Should designers code… or should developers design?
Jessica Lascar

I think that developers should be able to do design, because often there is no other choice. Not all projects can afford a specialized designer.

Some design also requires code. The support for posts and comments on the nderground board requires custom JavaScript support. The same thing is true for the modal dialogs that support the nderground photo galleries.

As a developer I feel like my design skills are modest. But I strongly believe that features are more important than great design. For example, I think that many people would agree that neither Craig’s List or eBay has great design. But they are very successful sites.

I’m not sure what “design principles” are. There’s a fad for little cartoon icons and a cartoon esthetic for a lot of sites. I completely reject this esthetic, at least for nderground. We wanted something edgy. Hence the black, grey and white design theme of nderground. We’re also designing for adults, not children.

A core design goal for nderground has been to provide an experience on mobile devices that is as good as possible, without providing a custom app. This is much more important than whether our colors or fonts are just right (what ever that would be).

Design does not stand alone. It has to be realized with the tools that we have for display in a web browser. Often this is not easy. And as I noted, sometimes it requires JavaScript. In the end, I’m not sure that design and “coding” can really be separated.