For the past two years, there has been a new addition to the title of programmer, developer, engineer, etc. Nowadays, we hear the titles of front end developer, backend developer, software developer, etc. In addition to this there has been a new kind of developer that in my opinion is both important yet very ambiguous. I’m talking about the UX developer, where do they fit into all of this?
I’ve thought about various ways about thinking of these different roles and I think the best way to go about it is to think that you are an optometrist- metaphorically speaking of course. An optometrist tests a person’s eye sight and prescribes him or her the right kind of lens in order to see.. In the development world there are people with different “lenses”. A backend programmer for instance may be prescribed a “functional” lens in the sense that their goal is to make everything functional and bug free. On the other hand, a designer may see the world through a “make everything look spectacular” lens and would unleash creativity to the point that it may be very cumbersome and difficult to develop.Of course nowadays, there is no such thing as the traditional or generic programmer or designer as we are typically aware of the importance of beautiful design and flawless functionality. However, the UX developer is the bridge that gaps these two distant worlds.
To put simply: Front end developer + Graphic Designer +Human factors= UX developer. This kind of developer should be able to speak the language of both the designer and the developer in addition to incorporating the human factors experience. Traditionally, developers struggle trying to communicate their needs with designers and vice-versa. So when a designer gets really unique and creative, the UX developer can step in and explain the technologies in mundane terms and be able to communicate to the designer how complex and time consuming it would be to implement. Furthermore, a UX developer goes beyond being the intermediary between making things look great and and doing development, but most importantly design a smooth experience for the general user of the product.
Although a UX developer can design sites and can do some web development, it is hardly ever the case that they are the all-in-one solution. What I mean is that a UX developer is not as good or efficient as a full-stacked developer and neither as great as an aesthetic creative would be, although there are the few that can be great at both. Also, there seems to be many inconsistencies of the proper role of a UX developer when I look at job descriptions. But after thinking about this, there shouldn’t be a standard role of a UX developer since every company is different and needs different skillsets to fill in and thus tend to leave all the desired skills left behind and wrap it to the “UX developer”