04 April 2011

The Difference Between Programmers and Designers

I was talking with codemaster in my HTML class about what all HTML 5 can do (a cool new version of web pages that can do stuff that programmers used to have to use Flash to do). He was talking about how cool HTML 5 was and I kept saying how cool Flash was. The next day I found Adobe Flash Catalyst and opened a whole new box of worms (by "box of worms" I mean "opened up a case of cans of worms and then opened up most of the cans"--that is a lot of worms everywhere). After thinking about our discussion, I realized some of the primary difference between programmers (codemaster) and designers (me):

Programmers Designers
loves to make things from scratch loves to make things look good
"cool" is making something simple that does amazing things "cool" is something that looks simple but is choked full of subtleties
wants everything to be open and free (HTML5) wants everything to "just work" (Adobe Flash)
wants to have a say in how things proceed (thus allowing everyone to have a say) wants better tools, sooner rather than later (thus allowing a few people to call the shots)
is willing to settle with fewer features, as long as they are universal is willing to sacrifice money to get features and ubiquity
can make cool stuff that works, but does not like waiting for a designer to make it look pretty can make good looking stuff, but does not like waiting for a programmer to make it work

In conclusion, I am grateful that Adobe makes tools that let me easier make Flash user interfaces (such as Flash Catalyst) and export Flash to the iPhone and Android with relative little programming effort. In fact, I feel a bit sorry that while people can make my life as a designer easier by getting me easy-to-use tools, it is a lot harder to make tools that can make visually appealing things more intuitive.

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