Design is How it Works
What makes me different is that I am what I call a front-end designer, I design and build websites.
In corporate environments, the way design works is that a UX person designs something in Figma or Sketch or whatever, but it's a non-working comp. They may even go so far as to prototype it, which is a very inexact way to show interaction. Then this is passed over the cubicle wall to an engineer who takes that comp and turns it into something that works. The myth is that this step is done at a pixel perfect level. I've been in this industry since the web was a thing, I've worked for big companies and small, that really is a myth. The design is never fully realized. And that's fine, nothing is perfect.
But there are always micro-interactions that are missed. Great, you added that product to your cart, how does the customer know it's added? Or you've put a carousel in there (not ideal), does it pause when you hover over the photo? How does all this work if the customer isn't logged in? A great designer has answers for all these questions, but most of us are too busy (or just human) and haven't thought of every part.
In startups or forward-thinking companies, that process can work differently. The designer can actually work directly on the front-end on a fully-functional, locally-hosted website. That means that she or he sees the actual site working in its native environment and can fully realize every vision. hr
I've been just a designer, just a front-end developer, and I've worked in my happy spot: the front-end designer; I can say with absolute conviction that this results in a far better website. It's faster to build, the quality is higher, but most of all, the site can be organic and quickly change and evolve.