#nodesigndev: design by the hands of developers


Recently launched service nodesign.dev, which collects design tools and materials (mainly UI). The idea is that many developers have to design some elements of their projects from time to time, and most do not have relevant design experience or art education. The creators of the service decided to help them and launched the movement of the same name urging developers to share experience, best practices and knowledge in the field of design with each other. The ultimate goal is that as many small projects as possible without a full-time designer can afford a good look and UX.

Strictly speaking, the creators of nodesigndev did not invent anything new. There are thousands of sites with similar collections that the same web developers use every day, Dribbble and Behance daily get a huge amount of ideas and layouts. It was ideology that became new, and judging by the active discussions in the community, it is quite in demand. However, the discussion of the very nature of UI / UX design, as well as the choice of approach to it, gives rise to a lot of controversy, and here’s how opinions are divided:

1. Design (as applied to the web) is not too complicated, iterative process

Each developer can master it, because designing user behavior is essentially not much different from designing, say, routing. Of course, a developer should not do some things like icons and other small UI elements himself, for this there are a huge number of libraries and services.

Advocates of design inclusiveness often cite an example approach Stanford School of Design or a large studio IDEO, which involves the development of any design product by people without art education, for example, builders or biologists.

ideo.com/about Slide text: “We believe that diversity – training, opinions, experience and disciplines – is an integral component of every design challenge we face. As a result, there are no two similar project teams in IDEO. By mixing our diverse group of designers – from anthropologists to nutritionists and writers – we create teams that can solve any problems. ”

2. Design is more than UI / UX

This is not only the logic and visual wrapper above it, but also a set of principles by which the entire product is built. Therefore, it is necessary to think over the design not at the stage of designing the finished system, but at the stage of its design. In a sense, the principles of good practice in programming developed later and by blood are also a design, but besides them, you need to pay attention to the optimization of data marching and behavioral patterns, and to the organization of user support during use, and even things far from development like the structure of technical documentation.

All this is not easy to keep in mind, so the authors of such posts suggest comprehending design zen through different books and courses, which in a sense goes against the idea of ​​nodesigndev. Of course, no one forbids self-education in an unfamiliar sphere, but the idea was originally different.

3. Nodesigndev as a movement does not make sense

The absence of a designer in the team is a necessary measure, and spending time on “educating” yourself is illogical: it is impossible to get a full qualification in a short time, but rather than go half measures, it’s better to find a designer on suitable conditions. Many of them lack just the technical background and they will be ready to provide their competencies in exchange for yours, or you can offer the candidate a share in the project, as is often the case with startups. There are a lot of options, and all of them ultimately allow you to produce a better product than if you designed it yourself using UI consumer goods.

Or just work with the designer. Thousands of them want to create technical pieces, but they lack their own skills and they themselves want to collaborate with developers. Turn to a few on social networks and you will be surprised how susceptible they are. [к идее сотрудничества].

You don’t need to do everything yourself, and you definitely should not compromise on design if you want your project to be successful.

In fact, the opponents of the idea are only supporters of the third opinion, and in some ways they are certainly right. But personally, it will be very interesting for me to observe the development of the nodesignweb movement, and it will be a shame if it simply ends on a site with a collection of tools and libraries for UI. I myself often encounter the need to design something in my projects, and for me this initiative could be very useful.

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