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Discussion on: Which type of Front-end developer am I?

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cubiclesocial profile image
cubiclesocial

I am a "functionality-first, 'pretty' second" developer. I prefer making things work (and work well) first and worry about whether the software is visually appealing/intuitive after the fact - sometimes many years later. I've used plenty of "beautiful" UI/UX over the years that is VERY broken software behind the scenes (i.e. doesn't function at all or barely functions) and completely ugly UI/UX that works just fine once the user knows how to use it. Training users on how to use any given system is a better approach, IMO. Nothing is intuitive for 80+ year old users (and even many 20+ year old users) - they have to be taught how to do things. If their job entails them using a specific system, they will learn how to use that system or lose their job. That's up to them. Obviously, the more consistent a system feels compared to other systems they have used in the past, the better off they will be.

I mostly build web admin interfaces for business systems. Internal users are easier to work with and train than external customers. I guess that makes me a backend engineer/designer.

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diogorodrigues profile image
Diogo Rodrigues Author • Edited

I got your point of view! ✔ And of course that if the functionalities are broken, the visual can´t help a lot.

I think the best scenario is when the visual and functionality work very well together, because one thing depends on the other. For example, Donald Norman said in the Emotional Design theory that there are three levels when we look at some interface:
1- Visceral Design: it is totally related to the appearance and unconscious. The user needs to feel attracted with the visual at the first time they look at the page.
2- Behavioral Design: it refers to the practical and functional aspects of a product. At this point the functionalities and usability should be working very well. We can love or hate a product depending on if we are able to use it or not.
3- Reflective Design: and last but not least "This is the highest level of emotional design; representing the conscious thought layer, where we consciously approach a design; weighing up its pros and cons, judging it according to our more nuanced and rational side, and extracting information to determine what it means to us as an individual. "

So, I completely understand what you said and I know that when users must use a specific system they will find a manner to do it, but, on another hand, these three levels of Emotional Design should be working very well in all applications (by the way, the reflexive level can make users use some product even when the visual and functionalities are not great or are very hard to understand - Facebook and Internet banking's for example).

I like this explanation about Emotional Design.