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What Every Designer Should Know About Development

As someone who has worked in the web industry for over 10 years, I've seen a lot of friction between designers and developers. Though there are rare individuals who act as both developer and designer, when a project is sufficiently complex and or the timeline is compressed enough, it often requires cooperation by people who specialize in one or the other discipline. This often means a struggle between vision and execution.

As someone who went to school for design and now runs a company that specializes in development, I can sympathize with both sides. Designers want the best in user experience and developers don't want to perform unnecessary work. These goals don't have to contradict each other and especially with the volume of open source code available these days they can be quite complimentary. A good developer can be a guide for designers, helping them to find the paths of least resistance and maximum ROI. A good designer should be advocate for the users, pushing applications and websites to where they need to be.

In the spirit of better designer/developer relations, this post highlights a top 5 list of tips for how designers working with developers:

  1. Design has a huge impact on project cost.
  2. It can be tough to be the last person to touch something.
  3. Developers think of design as black magic.
  4. Don't expect to earn points by suggesting technology solutions.
  5. Developers do have a horse in the race.

I'll be looking at each of these items in turn and talking about them in detail in a blog post over the next five weeks.

Date posted: February 5, 2010


Haha. True. It's so hard to get both sides on the same page, and working harmoniously. They both have different jobs, so I guess that part is understandable but they should look past themselves and just get along for the betterment of the project, don't you think?

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About the Author

Joaquin Lippincott, CEO

Joaquin is a 20+ year technology veteran helping to lead businesses in the move to the Cloud. He frequently speaks on panels about the future of tech ranging from IoT and Machine Learning to the latest innovation in the entertainment industry.  He has helped to modernize software for industry leaders like Sony, Daimler, Intel, the Golden Globes, Siemens Wind Power, ABC, NBC, DC Comics, Warner Brothers & the Linux Foundation.

As the CEO and Founder of Metal Toad, an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, his primary job is to "get the right people in the room".  This one responsibility is cross-functional and includes both external business development functions as well as internal delegation and leadership development.

A UCLA alumni, he also serves in the community as a Board Member for the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce, and Stand for Children Oregon - a public education political advocacy group. As an outspoken advocate for entry-level job creation in tech he helped found the non-profit, P4TH, an organization dedicated to increasing the number of entry-level jobs in the tech industry, and is in the process of organizing an Advisory Board for the Bixel Exchange, a Los Angeles non-profit that provides almost 200 tech internships every year.


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