On programmers as designers

I just posted this as a comment over on “Jeff’s Junk”. I thought it was interesting enough to post here so all 3 of you out there could read it too.

On programmers as designers Ever notice how most sites run by programmers have the worst designs ever?

I’m lucky to have good help with my blog. :) Not that it’s the best, but it’s not ugly at least.

My comment:

This happened to me just today:

I work for a web development company. I write PHP, MySQL, CSS, and XHTML. The graphics are done by a really good graphics guy… as it should be. When I first layout a site in CSS I don’t know what colors the designer wants so I make some up. I try using those online color picker tools, but the end product still isn’t that great.

So today my boss was talking to the graphics guy on the phone and pointed him to one of the styles I created. The guy’s response was “is that header SUPPOSED to be that color?” My boss responded “Ryan’s a good programmer, but is about as colorblind as they come” or something like that. I don’t remember exactly. Seriously, I’m not colorblind, but making things look pretty is not what I do best.

I have yet to meet a good designer who is also really good at programming. I would love to see the work of someone who claims to be good at both. If they are excellent at both congrats!



  1. Jess Hee! We just need to merge our brains, bro.
  2. Ryan Seriously! That would be grand! I warn you though, it wouldn’t be easy for me. Adam was trying to teach me how to do something in Macromedia Fireworks the other day. It just wasn’t working for me so I screamed (in a very manly way of course), closed Fireworks and told him to do it. :-D