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Question for developers, would you consider picking up design skills ?

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  • User profile image
    LiquidBoy

    I've got an event comming up where im talking to a developer/designer community and I'm currently working out the contents of my session. This question goes towards helping me come up with my session contents, so your answers would be much appreciated Smiley

    These 3 question should only take 2 mins to answer total....



    Q: In the new world of Silverlight/WPF there is a strong need for good designers. Would you as a developer, forgeting the fact that you may think you don't have a single artistic bone in your body, would you consider trying to pick up design skills? If not are you 100% committed to staying pure developer?

    Q: Would you find articles/videos/tutorials of specific designer focused topics valuable eg. learn how to create a glass button, eg. creating a shadow without using bitmap effects

    Q: Rate out of 10 the importance you place on a beautiful looking User Interface and functionaly well conceived User Experience.



    To those that answer, a million thankyous!

  • User profile image
    Lloyd_Humph

    Well on a designer level hoping to get better... tidbits of information such as glass effects and shadows would be cool. I mean, I figured them out already but there are always new ways of doing things, so the way I do it might work, it just might not be as fast/effective as it could be.

    A beautiful UI has to be just that.. beautiful. But if you're teaching "beauty" then then beauty and functionaity come together. For example, a teacher was trying to play a CD today simply by opening WMP, putting the CD in and hitting play - not selecting the CD or anything, for it wasn't obvious. It would be to us perhaps, but thats a bad user interface if you've no idea. Then she double clicked the CD, and iTunes opened and played it. She then proclaimed to the whole class "and this is why iTunes is better".

    Gotta love tech-tards!

    If Blackberrys are addictive cellphones, Channel9 is the ultimate addictive website.
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    JChung2006

    1. Yes, a diverse skill set is useful.
    2. Yes though I would also like to see tutorials covering classes of techniques rather than step-by-step processes.
    3. 8 out of 10, assuming 10 is highest.

    I dislike designs that focus solely on visual appeal. It is important to be visually appealing but not if you sacrifice usability and functionality in the process. I favor minimalist designs with large fonts that try to keep tasks as simple as possible. I don't like "kitchen sink" (as if everything but) or "power user" designs. I am also leery of any design that purports to be "intuitive," because usually the ones that say they are are not.

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    In My job I have to be both dev and designer ... I am not as much a Gfx designer, more code side.

    I want to do better at design and Gfx.
    I am always looking for more on how to do it better.

    I'd Love to see some stuff on how to approach using Expression studio to build UI for an app.
    I'd also love to see more tools for pulling apart .psd files to use in SIlverlight and WPF
    some kind of converter from .PSD to Expression design format.
    not just a bitmap, the layers, effects etc...

    UI and UX are for sure very important 8? 9? as long as the rest do not have to suffer... function and code quality can not be left in the gutter.

  • User profile image
    alexmac

    figuerres said:
    In My job I have to be both dev and designer ... I am not as much a Gfx designer, more code side.

    I want to do better at design and Gfx.
    I am always looking for more on how to do it better.

    I'd Love to see some stuff on how to approach using Expression studio to build UI for an app.
    I'd also love to see more tools for pulling apart .psd files to use in SIlverlight and WPF
    some kind of converter from .PSD to Expression design format.
    not just a bitmap, the layers, effects etc...

    UI and UX are for sure very important 8? 9? as long as the rest do not have to suffer... function and code quality can not be left in the gutter.

    I started off in web design for about a year before moving into coding for the last 8 years which I have always been more drawn to.

    I have always worked for small-medium companies so have to do a bit of everything. I suspect many developers are in this position.

    1) Yes definatly and im not sure you can avoid this with WPF/Silverlight. On a tangent CSS which could be considered design I would argue is a definate coding skill (and one that doesnt seem to pay too well according to my collegues). Its definatly a skill/hack getting compex designs to display correctly in all browsers
    2) Yes I think this would be useful. I do alot of icon work etc with Fireworks and people are always surprised how easy it is to add shadows etc. Dont underestimate the basics that you probably take for granted. Some of the most useful skills are basic stuff e.g. how do use the magic wand selection tool, cropping etc.
    3) Both are important - I would rather have something that works rather than just looks good but we all know how important aesthetics can be even if a product is technically inferior ipod (cough)


  • User profile image
    harlock123

    Question 1
    Absolutely, in fact I have and I have stayed as a developer who can do some design. The combination has proven more than useful over the years and I suspect will only become more so as time marches onwards.

    Question 2
    Absolutely, as that's how I managed to gain the design skills I now have, I continue to search for these sorts of things now as well.

    Question 3
    The simple answer would be a 10 out of 10 but as with most things it's not that simple. Beauty being in the eye of the beholder, is different for different people. I do believe it's vitally important for interfaces to be engaging. I piece of software that is ugly and unintuitive but functional will still trump a similar software item that is perceived to be beautiful but is not functional. The key being to get both beauty and functionality together. Possession of solid design skills by a developer goes a long way towards helping that developer come up with that elusive mixture in their efforts.  Now technologies like Silverlight and WPF allow designers to craft UI layers leaving developers to hook those UI's to business logic. I as a developer enjoy knowing that to some extent I am capable of doing both tasks. Certainly useful is smaller development shops.

  • User profile image
    KrisG

    Q1
    Yes, don't know if this would be a success story but sure would like to try.  I've also some colleagues who definitely wouldn't want that at all.

    Q2
    Again yes of course for me and no for some colleagues..

    Q3
    Depends a bit on the target audience and the kind of software you're writing.  Functionality comes first until it reaches a minimum level.  I would say at least 7 and in that case the design would be more subtle.  Someone told me something i believe.. You can't have "no design".  There's only good and bad.  If you don't do anything with it, it's probably bad..

  • User profile image
    Dr Herbie

    1. Yes, I would (and do) consider picking up basic design skills. I don't want to be a designer, but i want to be able to complete an entire project single-handed.

    2. Yes.  I already tracked a few down but a single, large repository of tutorials would be good.

    3.  Beautiful UI is very important to software success.  I know that studies have shown that software purchase is an emotional response, not a logical one and UI would seem to be a big part in that.


    Herbie

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