Designers, what resources would you recommend to a developer?

cdvillard profile image Charles D. Villard ・1 min read

When I started web development, I was hoping to work as a front-end developer. I was a bit passionate about it, and I still am, even though I work today in a full-stack environment that involves both JavaScript, Sass, and .NET. I've wanted to improve my skill as a front-end developer, and part of me feels like that involves a big more of a background in design than I have.

What resources would you designers out there recommend to developers who are interested in understanding more of what you do? A quick search of books brings up a few resources like David Kadavy's Design for Hackers and Tutplus' Design School for Developers but these seem a little dated. WOuld you still recommend these?

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Charles D. Villard


Web developer with a passion for front-end development and keeping the web accessible and available to all. His downtime is likely spent cooking, raising his kids, or reading up on development trends.


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You may want to have a look at Useful resources for UI and UX designers - it's on DEV.TO!

In this list I found HackDesign which I quite like. It offers an online study program teaching core design concepts. You can even subscribe for a weekly mailing.


Great question!

I had the awesome opportunity to be in a team co-located with a UX team in a large open room. That led to some great discussions and learning experience for me about good UX design principles. Taking on the mindset of "what is the user experience like?" and some of the tactics I learned... those have really helped me to make better end products.

So I can't answer your question, but I can vouch for the fact that designing for UX is an important factor to keep in mind. I think it also applies to the back-end but in a different way. "What is it like to call my API?" "What is it like to troubleshoot problems using my logging setup?" etc.


When talking about how software developers interact I think it's important if we start distinguishing the roles correctly. In the area of user experience (UX), there is a lot of overlap between roles. Both graphic artists and programmers work together to come up with something reasonable.

I know "Design" typically refers to aesthetic design, but can also refer to a user experience designer -- on many projects these are not the same role. On a software project they must also be seen as software developers. How the visuals look and behave is definitely part of creating the product, thus part of development.

In that light, calling programmers "developers" isn't specific enough. I thin it's a good idea to refer to use as programmers. It clearly defines the role we play (as I outline in my article here).

Am I being picky here? Yes and no. In the are of UX it's important to realize the programmer and graphic artists work together. There is a significant overlap in the areas of responsibility. Both participants must understand the other side, as well as the shared area. The resources for UX design and graphic design are likely quite different. As are the resources for UX coding.