Design Engineers

The job title “Design Engineer” has been having a moment. I commented on Jim Nielsen’s takes recently. To me it makes a logical sense. The engineer aspect means they know the tech (HTML, CSS, JavaScript), and the design aspect means they are building and refining the look and experience. You don’t have to be both. The point of this role is that you do have this specific combination of skills and put it to good use.

Poking around big job posting sites, I do see it around used like this a bit (nice!) but it’s a more common term in the not-terribly-related field of mechanical engineering. I wouldn’t hate it to see it as “Web Design Engineer” when used officially.

Maggie Appleton has curated a bunch of writing, and just as interesting, a group of actual people who typify the role and examples of their work.

Design engineer captures something simple, important, and worth distinguishing: a person who sits squarely at the intersection of design and engineering, and works to bridge the gap between them.

I feel compelled to say that the kind of design engineering examples on display are what I see heaps of on CodePen every day.

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Sarah Drasner is a heck of a designer, and has a wonderful course called Design for Developers where you'll learn to be a self-sufficient designer.

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