Job titles are weird. Here are a few I’ve had (seniority omitted for brevity’s sake):
- Graphic Designer
- Interaction Designer
- Visual Designer
- Experience Designer
All of these have separate Wikipedia articles. None of them rank in the 2010 ALA survey findings (unless you count “Other,” the third most popular option).
In college I majored in Interactive Media Design, which they used to call Multimedia & Web Design. After I graduated, they changed it to Web Design & Interactive Media before merging it back into Graphic Design.
Some of my favorite web designers are graphic designers. Some of my favorite game makers are also my favorite web and interface designers. It seems like half the designers I’ve ever known are musicians (the other half are, of course, photographers). One of them is an abstract painter and sculptor, and one just built a chicken coop.
Perhaps the web naturally attracts the oddballs and outsiders of adjacent industries. Or maybe it’s too young to accurately define itself.
Another possibility: This could be the first medium where making and publishing something is often quicker than explaining it. Sometimes we don’t even know what we’re doing until our users clue us in.