What is a Full-Stack Designer?

become full stack designer

Full-stack designers are often referred to as unicorns. Find one and hold onto them. Let me explain why…

A full-stack designer is a talented creator who has involvement in each stage of a product-related design: research, design, HTML/CSS. In the bigger picture, a full-stack designer is someone who can understand a problem, identify opportunities, plan out a strategy and execute on said strategy to make their design come to fruition.

Designers are often presented with a couple career paths to follow. They can either immerse them in a particular skill or they can choose to broaden their horizons by learning about different aspects of the designing process. So, what’s better…a generalist or specialist?

It depends.

Being a generalist and seeing projects through from start to finish requires experience. It requires you to fail – then learn from it. Conversely, a specialist will have his or her own role to push projects forward. In addition, many established companies have a broader strategy but need professionals that can execute on a deliverable.

Difference Between Full Stack And A Normal Designer

As mentioned earlier, a full-stack designer has his or her hand in every stage of the design process. A “normal designer” works on a piece of the overall deliverable. Therefore, full-stack designers have a wide range of skillsets that include project management to UX design to coding to copywriting to [you get the point].

Here’s a great example of a project for a true full-stack designer.

full stack designer

source: Medium – Eden Vidal 

Should you Become a Full-Stack Designer?

In any market, a full-stack designer has a lot of worth and value. This is especially true when it comes to servicing small businesses or startups. One talented full-stack designer can accomplish projects with very little hiccups throughout the process. They can also work closely with key stakeholders to gather input to make sure the final product meets or exceeds expectations.

Because a full-stack designer has a wide variety of skills in their tool belt, they are able to adjust to work on specialized projects if need be. The reverse is difficult to do.

The paths of design and development have crossed in recent years. Full-stack designers not only design but have a strong set of intangible skills such as good communication, leadership and project management. These are all great skills to develop if you want to transition from a design professional to a leadership position or your own company.


Being a full stack designer can be quite overwhelming at times because you’re learning multiple skills and wearing many hats. A person who is new to the design/marketing field might be more inclined to the idea of being a conventional designer rather than a full-stack designer which is perfectly normal. As you progress along your career path and your skills develop, you may want to think about becoming a full-stack designer for the reasons mentioned above. Full-stack designers continue to become more in demand as companies are able to outsource many one-off projects.