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Experience and the Spec Work Debate


Last week, I posted some surprising results from Web Design Confidential (launching with Rockable Press later this week) regarding our community's opinions on spec work. Our readers had a lot to say! A lot of you requested further statistics comparing opinions on spec work to the respondent's experience. It was such a good discussion that I was happy to oblige. This is a special statistic report not included in the book and pulled just for WebDesignTuts+ readers! Take a look below the cut for statistics and how experience influences our opinion on industry topics.

To give us a better idea of the relationship between years of experience and opinions on spec work, I cross-tabulated the results with another question on the survey: "How many years have you been working as a web designer?"  Due to the limitations of SurveyMonkey, I only cross-tabulated the top four responses from the question on spec work.

You can see that the response, "I would never participate in spec design competitions." increases sharply the more years of experience the respondent had. Likewise, the more experience designers have, the less likely they are to participate in spec design competitions. Those with little or no experience were much more likely. The red bar ("I have no opinion on spec work.") is interesting, though--we're most opinionated during the middle years (6-9 years of experience) then seem to "mellow out" once again as we get older. Relatively inexperienced designers are still the most likely to hold no opinion, however.

Now that you've seen the way experience effects our opinions on spec work, does it pan out like you thought? Why do you think "no opinion" increases again after more than 9 years experience? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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