In the past, there was a clear distinction between a web designer and a web developer. While it is true that there were people who could both design and develop, the number was tiny.
However, times have changed. These days, more and more web designers are equipped with the knowledge and responsibility of a web developer, working both on the design and development.
Needless to say, now seems to be the perfect time to branch in the industry by equipping yourself with more knowledge and resourcefulness. However you view it, whether you think it’s a blessing or a curse, a web designer is not only expected to work on a design; they need to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to develop code or even take on the responsibility of the entire development process, too.
Well, being a full-stack designer simply means being a person who is cross-disciplinary and has the ability to complete a project. A full stack developer handles everything, including end development, back-end development, back-end server development, and much more. This is, of course, apart from coming up with an engaging design.
Without question, more than the financial rewards, the biggest perk of being a full-stack designer is the opportunity to expand skills. More often than not, they end up having a thorough knowledge of their job and become more consistent even from the research phase until the production phase.
A full stack designer can become aware of their limitations and expectations as they plan UX/UI wireframes. They become more knowledgeable regarding what works well and cannot work well in coming up with an elegant design. They can also become more realistic regarding what to expect even before they start pushing code or pixels.
Having said that, becoming a full stack designer does not only benefit the designer; even the employer can benefit from their comprehensive set of skills, too. It goes without saying that an employer can keep a lean structural workforce equipped with individuals who have a grasp of the bigger and more complete picture of the work that needs to be done.
Just imagine this. Even with a basic knowledge of development or another skill apart from web designing is already a perk. In fact, this can arouse the need of a web designer to increase their knowledge in the said area. A web designer can hunger for more knowledge about the things outside their comfort zone once the seed has been planted.
Apart from increased knowledge and expanding their set of skills, another benefit of being a full-stack designer is that they know exactly what to expect of the design that they have come up with. Gone are the days when a web designer just sits back in front of their computer and buries their head in a sketchbook, not worrying about how the design will be implemented. These days, it’s an entirely different type of game for web designers.
More than coming up with a visually appealing design, a full stack web designer is expected to transcend this scope and use their influence over other areas to enhance the design of a project. It’s like expecting an architect to come up with design and take into consideration of the materials and physics involved in the design that they have worked on. Hence, full stack designers can easily come up with a design that is not only aesthetically appealing but functional, too. The demand for designers to work more than just a design is on the constant rise.
After all, a good designer does not only focus on the design itself but also on other things that are connected to it. Sounds counterproductive, one may think. Well, not really. A designer needs to realize the influence of the different factors in web development has on the design. The more they comprehend the whole process, the better their design can become. Every full stack designer is aware of this.#
Thanks to the expansive skill sets of a full stack designer, an employer is forced to give them a much higher pay as compared to those who just focus on web design alone. Well, this is just proper, after all, a full stack designer can do a job that is normally done by two people.
Additionally, a full stack designer has to constantly advance themselves through learning. They need to understand and know the latest technologies, skills, and practices. While it is true that this is great, this can also mean investing more time and money, much more if they have no idea of what skills exactly they need to learn.
Lauren Waller opines that the kinds of tools that a full stack designer uses are highly dependent on their preference. For instance, despite the rising popularity of Sketch, if a web designer is more familiar with Photoshop, encourages them to stay with it, much more if they have mastered using it.
Nonetheless, the following are the things that he suggests are the most valuable tools to a full stack designer:
Surely, full stack designers are some of the most stressed-out workers out there. However, thanks to their expansive set skills and the demand for them, they are some of the most financially rewarded individuals. Depending on the size of the company that they are working for and its location, a full stack designer can earn as much as $160,000 annually. In San Francisco, California USA, the average annual income of a full stack designer is $139,000.
A full stack designer doesn’t have to assume every role every time a product is created. After all, a full stack designer cannot be a jack-of-all-trades and master of none. Going full stack is being equipped with the expertise in some fields while having a traversable skill level in all the other fields. Full stack designers are not an expert in everything, but, without question, they have the skillset to deliver a well-designed finished product.