Parallels between the Design Process and Web Development

It seems everyday there’s a new company that has rebranded. Each time there’s a rebrand, I feel the design community grabs their pitch forks and lashes out on the new logo, colors, themes, and overall design. It’s good to be critical about a design, during design school I was always quick to judge somebody’s work. However, I think we need to hold back our judgements and truly understand the thought that went into the design. Then form a opinion based on a deeper understanding of their shift.

Recently, Zendesk redesigned their brand and the quirky video below is what sparked this thought.

I now look past, just the visual appeal of any design. The sign of a good user experience designer, doesn’t just focus on the visuals, but focuses on the problem they’re trying to solve.

Zendesk’s previous logo

Zendesk’s previous brand was portrayed by a smiling buddha wearing a headset. The company felt limited by this character and wanted a logo/brand to be able to be cohesive, yet allowed for expansion. They went with simple building block like shapes and created a meaningful relationship between the shapes and the core principles of their company. At the same time, they poked fun of their own logo. It was honest, yet well thought out. The logo, itself as pointed out by the designers, looked like clown shoes. However, the shapes allow a ever expanding set of items. Zendesk’s focused on “what they can do” with the rebrand, is similar to how as a web developer, we desire to write code that is scalable and extensible.

Zendesk’s new logo

This also got me thinking about the parallels between coding and design. The struggles with launching a product, learning from mistakes, and iterating through those mistake, is the same as writing code and refactoring code to improve on the performance/extensibility of it. The code can actually be considered a product within the design process.