Developers Should Code, Designers Should Study Business

By Guest Author

It is more than clear to everyone that a world of modern business simply couldn’t function without designers. This being said, the need for quality designers is constantly on the rise, but this poses yet another question. What is it that makes one into a quality designer? Sure, being skilled with the code is one of the possible answers, but it is not a completely honest one since there are a lot of people out there who have mastered the code without any major success in this field. The closest thing to a proper answer would be that the most successful designers are those who can see the big picture and the only way to get there is to study business.

What Does “Seeing The Big Picture” Mean?

When they first get hired, most designers just get a task (or several ones) and with a vague explanation of what is expected of them, they are to do miracles. Even though there are some honorable exceptions, most of designers, although obsessed with their work, seldom ask the question of why am I doing this and to what end. Some may laugh at this thought and even call such questions unnecessary and redundant, but what they keep forgetting is that this understanding of the specific industry can contribute to their design in many ways.

Staying Relevant

The best example of this can often be seen in some of the most innovative companies in the world. By knowing their industry inside and out, designers will be able to stay relevant. In fact, it is not so strange that Google and Facebook both endorse such ambitions in their designers. After all, giants of the industry are not exactly that by an accident, so mimicking their moves might not be such a bad idea after all. Borrowing a thing or two from the most successful brands in your line of work is always a sound plan, but you always have to scratch beneath the surface.

On Their Own

Even though it is now more than evident how useful this holistic approach to education can be, it is highly improbable that any business will invest in something like this. For this reason, it is vital that both designers and developers are willing to invest a bit of time and resources in their self-improvement efforts. Needless to say, learning a bit about brand design can be extremely useful to anyone in this profession.

Developers Should Code

Although some may believe that all of this just sets impossible standards for designers, it goes the same in opposite direction. Having the required skills to do a single type of tasks, f.ex. being an expert in a single programming language, is no longer sustainable. Modern digital enterprises rely on teams of broadly skilled programming engineers who are able to tackle many different problems, all the way from frontend to backend. Imagine being a designer and having to compete with expert coders? That is clearly not a good direction to take.

Design still comes first

Even though learning a thing or two about business is important, no one is going to care about how deep your understanding of your company policy or modern business ideas goes if your designs are not good enough. In most cases, this is the only thing relevant to employers, and for a good reason. Sure, every additional bit of knowledge helps, but this only works if one has a solid foundation to begin with. Without being good at design, all the additional knowledge you acquire,  won’t do much good. Whether it’s about business in general, or some aspect of it like the ever important digital marketing and SEO.

Becoming a true renaissance man never hurt anyone and the only side effect it may have here is making one better at what they do. To return to renaissance once more, artists of the era spent hours, days and years studying human anatomy and history of civilization in order to understand mankind. Only this allowed them to faithfully portray a perfect human figure in marble or create literary masterpieces that stays relevant even today. Understanding how the world (or in this case business world) works, helps one create ultimate masterpiece that can fully satisfy all the requirements set in front of them. After all, designer are nothing short of true artist.

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