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Finding Common Ground Between Designers and Developers

Ben Gremillion
Ben Gremillion

Designers and developers

Design and development are two different states of mind. To get a project out the door, however, they must overlap. We found this truism while developing our new Spec Mode feature, which allows designers to assign code to different elements in their UXPin prototypes.

Both designers and developers have key differences — and understanding these differences is the first step to bridging the gap between worlds.

(Note: this list applies to designers and developers in general based on our experience talking to both camps, and is not intended as a hiring guide or career affirmation.)

But it’s not all divisive. Both groups have a few things in common. They:

  • Try to speak each other’s language, with varying degrees of “huh?”
  • Sacrifice their wish list to the altar of impending deadlines.
  • Balance gut feelings with logical decisions.
  • Glad that Rogue One doesn’t disappoint.
  • Swear by their favorite tools.
  • Swear to finish on deadline and under budget.
  • Swear at iTunes’ user interface.
  • Read Smashing Magazine.
  • Balance desire with practicality.
  • Mentor their peers, interns, and recent grads.
  • View “inbox zero” as a nigh-unreachable state of zen.

They have their differences, but they also have their similarities — most notably, a common desire to do great work on time and under budget. The more they acknowledge their differences, no matter how small, the sooner they can learn to work together more efficiently, eliminate guesswork, and build great products together.

So where does your team overlap?

Illustrations by Trevor Halligan, @TrevorHalligan

Ben Gremillion

by Ben Gremillion

Ben Gremillion is a Content Strategist at UXPin. He’s worked as both a web designer and a back-end developer. On the side he builds and maintains a CMS for webcomic artists, and participates in annual NaNoWriMo challenges.

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