Are graphic designers for web supposed to know JavaScript?


Question

If you were to hire a graphic designer to pretty up your web pages, would you hire him/her if the person has no experience in JavaScript but has a very good understanding of HTML and CSS?

How important is it for a graphic designer to understand web technologies for him/her to be able to perform effectively at their job of prettying up web pages? What is the industry trend when it comes to hiring people to improve the look and feel of the website?

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8
8/29/2013 1:15:00 PM

Accepted Answer

Short answer: No, web designers are not necessarily supposed to know javascript. They could just focus on the looks of a site, or the usability. What they do need, however, is an understanding of how javascript works, because they need to design with functionality in mind.

Most web designers do know their way around jQuery, especially the properties that work with HTML and CSS in a more visual way (javascript applied to layout, so to say). And in most cases, this is all you need for a regular site.

However, if your site has complex requirements, needs to work with PHP, ASP, CMS, databases, Ajax or similar, you will definitely need a web developer. While not impossible to find, a designer that also does complex coding (and one that is great at both) is rare.

As I said, I believe in most cases all you need is someone who does good web design and also understands javascript well enough to apply and edit plugins.

12
6/4/2013 1:40:00 AM

"Know" is a very ambiguous term.

  1. Someone could "know" enough javascript to be able to see what it is accomplishing and be aware what to edit and what to avoid.
  2. Someone could "know" jQuery, which is javascript, but it's not straight javascript.
  3. Someone could "know" and fully understand how to write complex DOM alterations and interactions with "vanilla" javascript.

A good web designer has a grasp of #1. A better designer may grasp #1 and #2. Few web designers may grasp #3.

The level of knowledge required really depends upon the existing construction and desired edits. Remember "web design" is not "web development" in many cases. Although the lines get blurred, web design is the body shop, whereas web development is more the engine mechanic.

What is required to "pretty up" your site completely depends upon it's current structure and functionality. It is absolutely possible to alter the appearance of a site via javascript and/or jQuery.


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