Frontend Engineering May Be Website Design

©2011, Martin Rinehart

A website designer takes the site's required components and organizes them in a usable, visually appealing way.

Engineer !== Designer

With a small staff (picture one backend and one frontend engineer) the frontend engineer may also be the designer. Warning: Leonardo da Vinci was a brilliant engineer and a brilliant artist. He died in 1519. Can you name another who combined these talents? (With diligence, a talented designer can master enough frontend engineering to produce good results. Without talent, no amount of diligence will turn even the best frontend engineer into a good designer.)

Design by Engineer?

On the other hand, while I am no artist I have designed effective websites. Do they win prizes for design? No. Do they invite interested visitors to stay? Yes. Would they be more effective if they were design prize winners? Hard to say.

Design by Artist!

There's a place for real website design artistry: top restaurants, expensive automobiles and high fashion all call for beautiful websites. Frontend engineers should never design these sites.

Artists? Well ...

On the other hand, if a site sells books or mechanics' tools, a more utilitarian approach is called for. I need some more RAM for a computer. True website artistry will not sell it to me. Detailed compatibility tables, however, let me choose memory that works in my computer. Clarity rules!

Feedback: MartinRinehart at gmail dot com

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