Article: How Designers and Developers Can Learn to Like Each Other

An excerpt from, by Joshua Kraus

History is filled with legendary rivalries. Ali vs. Frazier. Tesla vs. Edison. Coyote vs. Road Runner.

But the rift between designer and developer eclipses them all. While both disciplines are necessary to create an effective application, the working relationship is often an uneasy one, fraught with conflict and misunderstanding.

Designers, for example, are miffed when they feel the developer isn’t honoring their vision. Developers, on the other hand, are irritated when the designer delivers an unworkable model. Designers can seem overly nitpicky, while developers can come across as small minded.

The Root Of The Problem

The designer/developer schism is rooted in each party’s misunderstanding of the other’s mindset and discipline.

A designer is tasked with envisioning how something will look, feel, and behave, but they’re not responsible for executing that vision. Thus, their design might be unfeasible or impractical.

A developer must translate a designer’s vision into a working product, even if that means altering, trimming or rejecting part of that vision due to technical constraints.

This can be frustrating for the developer, especially if they mistake a designer’s unrealistic demands as a sign of disrespect to the developer’s craft.

When all these wires get crossed, the relationship suffers, and so does the end product. But designers and developers are not fated to butt heads forever. Here is how the two can cultivate stronger, more productive relationships.

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