THIS WEEK some friends launched Contents Magazine. Last night other friends threw a party to announce the new (free) Readability. Every day, around the world, hundreds of thousands of web people make magic, working in a digital medium that sometimes perplexes my brilliant engineer father and would have seemed like witchcraft to my grandmother, may she rest in peace.
The web is the most disruptive, empowering invention since, well, I don’t know. It helps ordinary people topple dictators or just comparison shop. We, the people who make websites, are responsible for this shamanistic creation, and we’ve been doing this work for two decades. Yet in all this time, nobody in the mainstream world seems to have noticed. Oh, they notice when Google challenges Facebook for world supremacy. And they noticed when Twitter helped bring about the glorious Arab Spring. But they don’t know jack about us, the people who do this work, and they don’t care.
If anyone is going to compile data about us and sift meaningful analysis from that data, it’s going to be we ourselves. The boot-strappers, the self-taught HTML wonder kids. You and me.
A List Apart 2010 Survey For People Who Make Websites
The data that you provide and we analyze is the only significant information about web design as a profession published anywhere, by anyone. Please take the survey for people who make websites.
A List Apart: Findings from the Web Design Survey, 2009
The world knows that the web has changed everything. It is disrupting assumptions and turning art, politics, business, and publishing on their heads every second of every day, in ways we cannot yet see, and at speeds that defy our ability to understand and Google’s power to index it all.
But the world has not yet paid attention to the web designers, developers, project managers, information architects, writers, editors, marketers, educators, and other professionals who make the web what it is. That’s where you and we come in, and it’s what each year’s survey results are all about.
The report from Web Directions’ second “State of Web Development” survey covers “technologies, techniques, philosophies and practices” employed by today’s web professionals. Download the complete (anonymized) set of responses in CSV format, gaze fondly at a PDF infographic overview, or read a detailed analysis online.
Each year since 2007, we’ve asked you, the members of the web design community, a few dozen questions about your professional life, and compared your answers to those of your colleagues. The data you provide and we analyze is the only significant information about our profession as a profession to be published anywhere, by anyone. So please take the survey for people who make websites. The job you save could be your own.
ALA Survey Findings Up!
The annual A List Apart survey for people who make websites is the only public source of data on the shifting salaries, titles, job skills, and work satisfactions of full- and part-time, staff and freelance web professionals.
This year’s findings paint a clearer picture of the distinctions between full-time and freelance web professionals: how you work, what you earn, and what you love about the job. Interestingly, too, despite the brutality of a global recession that was already in full swing when we offered the survey, most respondents revealed a surprisingly high level of job security, satisfaction, and confidence in the future.
Web designers and developers power the global economy, but almost nothing is known about who we are, where we live, how we work, what tools we use.
The A List Apart survey (2007 survey, 2007 detailed findings, 2008 survey) of over 32,000 full-time, part-time, and freelance web designers, developers, and related user experience professionals began answering questions about who works in this field, where we are located, which kinds of businesses and organizations employ us, under which titles we work, what we earn, how satisfied and secure we are, and so on.
Complementing this information, in 2008 Web Directions North conducted a State of the Web 2008 survey of designers, developers, and other web professionals to find out more about our philosophies, technologies, and best practices. The findings include details and analysis of all responses to over 50 questions. You can read all the questions, download the complete (anonymized) set of responses, read detailed analysis, and more.
A List Apart, for people who make websites, is slowly changing course.
For most of its decade of publication, ALA has been the leading journal of standards-based web design. Initially a lonely voice in the desert, we taught CSS layout before browsers correctly supported it, and helped The WaSP persuade browser makers to do the right thing. Once browsers’ standards support was up to snuff, we educated and excited designers and developers about standards-based design, preaching accessibility, teaching semantic markup, and helping you strategize how to sell this new way of designing websites to your clients, coworkers, and boss.
Web standards are in our DNA and will always be a core part of our editorial focus. Standards fans, never fear. We will not abandon our post. But since late 2005, we have consciously begun steering ALA back to its earliest roots as a magazine for all people who make websites—writers, architects, strategists, researchers, and yes, even marketers and clients as well as designers and developers. This means that, along with issues that focus on new methods and subtleties of markup and layout, we will also publish issues that discuss practical and sometimes theoretical aspects of user experience design, from the implications of ubiquitous computing to keeping communities civil.
The trick is to bring our huge group of highly passionate readers along for the ride. My wife likens it to piloting the Queen Mary. (Q. How do you make the Queen Mary turn left? A. Very, very slowly.)
We review hundreds of articles and publish dozens. Some web magazines seem to have those proportions reversed, and some readers don’t seem to mind, and that’s fine. But any content you see in ALA has been vetted and deeply massaged by the toughest editorial team in the business. And when you see a new “design tech” article in our pages, you can be sure it has passed muster with our hard-ass technical editors.
Moreover, the fields of meaningful new CSS tricks have mostly yielded their fuels. We’ve done that. We’ve done it together with you. While a few new lodes of value undoubtedly remain to be tapped, we as a community, and as individuals who wish to grow as designers, need to absorb new knowledge. ALA will continue to be a place where you can do that.
When we began focusing on web standards in 1998, we were told we were wasting readers’ time on impractical crap of little value to working designers and developers. But we kept on anyway, and the things we learned and taught are now mainstream and workaday. While we apologize to readers who are again being made irritable by our insistence on occasionally presenting material that does not fall directly within their comfort zone, we hope that this experiment will prove to be of value in the end.
It’s back, it’s improved, and it’s hungry for your data. It’s A List Apart’s second annual survey for people who make websites.
Last year nearly 33,000 of you took the survey, enabling us to begin figuring out what kinds of job titles, salaries, and work situations are common in our field.
This year’s survey corrects many of last year’s mistakes, with more detailed and numerous questions for freelance contractors and owners of (or partners in) small web businesses. There are also better international categories, and many other improvements recommended by those who took the survey last year.
Please take the survey and encourage your friends and colleagues who make websites to do likewise.
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[tags]survey, web design survey, webdesign, webdevelopment, professional, alistapart[/tags]
Here it comes again
Coming Tuesday 29 July to A List Apart: the second annual survey for people who make websites.