Can developers dress up a pig?

I know you're a great developer, but can you design?

July 12th, 2007 • Develop •
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When building your applications as a developer, you don't think about how pretty your application is supposed to look. Most developers focus on functionality. Does the application work? Yes. Ok...Good, I'm done!

But when you're done coding and everything is working, you have the other end of the spectrum you need to focus on: The graphics! My mother always said that presentation is everything (oh, and first impressions as well). This is also the case in software.

Most developers specialize in one thing: coding. Not all programmers and developers know how to create striking art for a web site. I'm not talking about grabbing a piece of clip-art and slapping it on a web site. I'm talking about using two hi-tech devices known as a pencil and paper and actually "developing" their artwork and translating it from analog into digital format.

However, there is a rare breed out there in the wild called devigners, a combination of developer and designer. If a developer has a creative eye and code an application as well, you have found a devigner. Managers, listen to me! If you spot one of these individuals, a two-for-one sale just fell into your lap. These people are worth their weight in gold and should be paid what they're worth. Besides, the name almost gives it a spiritual aspect when you "see" things differently. :-)

Don't get me wrong. Developers do have a creative side to them, but it's artistic in a different way.

The bottom line is that it doesn't matter how solid the database architecture is or how it provides quick access to the domain objects. If the developers don't have a visually stunning presentation, the product will not make it to market.

This is why there are specialists in the field dedicated to this particular function and your layout, graphic, and usability designers will play a big part in selling your application.

So, I ask you developers out there...can you dress up a pig?

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Picture of Jonathan Danylko

Jonathan Danylko is a freelance web architect and avid programmer who has been programming for over 20 years. He has developed various systems in numerous industries including e-commerce, biotechnology, real estate, health, insurance, and utility companies.

When asked what he likes to do in his spare time, he replies, "Programming."

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