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Between Muhammed Ali and Mike Tyson: Devs vs. Designers. - Issue #16

Consonance Club Newsletter
Consonance Club Newsletter
Hi there!
How are you doing? Happy Eid el Mubarak to all Muslim Consonance members! 
So, the sun is up and the ram-a-dan, comman gimme meat. Tenks.
I know some of you are already saying “corny joke, it’s not even Ramadan.” Na una sabi.🙄
 I sha want to eat meat. Send to my address if you love me. T for tenks.
This week, we’ll be discussing a serious-not-so-serious topic.
We’ll be talking about the age-long, never ending fight between designers and developers. 
We’re going to use this conversation to open the Consonance Book of Remembrance to the Chapter on Designers. 
I’m not sure any other tech clusters sub each other like devs and designers. Maybe Product Managers and devs come close sha.
Be like say developers are the most problematic of the bunch. Na una dey fight everybody. You people should change your ways. 
Anyway, there’s always talk about developers being too lazy to implement designs properly or over-ambitious designers that want you to code Snake in the Monkey’s shadow.
So, I’ve taken it upon myself as the gentu geh and peace-loving person that I am, to try and solve this generational fight. Don’t mention dear😌. Anything for world peace.
What I’ve done is to sit down with 2 designers and 2 developers to get their opinions about this issue. Happy listening.
Israel (UI/UX Designer)
P: Festoffost, do you think this fight can ever be resolved?
Israel: No. It’s an eternal fight
P: How?
Israel: Because the fight was there before we came and it will always be. So even at the time when we were not good enough to actually fault developers, we just knew inherently that it is the right thing to do. For the culture. 
P: So, what do you think causes this friction?
Israel: You know how devs say that the most important thing is the logic & nobody actually cares about UI? That thinking is problematic. 
Also, developers don’t have a design background so they can’t pay attention to details. A dev would look at two different designs & say that they are the same things. The funny thing is he’s not even trying to lie, he’s being honest
P: So, you’re saying that developers are those men & women that ask what’s the difference between cockroach brown and chocolate brown? 
Israel: Yes. Na dem. Sometimes I’ll be like this thing has a border-radius of 6, this one has a border radius of 2, yet they can’t see the difference.
P: Oh. Don’t date devs, ladies & gentlemen. They’ll stress you.
Israel: Most times, for developers that are good at converting designs, it’s either one of two things: they used to do design before or they have designer friends.
P: Oh.
Israel: Funnily, I’ve not seen any designer that designs UI well and can’t do logic. I think those devs that say ‘logic is the most important thing’ are being mediocre.
P: Shots fired.💥💥
Israel: Another stinking falsehood that affects developers, is that they think designing is easy.
I’ve seen developers become designers and they say stuff like “this shit is hard.” If one party tries to downplay the work of the other, problems will set in. 
P: Make sense
Israel: Yes o. Sometimes designers overdo. You sef as a designer, you’ll be looking at it like tori oloun..why this?
My biggest problem is when developers tell me something is not possible or it’s not implementable, especially when it’s an interaction that people use almost every day. Like they don’t even have to create a mental model to develop it, they’ll just use patterns that they’ve seen before.
P: Right. These things dey vex you o.🤧
Israel: Yes. If you as a developer, tell me something like that is impossible, ma fe na e pa. Ma ya aso e ni streets. Translated: I wee deck you and tear your clothes in the street😑
P: Mad oh! 
Anyway, what can both parties do, to reduce this fight or work better together?
Israel: 1. Learn a bit of each other’s work. I probably became a better designer when I learnt CSS. I started thinking in terms of implementation and some designers don’t do that.
2. We should all calm down our shoulder pads a bit. There’s no need for the diss. 
3. Take responsibility for your fuck ups or knowledge limitations. Stop blaming others.
P: Wod. Wod.
Israel: You’ll notice that as designers get better or move on to bigger roles, the complaints reduce and it’s usually one or all of 3 things: they meet better developers, they don’t have a point to prove anymore or they’ve become better designers.
P: Hmmm. Thank you for your time Israel.
Seun (Designer)
P: What’s the cause of this fight?
Seun: See, it’s a fight in quote… 
It’s an argument like those Yoruba vs Hausa and all those rubbish arguments.
P: Really?
Seun: Yes. And it usually stems from a lack of understanding or knowledge.
P: On whose part? The designers or developers?
Seun: It’s a two-edged sword. Not all designers create usable or implementable designs and some developers are actually lazy.
The reason why I say some devs are lazy is because they shoot things down before even checking it.
P: So, what do you think is the solution?
Seun: As a designer, you have to know what’s possible.
 You don’t need to learn code to write code, just know it to know the limitations of implementation. Understand the fundamentals of the tech being used to implement your design. 
P: Cool.
Seun: As a dev, understand the fundamentals of design, like alignment, contrast etc.  You’ll know where to break the rules. Also, communicate!
P: Not techies having relationship problems😂😂
Seun: I’ve seen things in this life. Sometimes you have to ask the designer, how will this interaction function? You get?
If we need to tweak this, how can we tweak it? 
P: Makes sense. Thank you, Seun.
Akin (Frontend developer)
P: What exactly do you think is the problem?
Akin: There are a lot of things.
  1. Designers know we use Google fonts, but they’ll look for some other font and it makes web pages slow. The more font sizes downloaded, the slower the page is going to be.
  2. They do some designs that are very hard to create with code.
  3. The one that really annoys me is when they design and they know they’re supposed to design for desktop and mobile, most of them only design for one, which is usually for desktop. This then gives developers issues.
  4. UI designers will do different versions of the design and they’ll not tell you which one to implement. You’ll now implement one and they will say it’s not that particular one.
P: That sounds oddly specific.😂😂
Akin: 😂Ehehn. Another issue is prototyping in UI design. Some designers don’t prototype. Some just give you boring stuff.
 I’ve worked with 2 particular UI designers and even me that hasn’t done UI design, I had a better eye than them. 
When I see a great UI design, I can tell. That’s how you will be seeing bad color selection or that they’ve used 5 fonts in the same design.
P: Like those church crusade designs abi?
Akin: 😂😂 Yeah. Something like that.
P: Mad oh
Akin: Eh ehn. I just remembered another one.
P: Oshey DJ Khaled. Hit me.
Akin: Also, designers are supposed to provide links for the image they used in a design. Some of them will only send the link to the Figma board.
P: Pele my dear. Your eyes have seen. So, what do you think the solution is?
Akin: I think the solution will come from the project manager. That’s where the problem actually starts. A PM is supposed to give everybody rules and guidelines. Tell the designers the guiding rules and stuff. Those fundamental things need to be set up.
P: Last thing, do you think this fight can ever stop?
Akin: Nope. Not even in FAANG companies. 
Segun (Developer)
P: So, what do you think the issue really is?
Segun: This is how I see this issue. It’s like the difference between Science and Tech. Science is more theoretical, tech is more practical. In that sense, designers are more theoretical, devs are more practical. 
Many UI designers have zero knowledge about coding. If you can do basic front end development, you’ll know if the thing you’re designing is possible & achievable within the timeframe available. 
Also, developers can be crazy at times. In Yoruba it is called oroju.
P: O deep. 
Segun: I’ve been both and when I’m making designs, I think of what’s possible. Some designers can really be overambitious. You’ll see some designs and you’ll be like where do I start from? Where do I end? Some designers can be wild.
P: 😂😂So, what do you think the solution is?
Segun: Designers should know a bit of code, then they’ll know what is possible and what isn’t.
The thing is that everything is not technically impossible, but how much am I collecting as salary as a developer, that you want to kill me for my mother?
P: Do you think this fight will ever end?
Segun: I don’t think it can ever end. Designers will always come up with mad and crazy designs and sometimes there are limits to stuff and you might even have to create your framework to deliver some designs.
 As designers get more creative with design, it’ll become harder for developers to implement and they’ll have to stretch themselves to deliver, so, it’ll never end.
P: Thank you for your time Segun.
Whoosh. Ladizz and gentlements, we’ve come to the end of this newsletter. I hope opinions have been heard, perspectives have been understood and we can move on in peace and unity from here on out. 
Do have a lovely week.
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