Developers Are in the UX Business

UX is often thought of as the visual design of software. Though it’s an important part of crafting a great user experience, there is much more that must be considered.

A great experience for users requires focus on many parts of the software: visual design, reliability, ease of use, and performance, to name a few.

I’ve often heard programmers say “not my problem” with anything concerning UX. But it’s my opinion that programmers are just as critical in shaping the user experience as any designer, perhaps even more so. Programmers are the ones in the trenches, constructing the user experience and must be on guard at all times for problems.

If routes fail, performance is horrible, or features are buggy, then the user experience suffers, often horribly. Just ask yourself what your most common complaints about software are. For me it is slow loading pages and mobile pages that don’t behave. These are problems that programmers need to be aware of and work to fix.

Steve Jobs once said of design:

Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. People think it’s this veneer – that the designers are handed this box and told, ‘Make it look good!’ That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.

We’re in the UX business. We can’t forget that “how it works” part is a big part of that.