tpmx 2 months ago

I spent a lot of time on UI/UX design between 2004-2014 at Opera, the browser company (on the mobile browsers). Finding someone who was good enough at pixel level graphics design and was capable of iterating like us software people were used to was insanely hard, nevermind the complexities of the UI/UX designs.

I think things have gotten a lot better since then. Now it's routine to see very well-designed apps (and sometimes even websites) from even relatively small national/local entitities that totally nail all three main aspects: GFX/UI & UX (well, and sometimes even transitions/motion design). It's really impressive to see how the field has scaled up. I must assume that the various variants of education are working. (Northern European context.)

  • krm01 2 months ago

    One thing that helps us (3 person UI UX design team [0]) is to learn to code and write code for side projects frequently.

    This helped us be more in sync with engineering teams and allowed us to seemlessly get plugged into teams of Google engineers, Startups etc.

    [0] https://fairpixels.pro

    • samsolomon 2 months ago

      I think the more overlap in understanding—better delivery teams perform. That doesn't mean product designers are writing production code or engineers are tweaking designs. But it does mean that designers understand limitations and consistency, while engineers understand what the general experience should feel like. I think that leads to a pretty tight feedback loop where things can be iterated on quickly and there's not a lot of noise with arguing about what's possible or not.

      • ethbr0 2 months ago

        Bingo. The most effective PMs / designers / managers I've worked with as a software engineer spent their energy learning high level technical limitations. What's order-of-magnitude easier; what's harder.

        It's difficult to learn because it's experience-based listening and intuiting, without any books that I know of, but it provided a greater boost to team productivity than their learning nuts-and-bolts details.

      • Mezzie 2 months ago

        The main problem is that anyone who can do both is highly incentivized to go into engineering/coding instead of product design. The pay and respect are usually much better. So then that pool is limited further to people who can design and code well, prefer design, and don't need/want extra money.

        Then add on to that our current work culture prefers specialists to generalists: HR and exec teams will hire a product designer with 5 years of design experience and no coding over someone with 2 years of design experience and 5 years of software engineering experience.

        • Foreignborn 2 months ago

          I don’t find this to be the case. I’m a senior designer at a FAANG and chose this over being a SWE. And nowadays, the salaries are very competitive between pm, design and eng.

          When I was earlier in my career it was a major struggle to stop coding. every place out of university would say there was some kind of design opportunity for me, but then I’d find myself implementing mine and other designers features. I’m glad that’s over.

          Anecdotally, I’ve met several eng -> PM and Eng -> design transfers, probably all possible to the leveling of pay and prestige.

          • Mezzie 2 months ago

            I stand corrected! Thanks.

        • samsolomon 2 months ago

          I’ll second Foreignborn’s comment. I potentially could have gone the engineering route. I chose product design mostly because I enjoyed it more and felt like I was a stronger designer than engineer. I don’t see much difference in pay or respect. I suppose it depends on the org and whether product design is strategic though.

      • magicalhippo 2 months ago

        This applies for most things though. For example, when I got hired at my current place, I didn't know anything about the domain. The more I've learned about the domain the better code I write. Knowing the domain allows me to make informed decisions, discover potential issues etc, rather than just blindly follow some spec.

      • krm01 2 months ago

        Exactly this

    • karaterobot 2 months ago

      Speaking as a former developer, current designer, I agree that all designers should have some familiarity with the medium they're working in, in addition to the domain they're working in. An industrial designer should learn something about fabrication and manufacturing, and a software designer should learn to code. They don't have to become experts, but ignoring such an enormous aspect of your field for your entire career would be a missed opportunity. I hesitate to call it irresponsible, but to be candid that's personally that's how I view it. Call it an invaluable benefit.

      • chiefalchemist 2 months ago

        I like to say, design without consideration for manufacturing is art. In the context of business, design is not a tool for doing art.

    • andirk 2 months ago

      Encourage your designer friends to understand the constraints of HTML and CSS. Without that understanding, the ouput from the design team often looks more like print media.

    • simulo 2 months ago

      I find coding to be a useful skill when collaborating with developers and for writing my own prototypes, but it is not very valuable for getting jobs as it is rarely a required skill.

  • xwowsersx 2 months ago

    Can you share some examples of apps from smaller entities that you think are well-designed?

    • tpmx 2 months ago

      Scale is relative. I'm impressed by e.g. these Scandinavian apps: Postnord (!), Avanza, Hemnet, NRK TV, Instabox. There are perhaps 300-400 more of roughly equal quality in Scandinavia. For most of these: the maximum adressable audience (the population) is 5-10M and they still they reach a super high level of polish.

      • xwowsersx 2 months ago

        These are all quite nice, thanks for sharing. Wish I could read Swedish :P (or are these Danish? Finnish?)

      • krembanan 2 months ago

        I always thought NRK TV was so well done and beautiful, glad to find someone else that feels the same way :)

    • devteambravo 2 months ago
      • xwowsersx 2 months ago

        I'm not seeing anything here that makes me think "this is good design", but maybe I'd need to sign up for each product. I saw some cute landing pages and some Typeforms. Were you directing to me to something specific?

        • devteambravo 2 months ago

          Could you share something that does make you think "this is good design"?

          • xwowsersx 2 months ago

            I guess I happen to be really focused on certain types of apps/services right now, but off the top of my head: Twilio, Heroku, Enchant, Robinhood, McMaster-Carr (which was shared on here recently), Linear.app. Probably a lot more, but these are apps that deliver a ton of complex functionality and make the components you need accessible easily without creating cognitive overload as a user.

pier25 2 months ago

This is cool but, like anything, practice is far more important than theory.

There are tons of websites that give you fake briefings and challenges to practice on:

https://uxtools.co/challenges/

https://fakeclients.com/ui

  • itsuka 2 months ago

    I am a self taught (still a novice) with a background in development. I have difficulty in motivating myself to practice using resources like this. Perhaps due to its fake nature and lack of feedback loop.

    The article touches on something that resonates with me, that is you may find yourself learning more (practical skills) on the job. So I wonder if there is a way to learn faster without having to switch careers, such as being a part-time designer at startups, practicing under a mentor, or indie-hacking a product. Does anyone have any advice on this?

    • marc_io 2 months ago

      Create a MVP to solve a personal itch and launch it out there. You could even use no-code tools for the most technical part, to focus more on design.

      Practicing with a real project brings enormous potential for learning based on quality feedback.

      As a bonus, you might end up creating a business with real users that you can further develop or sell right away if you're not interested in going down that road.

      • itsuka 2 months ago

        Solving a personal itch seems to be the learning method that would work best for me. So far, I have only been practicing through hackathon. Although it's practical (I think), it is not necessarily solving a problem that I care about, so it shares a similar motivational issue above.

        Thank you for your thoughtful advice.

12thwonder 2 months ago

Most of the UI/UX designers that I see at work and other places are basically graphics designers. I just wish UI designers learn more about interaction design than just pure graphics design.

  • gsmo 2 months ago

    Just to add to this (copied from other branch)

    The challenge the profession currently faces is that a lot of people go into it for the wrong reasons and who are not suited for it. Because there is no money in traditional graphic design, many graphic designers elect UX thinking it's nearly a 1:1 transfer. There is a lot of mis-match.

    You really have to really like and have a good sense of human cognition and human factors first and foremost. You also have to like thinking in systems. You are basically design (engineering) solutions for how humans interact with computing in all its forms and in many modes.

    Many designers, whether they admit it to themselves or to others, would really rather be designing book covers and concert posters.

    • Mezzie 2 months ago

      And the people who ARE interested in those get less far because we don't have as many shiny things to show off to HR to get an interview in the first place.

      • maroonblazer 2 months ago

        I've hired a number of junior designers based almost solely on 'made up' projects and school projects. I know many others who have too. If you're good, or at least show potential, at the junior designer level it doesn't matter.

  • sarchertech 2 months ago

    I took a few elective Human Computer Interaction classes in undergrad and grad school. I have never seen a company pay more than lip service to doing actual UI design.

    I generally work with graphic designers who made the switch to calling themselves UI/UX designers because the realized it paid more. They’re much better than me at understanding composition, fonts, colors, visual hierarchy etc…, but they don’t know much at all about actually designing interactive UI.

    In many cases the designers are the first people to work on engineering the product and they aren’t equipped for this work at all.

  • DrewADesign 2 months ago

    Conversely, many of the developers I came across in design firms were cargo cult coders who got jobs because they very confidently presented their mediocre-at-best development capabilities as plausible to non-technical people. In fact, they likely didn't even know they weren't great because they generally completed the simple tasks they were given and the people evaluating their work knew less than they did. Not knowing enough to a hire and direct qualified staff is a management problem, not a problem with the field.

    TBH, the overwhelming majority of developers assume they know a lot more about UI, UX and visual design work than they actually do... I'm continually shocked by how many think bringing in a UX person to add visual polish to an otherwise complete product in any way makes sense. In software dev environments, they necessarily have a lot of say in who gets hired. If you're not clear on who does what in the design business, you get people with shiny portfolios of app UI screens assembled in Photoshop to do your "UX" if there's enough time and budget left for the "extra" sprint.

    • sizzle 2 months ago

      Thanks for saying what needed to be said and the elephant in the room. I see this arrogance in boot camp coders often.

  • cmrdporcupine 2 months ago

    Unfortunately it seems like most staffing departments seem to think that this is what UX is. Often where you'd see "web designer" or "graphic designer" before, it's been renamed to "UX designer" and the emphasis is really on visual appeal or ability to toss together web pages etc. rather than on the skill of information architecture, usability flows, user research etc. For some people there's an overlap in these skills, but not for all people.

    My wife is trained in UX research and UX/UI design and is trying to break back into the job market after years of being out (kids, sick mother, school, etc.) and although she had a background in some graphic design (and marketing and content) years ago, she doesn't feel confident-in or want to emphasise on graphic design and doesn't have an up to date portfolio of that kind of thing. And what she is finding is almost all the positions titled "UX Designer" are really just "web design" or "graphic designer" with a fancy new title, and they won't look at her, really.

    The few times that I've done front end work I've always found it frustrating how the UX people I worked with seemed more concerned right up-front with pixel padding and font choices and colours and animations and logos than with getting the initial storyboard and low fidelity mockups right first.

    TLDR; most shops hiring "UX designer" are really wanting to hire graphic designers and pixel slingers.

    P.S. if you know of anybody hiring (remote, full or part time or freelance) for UX research, content design, information architecture, and so on and who wants a mature and conscientious worker with past professional experience in the tech sector... ping me at ryan . daum @ gmail.com

  • chiefalchemist 2 months ago

    The same applies to web design. Using Photoshop to create an image that looks like a website doesn't make someone a web designer, any more than creating an image that looks like a house would make them an architect.

  • sibit 2 months ago

    > Most of the UI/UX designers that I see at work and other places are basically graphics designers.

    What I think is worse is even when they have a formal background in UX the company never wants to utilize it. Every time it's the same junk process. Instead of deriving features from user journeys, empathy maps, and personas the company has the "UX" person generate documents that validate the feature list the customer already wanted, users be dammed. You can also forget about A/B testing or in-person testing the person at the top with a C in their title knows what their users "need" so there is no need to pay for testing.

  • Hnaomyiph 2 months ago

    It's funny because I went to school for computer science, I grew up doing graphic design, and have a lot of experience having done a lot of work in both departments, but never a strict UI/UX role. When I tried to apply for UI/UX positions I either never heard back, or was told time and time again that I was lacking specific UI/UX experience.

    Thought it was always funny, I guess hiring managers don't see the overlap the same way I do.

  • nicbou 2 months ago

    I run a boring website, and I care a great deal about UX and accessibility.

    It's nearly impossible to find good UX resources for boring websites. It's all "30 clothing brand websites with cool hamburger menus".

    If you're building a knowledge base, you're pretty much on your own. There's only the UK government's blog, nngroup.com and a few others.

uxcolumbo 2 months ago

Why is it called UI/UX designer?

UX is an umbrella term covering many design disciplines, like interaction design, UI design or research.

UI is a subset of UX.

Someone who is good at interaction design, IA, research and UI is nowadays called (digital) product designer.

It’s somewhat frustrating that the design industry can’t agree to use the right terms.

Also the guide missed to mention Axure or Just in Mind, which are real prototyping tools allowing you to prototype working forms and data grids, which are heavily used in business / enterprise apps.

The other tools mentioned, apart from Framer, are closer to creating clickable slideshows rather than sophisticated prototypes.

I would recommend these resources

https://designforhackers.com/

https://rosenfeldmedia.com/

https://www.nngroup.com/

And most importantly start creating as soon as poosible… learning by doing, eg recreate one of your favourite apps or site… you will learn a lot.

karaterobot 2 months ago

This guide should definitely include big sections on user research, discovery, and validation. These may be left off because they are thought of as more "product designer" skills, but what if I told you that distinction is meaningless? In practice, you'll have to do it even if you don't want to — but you should want to, because it's the way to actually make things good.

  • runarberg 2 months ago

    I agree, user research is an invaluable skill of a good UI/UX developer. I guess this is a roadmap, not a guide, and the author makes a passing mention of it, so I consider that sufficient.

    As a UI developer, I’ve never actually learned to conduct user research (skill that I’m definitely lacking), but during my time in the industry I’ve definitely learned to listen to my graphic designers that actually conduct these research, both to listen to and materialize their interpretation, and to bring my own interpretation. As a novice UI/UX developer I for sure had a lot of biases about user interaction which were deeply flawed, UI/UX research is a really helpful tool in braking these biases.

RedShift1 2 months ago

I feel like it is missing one thing: sit next to users and watch them use your software.

  • cpursley 2 months ago

    OpenReplay and Posthog both have session recording for JS apps. It's been really insightful (and often painful) watching our customers use/struggle with our software.

    There's others but those two are open source if you're concerned about user privacy.

    • karaterobot 2 months ago

      Posthog's site seems to be down, but thanks for posting these. I tried to pitch my company on Fullstory or Hotjar, but failed for reasons these options (which I did not find in my research, somehow) might address.

      • james_impliu 2 months ago

        (Ironically it might be an ad blocker in your browser causing this!)

  • snide 2 months ago

    Read the entire document. There's a big section on research.

    • RedShift1 2 months ago

      I did read the document, it talks about user interviews, surveys, testing solutions, etc... But never once the actual act of the designers sitting next to users and just observing what happens.

ThomPete 2 months ago

You teach yourself UI/UX by applying knowledge from outside the field through design patterns and trial and error to actual projects. Understand the user data adjust according, rinse repeat.

Understand business, understand programming sufficiently, learn how to understand data, learn how to observe and draw conclusions based on behavior, understand typography, color theory.

Avoid anything that says UX theory, design theory, design thinking, design psychology etc. Whatever relevance they have, it's already baked into the design patterns.

The biggest advice I have is find areas that don't have well established design patterns as that will normally be the areas you will have the ability to have the biggest impact.

This is my anecdotal +20 years experience making sure I stayed relevant.

  • pazimzadeh 2 months ago

    That's good advice.

    Another one is to put yourself in the user's shoes and then lean in to your own laziness in order to come up with a UI that will delight the average user.

    Also, in the beginning don't worry too much about the difficulty of implementing your ideas. You won't come up with anything new if you are always thinking "that's too hard" or "that will take too long." You can always scale back your ambition at a later time, but it's important to be excited about your ideas.

    There are a few sites that follow this philosophy:

    http://flyosity.com/design-then-code/

    https://designcode.io/

    Edit:

    Oh, and start prototyping the flow way before finalizing colors and so on. This is a great tool for it: https://principleformac.com/

tiffanyh 2 months ago

Copywriting is design.

Many of the examples are for web design however not once does it talk about copywriting. It goes way under appreciated but copywriting is also design (i.e. # of words you write effects UI layout in massive ways).

  • seanwilson 2 months ago

    > (i.e. # of words you write effects UI layout in massive ways)

    Yep. Does anybody work with dedicated copywriters and dedicated UI designers who don't do copy? What's the general process?

    I find the UI design and copywriting has to be done iteratively because they're interdependent and require experimentation to find the right balance. For example, sometimes there's a tricky layout situation that can be solved by just changing the length of the copy. Same goes for development, sometimes it can be easier to modify the UI slightly to make it more practical to implement e.g. some responsive design coding can get really complex if you're not leaning into what the browser lets you do easily with flexbox/grid.

    Work goes a lot smoother with better results when each team has some flexibility and collaborate in an iteratively way vs thinking they can handover their part and have it followed without any tweaks.

  • partlysean 2 months ago

    Completely agree. Content Designers should be part of the conversation just as early as Product Designers and Researchers.

    • karaterobot 2 months ago

      Earlier, if you ask me. Content should be an input to design.

  • gopher_space 2 months ago

    My biggest fear as a developer is that I'm unaware of something that's obvious to a domain right next to mine. I love seeing people break down their work like in this article, and I wish I had a way to add comments like yours to the model and see other's thoughts on where and why it fits in.

somat 2 months ago

I think design as an independent study is a mistake. it should always be coupled with underlying system engineering.

When they are decoupled you end up with architects making pretty buildings that are hard to build and operate. software that looks nice framed on a wall but trips up the casual user and is downright painful for the Professional user. and stylish consumer goods where the style interferes with the function.

  • colinjoy 2 months ago

    There is a common misconception that design is about "how it looks". Design is multidisciplinary at its core.

    That is not to say that there aren't mediocre designers and architects out there, but I would argue that – when taught right – there are few degrees that are more multidisciplinary and cross-domain by nature than those two.

  • whiteboardr 2 months ago

    You nailed all problems with design education in that comment.

    Rich Gold’s fabulous book “Plenitude” comes to mind.

diceduckmonk 2 months ago

I’m really curious about the sequel: navigating through the ranks of a tech design Org.

I’ve been a Senior SWE at FANG and have considered switching careers to design. My parents fed the family doing photography, I grew up from a design background, even spent a year in fashion design school part-time while I was a programmer at Google.

Seeing the politics and the non-objective strifes in the design org at Google, the actual day-to-day of the job seems offputting for me. This is obviously the bias of an engineer who has the privilege of focusing on concrete and mostly objective problems. The vast majority of my friends are designers, tech and non tech, and everyone is strong minded if not outright stubborn. For engineers, the strong mindedness can be resolved through logical arguments. With design a lot of it is intuition and/or unfalsifiable. UX research schools purport to teach quantifying and following the data/user, but the characters I know from design schools always think they know better. I can tell you the designers I met at FANG were data-driven 50/50 of the time. When they were data-driven, it was just confirming their own biases.

I’m not saying there is no room for design intuition. That made Apple and it also got Snapchat pretty far, until it didn’t. Also Marissa Meyer era Google and, to some extent, AirBnB with their leaders being designers. But most of the salaried designers I met design out of ego and portfolio building, with service design for users being secondary. It’s arguably a harder incentive problem than with engineers. What’s changed in the tech industry since PG’s Painters and Hackers essay is that design is a lucrative job nowadays, and it attracts art snobs who a generation earlier looked down on engineers as poorly dressed nerds (and they still probably do). There are many aspects of design school such as critique and the self selectivity means some designers are arrogant, but the “niceness” culture of the tech industry forces them to hide it. With this is also a bit of art elitism, and so I’m curious about the journey of a self-taught designer through such ranks, now that actual design departments exist and it’s filled with art-trained designers rather than engineers with design sensibilities.

lvl102 2 months ago

I feel the UI/UX space is so full of zero skill people.

  • insightcheck 2 months ago

    Is this really true, though? It's maybe plausible that people can hold positions without doing much, but I was under the impression that UI/UX requires a lot of expertise.

    From a couple of days ago on HN [1], it's possible to have over 1,000 layers on Figma just to create a button [2] and over 10,000 layers on an entire website. And that's just for creating a design on Figma. Then there is the field of UX research to gather data on the design, the sense behind choosing colors and typography for UI, a familiarity with working with shadows to create a sense of depth on the page, and even working with sound and audio for feedback.

    I don't even see how it's possible to hold a UI/UX position and not do anything, because there are very clear deliverables that can be asked for, and a manager can soon tell if a person isn't completing the work. It's plausible that low-skill people can exist in the field, but I genuinely can't imagine how one could stay low-skill yet keep the position.

    [1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=33013182

    [2] https://imgur.com/TodWS0r

    • diordiderot 2 months ago

      > 1,000 layers on Figma just to create a button

      Really proves the no skill point.

      • ceejayoz 2 months ago

        1000 layers for a button is a misleading description of the linked image. It’s an entire design system for every button in an app.

    • yetanotherloser 2 months ago

      Design is really important and a genuinely difficult skill. Unfortunately UI/UX design is a growth area that is currently attracting useless chancers like shit in a honey-and-vinegar sauce attracts flies. I feel a bit sorry for chancers because it must be a bit grim to know you are useless and have to fake it... but not so sorry I will hire one, or treat the one hired by someone else as the star they claim to be.

  • tpmx 2 months ago

    It's a bit like with developers. At least 50% are crap.

    • lvl102 2 months ago

      I really view UI/UX position as an excuse to have “friends” around the company.

      • emadabdulrahim 2 months ago

        You must work for a really mediocre company?

        Design makes or breaks a product. Not sure where you got the impression that it's useless and professional designers gets nothing done.

        • lvl102 2 months ago

          I am not contesting that UI/UX is incredibly important and hard. It’s just that 99.99% of the people in that profession are clueless.

          • emadabdulrahim 2 months ago

            Are 99.99% of developers clueless?

            I'm just trying to understand what makes you think that in the field of design, 99.99% of the professionals are clueless? What about in the marketers? Are they also 99.99% clueless?

            Trying to learn how non-designers think of the profession/professional designers.

            • rileymat2 2 months ago

              Having worked with an excellent UX designer, specifically not a graphic designer, he was great.

              The difference between him and the other ones I have run into since, he watched users use the product, he would ask users how they might operate low fi paper mock ups, before us developers even saw the design. He tried his best not to project his own preferences and idiosyncrasies on the interaction design.

              On the other hand, I have not seen this since. Compared to him, in my anecdata 90% are not clueless, but pretty bad.

              • rileymat2 2 months ago

                To add on, he was not some genius, what he did was listen.

      • tpmx 2 months ago

        I don't doubt that there are a number of broken companies where that is the case. Sorry if you're in such a place :/

  • nfw2 2 months ago

    I agree that a lot of UI/UX professionals have dubious qualifications.

    That said, talented designers can arguably be a company's most valuable employees. Product design is the axis on which many tech companies compete, not technological innovation. Technical competency is table stakes.

  • agumonkey 2 months ago

    I hesitate to conclude this but I have a feeling that this is a 'wishful sketching' profession for many.

astral303 2 months ago

One could write a whole book about great UX using only interfaces in ncurses/text mode. (Edited: I missed a section on UX/research).

  • snide 2 months ago

    Read the entire document. There's a big section on UX and Research.

cloudking 2 months ago

UI = how your product looks and feels

UX = how your product makes users feel

Well designed products have to balance looking nice with not frustrating users.

hizxy 2 months ago

This is why we have bad software

  • gsmo 2 months ago

    The challenge the profession currently faces is that a lot of people go into it for the wrong reasons and who are not suited for it. Because there is no money in traditional graphic design, many graphic designers elect UX thinking it's nearly a 1:1 transfer. There is a lot of mis-match.

    You really have to really like and have a good sense of human cognition and human factors first and foremost. You also have to like thinking in systems. You are basically design (engineering) solutions for how humans interact with computing in all its forms and in many modes.

    Many designers, whether they admit it to themselves or to others, would really rather be designing book covers and concert posters.

  • klysm 2 months ago

    Care to elaborate?

sizzle 2 months ago

There is not enough hours in the day to do UX research well and keep up with design/prototyping tools and UI kits and be able to test them with users. If you are trying to do all these things you are severely understaffed and doing the work of a whole design team.

Stop perpetuating the myth of the solo unicorn designer who can do all the end-to-end design work alone and well. I’ve never seen this generalist approach work well in industry because you will never go deep enough to do good work in any of these vastly different areas of UX design and research, let alone front end and mobile design standards (UI design).

Focus on one area of design that you are passionate about and make your career out of applying that skill set instead of being the generalist who can’t do any one thing well.

Can anyone relate?

  • MetaWhirledPeas 2 months ago

    > Stop perpetuating the myth of the solo unicorn designer who can do all the end-to-end design work alone and well. I’ve never seen this generalist approach work well in industry because you will never go deep enough to do good work in any of these vastly different areas of UX design and research, let alone front end and mobile design standards (UI design).

    If the myth is that a single person can do what a UX team does then I agree. But to imply a single designer can't create a good user experience is complete nonsense. We've propped up modern UX to an absurd degree. Yes it provides value. No it's not the only way.

    • sizzle 2 months ago

      I never implied they can’t, if you have a green field project with no technical constraints then it’s pretty straightforward to make whatever you dream up. The article is trying to teach every discipline of the field of user centered design and companies past a certain size i.e. F500 companies, have design teams with people that specialize in the different areas like research, interaction design, front-end UI prototyping, etc. go look at google UX positions and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

      The lone UX unicorn designer this article is targeting runs counter to UX positions in large companies and the work they do as a member of a design team.

      If you want to be a solo jack of all trades type designer then certainly disregard what I’m saying, just giving advice as someone who has knowledge of what hiring managers are looking for on their design teams.

      • MetaWhirledPeas 2 months ago

        OK right, I agree with that. If you're a manager hoping to run your UX through one person you're going to have a bad time. That said, a lot of true innovation in user interfaces is going to come from a solo person dreaming something up and doing a bang-up job of implementing it. I think even a large company would benefit from encouraging side experimentation from their designers (or even non-designers) as part of their "20% time". (This is one more reason to decouple the logic from the GUI.)

        • sizzle 2 months ago

          Definitely agree with both of your points. A designer turned developer is also a force to be reckoned with and has "start-up founder" written all over them :)

    • maigret 2 months ago

      For simple projects, sure. On complex systems like most big IT companies have, then you need specialization. Same as for coding and administering actually.

oxff 2 months ago

I think UX designers have already caused enough havoc, we don't need more of them

  • karaterobot 2 months ago

    Design is a side-effect of making choices. The idea is that you get someone to do it who has experience and is thinking very hard about it, and testing their assumptions. But the alternative is not to have no designer; that is impossible. The alternative is just that someone else does the design, usually someone who doesn't even know that is what they're doing, let alone care.

  • maigret 2 months ago

    What a bad statement without any proof. For sure, I suppose Apple isn’t making money out of its designs, by side helping normal persons to deal with heavily complex computers. And Google, Microsoft etc hiring tons of designers to keep up with it.

    Of course, the more you scale design, the harder true talents are to find. That doesn’t mean the profession is useless. Also, developers caused a lot of havoc as well. Nothing that goes wrong today has been put on the market without developers. That doesn’t make them useless either though.

  • klysm 2 months ago

    How do you reconcile this with a lot of software having horrible UX? It has real consequences

    • linguae 2 months ago

      Here’s my take: in many projects there are design and engineering tradeoffs that put the user’s needs and interests against the company’s interests. A simple example would be ads. Many websites and software tools rely on ads for funding. There are many ways to serve ads with varying impacts on the user experience. The challenge is serving the ads in a way that brings in acceptable amounts of revenue while not alienating users with annoying, intrusive ads that drive users to their competitors.

      Of course, there are many situations where users can’t use competing software, or where there is no competitor. This leads to resentment, and I believe some of the negative sentiment against some UI/UX designers comes from people being burned by bad experiences caused by UI/UX being optimized for the interests of the company instead of the user.

  • runarberg 2 months ago

    What do you mean? Are telling us that a lot of people in the UI/UX industry don’t have talent? Are you telling us that the UI/UX industry is bad? Can you clarify, otherwise a lot of people here—that are members of that industry—are gonna assume you mean they aren’t good at their jobs, and will take offense.

ForOldHack 2 months ago

I was hired on words alone also: I critiqued their design, and gave them some tips and guidelines: Hired on the spot. Designed part of an app, that was so well liked, it became standard and lore.

This article in particular is next level. Even if you know UX, even if you are great at UX, this one is good.

umutcnkus 2 months ago

Do you think investing to learn UI/UX design worth the effort for a frontend developer, besides personel fun?

  • colinjoy 2 months ago

    If you think that your job is to translate requirements from Jira into code that passes unit tests and ticks the functional requirements - maybe not.

    If you think that your job is to create interfaces that people don't hate using – maybe yes.

    When I look at candidates for a frontend developer position, design instinct is definitely a major plus. That said, I would not expect them to be able to build mockups in Figma or conduct qualitative user research.

swyx 2 months ago

this roadmap is very heavy on theory, and geared towards being a professional designer.

if you're like me and are mostly a developer who just wants to get incrementally better at design piece by piece, here's the roadmap i've been working on for about 3-4 years:

https://github.com/sw-yx/spark-joy/