Kevin ClarkUX Director, Shopify

Should Engineers Design?

Cap Watkins replies to designers who ask “Why should I learn to code if engineers don’t have to learn to design?“:

Throughout my entire career I’ve had engineering partners deep in the design process with me. I show them sketches, bounce ideas off of them, have whiteboarding sessions to figure out what we’re going to do. I trust engineers I work with to let me know when something seems confusing, when there’s an edge case I haven’t thought of and to push on my ideas to find where they break and help me make them even better. I can’t count the number of times I was saved from a bad direction by talking it through with my product team. I’ve personally worked with engineers who are even more staunch user-advocates than I am.

Amen. At Shopify, we’ve conciously made the decision to blur the lines between design and development for that reason. Designers and developers approach problems from a different point of view, but ultimately share a common goal: making the product better. Magic happens when you put smart people who can challenge and feed off of each other in the same room.