Design Essentials for Developers

As a software developer today, it’s important to understand some design basics in order to communicate effectively with designer and give sound suggestions for UX improvements on the things you're building.

While many of us have an intuitive feel for what works and what doesn’t, developing a vocabulary to describe your issues and suggestions and understanding the techniques required to validate your hunches are the skills that will define the next generation of the best developers.

This session goes in-depth on which design techniques and principles ought to be part of every developer’s vernacular. We’ll discuss the right toolsets developers should have so that when they do run into roadblocks, they are comfortable with either solving them on their own or suggesting realistic solutions, saving time for everyone involved.

By the end of this session attendees will understand the basics of both high level interaction design and lower-level visual design in a way that maximizes energy and time in the development process, including:

  • Basic design principles to help developers understand a design’s intent. This includes a basic understanding of layout, color theory, and typography.
  • Design vocabulary, heuristics and analysis techniques, so developers can give expert analysis of their design decisions (understanding affordances, mental modeling, mapping, etc.)
  • Techniques for validating expert analysis in the form of quick and dirty user testing and prototyping (with paper and programmatic prototypes)
  • The difference between information architecture and interaction design, and how both have a critical yet often unseen influence on software architecture for developers

We’ll share real-world examples of how we are implementing this process among our own teams, and will share the challenges and success we’ve seen so far.

View on the Denver Startup Week page here