UXmatters: Great User Experiences Require Great Front-End Development

You have no idea how much I agree with the post. I wrote a post about this (“Six Reasons Why the Shortage of UI Engineers is Going to Get Worse“) a while back.

Here’s a few excerpts:

The best front-end developers think and talk using design language more than tech talk. To be sure, HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript require some technical skills. That said, most software engineers believe-but seldom say-that JavaScript is not a complex language, and very few stress their knowledge of front-end technologies. More than this, most Engineering organizations reward employees who grow their deep technology skills, not those who excel at front-end development. From a cultural perspective, great front-end developers are typically not part of Engineering's inner circle. Because people improve their skills in areas for which they're rewarded, most engineers are not great at front-end development. They focus on back-end development and their front-end skills atrophy.

When they report into User Experience, they'll optimize for the user experience, but if they report into Engineering, they'll optimize their code to meet Engineering's goals. It's that simple. Of course, we believe in forming deep partnerships with our peers in Engineering, and there are some companies where having front-end developers report into Engineering makes sense. However, this is the exception and is the case only in companies whose UX practice is in the top 10% of the industry in terms of UX maturity.

That’s a key point — engineering culture actually has different goals than User Experience, and in result, different goals than the business. That seems kind of backwards, right?

Read the complete article. It’s worth your time.

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