How to hone your design skills (if you're a developer)

designer surrounded by design items
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Developers who understand design are much sought-after. When talking about upping your design skills, it’s important to understand that design does not equal colour palettes and graphics; although colour theory and visual design can be helpful, they are nothing but a small part of the field. Design involves taking an idea and moulding it into something that’s tangible through careful planning, modelling and consideration. These alone are already core skills of good developers who need to work on large-scale products and systems. 

When talking about digital product design, it is almost impossible to avoid mentioning UX. Although only quite recently defined as its own field, UX is a vast discipline in itself. But the philosophy behind it is simple: empathise with your user and make sure they enjoy using your product. At the very least, UX can be simplified to include five key parts: user needs, functional specifications, interaction design, information design and visual design. And of course there's user testing, which is arguably important at every stage. As you can see, developers already play a part in most of the process. 

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