Combine UI design, UX and front-end and what you get is a full stack designer. Let’s get to the depth of what is meant by full stack designer.
We’re not sure if you’ve heard the phrase “full-stack designer” before, but if you’re already someone in the field of web design, you should be all ears whenever it pops up. In the past, it was quiet common to take on the traditional role of a designer with sketchbooks and concepts in mind and forget about whatever it took to actually implement the idea.
These days, however, the game has changed. A lot of designers are signing up for what is known as full-stack design to ensure that their design concepts are implemented and get the attention they truly deserve. So, what exactly is a full-stack designer?
What is a Full-Stack Designer?
A full stack designer is a web designer who goes beyond just the design phase and creates, or helps create, a final product. He doesn’t merely focus on concept or design, and extends the scope of his project by writing code and completing some, most, and in some cases, all of the UX work. A full stack designer is typically present throughout the design and development phase of the project up till completion.
What does this means for designers? Here’s what we think.
It’s Good News Because…
In a lot of ways being a full-stack designer offers the opportunity to be a better, more reputable designer. First of all, there’s the benefit of ensuring that your ideas and design concepts are carried out the way they should be and are implemented with ease.
In the past, being only the designer of a particular project and then handing the rest over to a UX designer and front end developer presented several problems. What could be beautiful, clean, and functional in your point of view may be something entirely different from a UX or developer’s point of view.
Designers were also unaware of the issues that often arise during the implementation phase. Until and unless they have experience in UX and front end, they can fully understand what it takes to truly make a design come to live.
That being said, full stack designers, along with their shiny new skill-set, also have a complete and comprehensive understanding of their work. Employers are expecting more and more from designers nowadays and there’s a lot we could benefit from such an expansive skill set. Acquiring these skills is not as difficult as it seems either.
Since a designer knows and understands pretty much half the knowledge required about the development and implementation phase (of course without which they won’t be able to produce realistic designs), becoming a full-stack designer simply means packing on some more knowledge about codes than just the basics you may already know.
But…There’s A But
Of course it’s not easy to be an all-rounder and be good at everything without dropping a single ball. Let’s also add here that there’s a difference between a full stack designer and a full stack developer.
A full stack designer will handle all the tasks related to designing the final product and a full stack developer does just that except with a focus on improving the technology or the coding part of the process. That being said, it makes sense to have help and not be the only one to finalize the product.
Despite what an employer may think, being a full-stack designer doesn’t mean that you take on ALL the roles. It means that when required, you can understand, handle, manage, supervise, or provide help with any role throughout the project.
Of course being a full stack designer is not easy and it’s extremely difficult to outshine in everything. When it comes to that, there are really only a handful of designers who could accomplish such a feat. Considering that fact, it’s important to concentrate on being adept at what we know we can do best. Be it designing, conceptualizing, or coding, you will really have only a one area of expertise—but of course that doesn’t mean you can’t add on to the number of skills you can market!
With fast-paced technology and the ever-growing supply of workers trying to fit in to the job market, it becomes necessary to have more than just one skill to market. A designer, or any worker in digital industry for that matter, needs to revisit and expand his knowledge every once in a while.
While you keep yourself up-to-date with the latest technologies, skills, and practices, it shouldn’t hurt to invest in more time and resources on something that could earn you a title that is much more marketable and in-line with the needs and demands of current employers.
Again, this doesn’t mean that you wear more than one hat. It only means that you can try them on any time (and if required) and each one fits perfectly.