How to Avoid Being Stereotyped in Web Design and Development Industry

Posted on June 26, 2013 by Nikhil P Naik

Cut-throat competition in the web design and web development industry with service providers making all endeavors to win projects and please clients, has many a times lead to web developers and designers being stereotyped with certain preconceived notions. While some of the reasons for being stereotyped have some basis to the fact; some are however just anomalies and have no element of truth or justification in them.


While some stereotypes can be considered harmless prejudiced notions to have evolved from a certain frivolous incident or experience of an individual; some may however have detrimental effects on the business at large, when stereotypes biased on culture, race or gender influence decisions. Here in this article we are discussing a few of the common stereotypes that have been dominating the web design and development industry and how you can beat those prejudices.

Demystifying Web Design and Development Industry Sterotypes
Stereotype #1. Expensive Cannot Be Poor Work

This is one of the prejudices based on the yardstick of ‘Cost’ and is considered by many (mostly big) organizations to bring guaranteed and exceptional results for web development or design. However, it is absolutely absurd to judge quality on expense because, even an expensive project might deliver shoddy results. At the same time, you might come across a talented designer who can deliver outstanding designs at cost-effective rates.

Demystification: The best way to judge the quality of work of a web developer or designer is to analyze their portfolio and make an assessment of their delivered projects. You’ll see that those who have a history of producing quality jobs will always deliver quality work irrespective of what they charge.

Stereotype #2. Outsourcing Companies Produce Shoddy Work and Are Basically Cheap Labor

This is perhaps the most prevalent stereotype in the web design and development industry in the recent times. At a time when the world is reeling under tough economic conditions, outsourcing designing and web development projects to outsourcing hubs like India, Pakistan, Ukraine, etc. has been considered by many U.S based organizations as a means to cut project costs.

However, this is a completely basely prejudice to believe that offshore web design and development companies produce shoddy work as it is seen that designer and developers in India are as equally skilled and talented as their counterparts in the U.S. The only difference is the cost of labor, which is possibly lower than those working in the U.S. It has to be understood that one ‘cheap’ provider delivering shoddy results cannot be the yardstick for an entire offshore industry.

Demystification: Choose web developer or designers based on the best competitive rates they offer for their quality of work, experience and skills; and not judging them by their culture or country of origin. Always remember that you always get to choose two amongst the 3 options – cheap, quality and fast. If you choose to have fast, quality work, it cannot be cheap; if you choose cheap and fast work, you will surely lose on quality; and if you opt for cheap yet quality work, you cannot expect it to be fast.


Stereotype #3. Freelance Developers and Designers Are Less Skilled Than Those Who Work For Large Enterprises 

This stereotype has been born just because of a few bad experiences many companies have had with freelance web developers and designers, which has led to the belief that all skilled professionals in the field of web design and development have been engaged by large companies. And all those hobnobbing in the freelance space are less skilled and therefore taken to be ‘cheap’.

Demystification: Freelance web developer and designers can be as or more talented than their large-organization-employed counterparts as talent and skill are boundless and require no accreditation as such for guaranteeing great results. Bad experiences can even stream from large companies and therefore, a freelancer’s choice of platform to provide service has no bearing on the quality of work that they deliver.

Stereotype #4. Female Web Designers and Developers Are Less Skilled Than Males

Sounds silly, but true; this is perhaps one of the most discriminating stereotype to dominate the web design and development industry even in this progressive 21st century. Biased gender roles that presume males are more technically inclined and make better developers than female counterparts; while females can only make good designer is completely prejudiced.

Demystification: Gender cannot have a role to play in stereotyping a good or bad web designer or developer. Because, what matters is skill and knowledge that can either be a very talented female developer in the highly male-dominated web development field, or a male web designer with exceptional designing skills.


 Stereotype # 5. Web Designers and Developers Are Geeky, Technical Wizards with No Social Life

This is a general preconceived notion prevalent in the web design and development industry, which may be true for some; but in reality hold no ground. Because what matters is the quality of work they deliver – not the looks or their social skills. So, if your main concern is to get the best job at a best price, the appearance or the social standing of a web developer or designer hold no value as that has no bearing on the job done – unless his rugged look or sleepless nights reflects on the overall project deliverables.

Demystification: A web developers programming skills or web designers designing skills has nothing to do with gender, hair, hygiene, weight or social skills of the person. So, while choosing a web designer or developer it is important that you gauge their professional skills and experience rather than their appearance as not all web designers and developers are geeky with no social life.


It is true that stereotypes may influence decision in the hiring process of web designers and developers and thus get in the way of productivity. However, I’m sure that a careful insight into the various stereotypes discussed in this article and my small attempt to demystify them will help you to beat being stereotyped and facilitate business owners to take cognizant decisions in the future.

About the Author: Darek Campbell is a Digital Marketing Strategist at

About Nikhil P Naik

Nikhil Naik has a Master's Degree in Information Systems, and is currently working as a Software Engineer at Microsoft. He also loves playing cricket, listening to music, and traveling. Twitter Handle - @buzz_nikhil.

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