Ask DN: A developer wanting to progress in visual design
almost 9 years ago from Ben Howdle, Freelance Developer & Designer
I'm primarily a developer, but hate the shackles of "code monkey" or similar terms, so I take an active interest in building products as a whole (see: http://benhowdle.im for a list of my projects). I'd love to think I have UX in mind at all times, even when building things like APIs, or using Backbone.js; facilitating the design process is paramount to me. However, I find myself constantly needing to collaborate (which, hey, isn't a bad thing!) or rely on my designer friends to help me/implement that last 5-10% of visual polish to make a product really shine. I think I speak for a lot of developers in saying that we know that something isn't quite right with what we've produced, but lack the know-how on how to execute a really polished product.
What am I best to do? Practice making UI components in PS/Sketch? Browsing lovely sites? A combo of both?
Is it truly possible to be a hybrid, equally good at both ends of the spectrum (visual design, right through UX to backend architecture)? I can only really think (off the top of my head) of maybe, half a dozen people who I could place in that hybrid category.
I know it may sound quite arrogant to say that I'm good at UX, but it's something I feel strongly about and always make sure it's prominent in all areas of my work/products. That's why I'm purely asking about visual design.
Any guidance/tips are appreciated!
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