|ISSUE 22||News & opinion | June 2001 | updated 7/11/01|
|MY NEIGHBORHOOD||WEB STORYTELLING||COMPETITIONS|
you paid what you're worth?
It's always interesting to compare your salary to that of others doing the same jobsometimes reassuring, sometimes irritating. This month lets look at two good sources, the 2001 AIGA/Aquent Survey of Design Salaries, conducted annually by the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) and sponsored by Aquent, a talent agency for designers, and Salary.com, a comprehensive and easy to use website which lists salaries for jobs of all types.
Each uses a different method of arriving at their figures and the results vary somewhat. The AIGA/Aquent survey is based on a yearly mail and internet survey of professional designers. Salary.com uses compensation information provided by employers, and claims that the information is constantly reviewed and updated.
I checked each for the median salary of an designer and of a web designer working in my area, Cleveland, Ohio. The AIGA did not list results for Cleveland, so I used the geographic area "East North Central." Salary.com allowed me to specify Cleveland, but the results were "based on national averages adjusted by geographic salary differentials." Here's what I found:
Pretty big difference for the web designer positionwhy? A closer study of the AIGA/Aquent results helps explain: salaries are broken down by size and type of organization. At a "large" (1000+ employees) or an "international" (as opposed to "Local/regional only") organization the median figure jumps to $50,000.
Then too, maybe employees understate their salaries a bit, and employers overstate them, meaning that the actual figure should fall somewhere in the middle.
So, are you being paid what your worth? See for yourself:
Jakob Nielsen's website, informative though it may be, doesn't exactly fire your imagination. Other sites filled with eyecandy and animation may look cool, but are quickly forgotten. They don't have much to say beyond what's on the surface, like a Hollywood action flic. What's missing here?
Storytelling. Narrative. What humans do best (except when you put them to work designing a website). A recent A List Apart article puts it this way: we've learned an awful lot about how to write (good handwriting) without learning how to write (an interesting story).
As with any new technology, we're spending a whole lot of time learning to use the tools. It's time to move past that: we've got to learn to use the medium to communicate.
Encourage conservation, not
Please share this information with as many people as you can. The United States, which consumes much more than its fair share of the world's energy, must take the lead in encouraging conservation, not consumption.
sale this month at P22
-Al Wasco, June 11, 2001
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