Do Designers build E-Commerce back end?

Do front end web designers actually build back end e-commerce websites? Isn’t it the norm to either work as a front end designers really well and leave the back end to the programmers? Or am I mistaken about this?

The reason I ask, is, yesterday I was interviewing for a web design position. However, the individual was adamant that he must have a web designer who can do both front end design as well as build the e-commerce section of a website.

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I think you have your answer there! At least one company wants people with both skillsets.

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Perhaps there was some misunderstanding of the term “back end”?

i.e. you took it to mean function (a developer task)
the interviewer meant the non-public-facing ACP UI (a designer task)

When a job requirement includes both server and client side responsibilities the typical title would be full stack developer. Designers and front devs don’t typically take ownership of building a dynamic website unless implementing a common cms platform with minimal server side customization required. People who are not developers typically make the mistake of associating the title designer with everything related to managing a website.

If you think about it the back end of a content system (that is the bit that clients use every day) is just as important so to make it look professional it will be “designed”. Some content systems have very amateur looking back ends, usually where it has been made by a developer who isn’t a designer.

I don’t see the relevance to that question. Not to mention I would argue that it is MUCH more important that the client is able to manage product and customers are able to place orders than it is to have some outstanding admin panel design. Most developers can build an adequate back-end. I mean they pretty much follow the similar CRUD and listing patterns. Sure if the budget is there but most clients would probably focus on the customer facing front-end. Especially with tight budget constraints.

I’d agree mostly, but there can be a huge difference between an “adequate” and “well designed” back end. If it’s adequate then yes client will be able to manage their stuff, but something that is designed with purpose could have a better workflow, be more intuitive to use, and “feel” more professional.

Personally, when it comes to the ACP I’m more interested in features and functionality than looks.

At first I was a bit surprised how many at meta Discourse complained “Waa! I can’t style my ACP to look like the rest of the site”

I thought “So? Who else is going to see it anyway?”

But enough complained that it now can be styled, even if it allows Admins to make changes that break the site. Shocking as it may seem, not all forum Admins know basic HTML or CSS let alone Ruby or Ember - breakage does happen.

I guess for some a poorly styled ACP might make them have less confidence in it?

It depends on what’s being implied there, but these days, there are plenty of “plug and play”, third-party ecommerce options that a designer can implement without needing to touch much (if any) code. So, depending on what’s expected of the role, it’s not out of the question for a designer to be able to offer something in this area.

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