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response to why devs hate designers

Friday, October 30, 2009

My response to this post on a friend/colleague's blog got really long-winded, so I'm using it as an opportunity to actually create content on my own site! Yay!

Now go read that article first. I'll wait.

Yes. And I'd like to add that the designer/developer relationship shouldn't be without friction. Without friction, there is no change; there is no innovation. But with too much friction, there is no progress.

Developers these days, particularly UI developers, cannot be the code-monkeys of yesterday who were generally happy building mind-boggling algorithms only to have the results dumped as a stream of ultimately meaningful, but cryptic numbers and letters. These are the devs who need requirements so granular that they actually read like source code, and who more or less disengage when presented with a visual comp.

Today's developer works with UI frameworks that make strong considerations for design, usability, and accessibility. And through better understanding of these frameworks, many developers have grown to understand and empathize with user needs. (These are the ones you need to watch for and hire before someone else does!) These developers understand that requirements and visual comps can only go so far and that communication with designers is crucial.

Likewise, software UX and UI design as a discipline has matured greatly since the days of flinging visual comps at the wall and seeing what sticks. Successful designers and developers will have passionate conversations that consider requirements, user experience, technology, timeline, budget, and where to go for lunch. There will be frustration and compromise, but it should be in the best interest of the user; not the designer; not the developer.

Luckily, I work in an environment that encourages such relationships and pretty much frowns on using our "designer" and "developer" titles for anything but distinguishing our roles in the eyes of the client.

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meebo makes computer geek's day

Friday, January 18, 2008

I just noticed for the first time that my favorite chat client, Meebo, has support for a language called "Code Monkey" (located after Chinese and before Creole at the bottom of the page). Who says localization can't be fun?


PS: There's also a language option for the dyslexic crowd.

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next generation ui

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I submit for your approval the following ATM user interface concept:

Screen 1

Swipe your card to begin.

Screen 2

Enter your PIN:

> ****

Screen 3

Select a language:

  1. English
  2. Spanish
  3. Zork

> 3

Screen 4

You are using an ATM. On the screen is a prompt: "Swipe your card to begin." There is a suspicious man standing behind you.

> swipe card

Screen 5

You swipe your card and are prompted to enter your PIN, which you do. At the language prompt, you select English. You then choose to withdraw cash from your checking account. The ATM is currently displaying the following prompt: "Enter the amount you would like to withdraw." You can't help but notice the suspicious man behind you reaching into his pocket.

> enter 100

Screen 6

The ATM grinds and churns for a few moments, mechanically counting out five twenty-dollar bills. You see the bills quickly emerge about half way out of the cash slot. Before you can take your money, however, the suspicious man dives for your cash, knocking you out of the way. As you confront him, he pulls out a gun and kills you.

You are dead.

You scored 0 out of a possible 192 points. This gives you a ranking of "total n00b."

Restart, Restore, or Quit? >

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