I came across this post while scanning my RSS feeds and it made me think about the group of designers and developers we’ve got. The “silo’d” effect is really common in web development. Project manager, developer, designer…and the only links in between are a task list with due dates. While this is effective for some companies, I don’t believe it lends itself to an outstanding online experience, whatever the desired goals might be.
The end-user savvy developer & designer
Having developers who are usability-savvy and having designers who are development-savvy (may not be experts, but understand the general concepts of abstracting out CSS classes and approaching it like a developer would) is the perfect blend of talent. It’s why I’m also not a huge fan of completely separating design elements from development elements in the code on a site.
A designer who’s primary responsibility is interface design and usability is of much higher value to me if they know some code and can navigate around some of the simpler concepts with languages like PHP. Likewise, a developer who understands the value of making an effort to build a usable application is also highly desired. It’s less work in the long-run for everybody.
It’s hard to go into too many specifics without divulging our internal projects, but the above article was a really great overview as to why you’ve got to encourage collaboration and hire individuals who take interest in what the other aspects are of web design and development. Sprinkle in some marketing savvy amongst the designers and developers and you’ve got a very efficient team. It gives the project manager more time to spend with the individuals to brainstorm ideas rather than being the “bridge” between design and development.
Silos are bad in many areas of business, web development is just one of them
I prefer working with people who themselves don’t act like their job responsibilities are in a silo. This is true in many aspects of business, not just web development. It’s a concept that many developers don’t fully realize and as a result, they may be limiting their potential growth within their organization/career path.