I’m working with a prospective client who needs specialized e-commerce assistance – more than I’m capable of doing in a timely manner. So I found an experienced PHP programmer who can provide this expertise.

We met with the client today and all went well. The programmer has a good grasp of the rather non-traditional desires of the client as far as the workings of the checkout process, and that’s great. I’m not going to make as much money from the job as I originally thought, because I’m now not going to be the one doing the cart, but the client will get exactly what he wants and hopefully I’ll get a good long-term business relationship out of it.

What irked me today was the way the programmer continually referred to me as ‘the one who’ll make it all pretty.’

‘Pretty’ isn’t the tip of the iceberg. What I bring to the table goes way beyond aesthetics.

It’s 9 years of personal e-commerce experience and 12 years of building websites; a strong graphic design background; an understanding of search engine optimization practices; a deep understanding of cross-browser compatibility and web standards; familiarity with Section 508 accessibility guidelines; the ability to partner with my clients and provide as much education on the care of feeding of their web presence as they can take; an understanding of information architecture and navigation; and an understanding of how to create a website that engages the customer from page one.

Programmers think that my job is all about aesthetics, and hard-core designers think that I shouldn’t use the word ‘creative’ in my business name because I’m not really a creative if I work with code. I’ve actually been told that to my face…

What exactly am I? I refer to myself as a designer/developer on my business cards and I thought that covered the bases pretty well, but perhaps not. Should I consider reworking my title yet again? Web strategist? Web jack-of-all-trades? Web designoper? Web develsigner?