Head of Interaction and Service Design at @DigitalDWP
Personalities in Web Design
In every industry, in every workplace there are personalities. Some are funny, great or inspiring whereas others are hateful and annoying.
The web design industry is just the same as any other. We probably house the largest group of individuals that can be classed as having some kind of emotional dysfunctional disorder from one day to the next. It’s in our nature to be on the ball one day and hiding under our desks the next. Some of us need company when we’re working and others need a dark room. Some listen to music and some need peace and quiet and with this, we find the different personalities appearing. In the one industry where we have a very large community (especially in the United Kingdom and United States) that often visit conferences, meet-ups and socialise, there are still a few who just don’t/can’t get on with each other for whatever reason. Let’s take a look at the a-typical personalities in web design.
If you imagine someone on par with how Zeus was in greek mythology then you’re probably getting close to the web industry legend. This person has been around, they’ve done everything on all levels and are well respected. They listen and still learn, they rarely bark but when they stamp down their mighty fist you had better damn well listen. They don’t talk for the sake of it, they don’t force you to listen but if you did you’d learn more in 5 minutes than you could in 5 months. This is ‘The Legend’ ladies and gentlemen, give them the respect they deserve.
The ‘I Know Better’ Person
You offer your advice but this person really doesn’t care. No matter what you’ve done and what you have achieved. The fact that you might be able to offer some valuable information, the ‘I Know Better’ really couldn’t give a monkey. He/She is so full of their own importance that they feel like you’re attacking them by offering advice instead of just listening and learning. Nothing you can do is good enough and they are not always right, but they’re never wrong.
Whether you’ve just started out in the industry or you’ve been in it years, this person couldn’t be any more of an ass. You’ve done something great, they’ve done something ten times better and it doesn’t stop there. You could have been perfecting your design for weeks, getting feedback and iterating and when this person sees it they laugh, they snigger and shout you down but they NEVER offer you any constructive feedback. They feel big standing on their soap box acting the big man. They forgot where they came from and where they started. This person doesn’t deserve to be in ‘our’ industry.
Lacking in creativity or just in awe of the so-called web-celebs, the sheep is a follower. They’re not scared of following trends but are very scared of straying from the norm. They may not have a style but they’re sure to be very inspired by the people that do. They approve of anything said by anyone, they rarely ever disagree to make sure they’re liked by everyone without realising that everyone else would just like them to have their own opinion. They never do any real harm, they’re just there in the industry, following in line.
The Grey Man
Undeniably the most dangerous person in the industry for you. The grey man stands at the back of the class, watching, listening and learning. They live for what they do and no one ever sees them. They never over indulge in industry discussion, they’re happy to go un-noticed from a vocal point of view. Every time they finish a piece of work it wow’s everyone but because the rest of the industry doesn’t know who they are they don’t stay on the radar for long. The grey man will professionally develop faster than anyone else in our industry and generally the grey man will become ‘The Legend’ at a later date.
The Helper’s are like our industry Red Cross. They have band-aids, magic cream and more. They love helping out whether it be offering feedback or creating tutorials. They love writing and speaking to help make our industry better on a whole. They’re generally very knowledgeable and liked because they give something back when everyone else doesn’t have the time. They make money from doing what they love, giving back to the industry with those little things, that we need every day.
The Hater is like the classroom bully but with less sense. They just can’t get on with anybody. They lack respect when it should be given and don’t really care about any opinions or views from the time-served professionals. They have to critique everything in a negative manner, nothing is every positive. Whilst these hater’s don’t give any respect to the rest of the industry, they don’t deserve any either. At some point in the future they’ll realise that they went about everything wrong and if only they’d listened and kept their mouth shut, everything probably would have turned out better for them.
Do you recognise any of the above personalities? I’ve met some of them and am happy to class some of the people I know as ‘The Legend’ status. Have you met anymore personalities that I’ve not listed above? Let me know and I’ll add them to the list.