Defending the Generalists in the Web Design Industry — from Smashing Magazine by Paul Boag


In recent years there has been a move away from generalist Web designers to specialists such as content strategists, user experience architects and front-end coders. Where once there was a single job, there are now many, with ever-narrower spheres of responsibility.

While my peers are becoming more specialized, I have stoically refused to do so, remaining a generalist. If anything, my interests have broadened, encompassing subjects such as marketing, psychology and business strategy.

This has drawn criticism from some who view generalists negatively, which is in line with some of what I am reading in the blogosphere.

Where has this negativity come from, and is it justified?

From DSC:
This is a great writeup of the pro’s and con’s, benefits and drawbacks of being a generalist in the web design industry.  My experience with web design and production is that it has been extremely difficult to keep up over this last decade — especially when one can not focus solely on web design and production in one’s daily tasks.  For example, I’ve had to redirect my resources/energies into other areas, tools, pedagogies, learning theories, trends, systems-related projects, management, etc. — leaving little time to try to keep up with advances and changes within the arenas of front-end design and back-end development. I’ve been forced to be a generalist as well — but a few levels up.    🙂