would dictate that designers and developers live in different worlds and speak different languages and then blend their ideas together down the line. When resourcing vacancies we often drop onto graphic designer candidates who didn’t have the ability to hand-code in Javascript.

Over the last 10 years (through job specs we’ve seen) we have witnessed more and more expectation that front end web developers will have an eye for design and the associated products; Dreamweaver, Photoshop, wider Adobe Suite.

But to find creatives (designers) with in-depth technical skills such as HTML, Javascript, ReactJs is rarer.

In more recent years the new kid on the block is the job title UX Designer (user experience). These people map the user journey through a website and to produce a design to achieve a certain goal. This could be a journey that ends with the “check out” page of an eCommerce site. Or it could also be a person finding the info they were looking for on the local councils website in the most efficient, intuitive way possible. With the least number of clicks, touches, taps, pinches or swipes, on either a mobile or desktop.

The most recent hybrid job spec we have seen is for a UX Designer that can code the front end. A website designer that pays close attention to the user journey (building personas, considering philosophies and principles). Who can make the interface look good and can code the whole thing up to the point where it interacts with a database, ERP, CRM etc.

Are clients looking for too much in one person?

Is it the soaring demand for people which is pushing up salaries resulting in employers looking to make roles hybrid?

Here at Greenfield our Marketing Manager was a classically trained Graphic Designer. While keeping up with the latest trends and digital platforms can be very demanding for her, she has taught herself to code. It doesn’t come naturally and finds Front End development quite tough.

Our conclusions are Front End Dev’s can morph into UI and UX domains, but moving in the opposite direction is a pretty tough ask. People that can do both really well are rare, and rightly very well paid.

If you are a UI/UX Designer or a Front End Developer who is skilled in all disciplines, please feel free to get in touch and share your thoughts.