It’s a common thought in IT industry, and moreover in software development that, although developers and designers have to collaborate, its no need for either of the sides to enter the others territory. But nowadays, its not unusual for a professional to wear multiple hats, but it is a good or a bad thing?
I honestly believe that there is a middle ground, called “shared understanding” which basically refers to the fact that a designer should have a grasp of how to code and how coding works, and a developer to know design principles, but it is not mandatory for either to be a professional in the other field. This could improve the quality of their work and the efficiency too.
Here are a few reasons on why YOU should know more about your coworker’s job.
1. Shared perspective. One thing that it will improve its how you see things, since that often a developer is coding with the client in mind, while as designers we design taking into account more how the user will interact with the application. When starting learning UX principles as a developer, you will eventually start taking into account the user when adding a new feature to the application, take as an example: when there is a component that needs to load fast so the user won’t be annoyed. As a designer, seeing the project through the client’s eyes, you will design a product that can meet the needs for both client and user.
2. Improved teamwork. Take a second and think about the next situation: would students get better scores if they could read their teachers minds? Probably yes. The same thing can be applied to designer – developer relationship, knowing how your counterpart thinks, and what he needs to be able to do it’s job will make you a great asset to any multidisciplinary team. This approach is useful for internal communication as well as idea pitches because you will have more of an idea about what to expect from other members of your team.
3. Elevate your skillset. Think about the next case, you want to buy a new phone, and find one that looks and feels kind of weird, the touchscreen is on diagonal, the camera is where the charger is and the sound is in the middle of the back, but the specifications are far better than anything on the market right now, would you choose it? No. Technology this days is more about what can the user do, more than what can the product do, so as a developer if you know more about UX you will keep in mind that sometimes its not the complexity that makes a feature outstanding, but its simplicity, and as a designer knowing how some features are done through code, you will design features that are more useful for the client, not only for the user.
In the end, we believe that having a bit of shared knowledge between other fields will definitely improve your growth and skillset as a professional, opening yourself to new possibilities and will improve the collaboration of your team.