John Doe vs. $username

Published on: Sep 23. 2013

About the author

Programmers often focus on functionality while designers look at aesthetics, meaning that at the end of the day the success of your project will depend more on the mix of people involved, than on selected technology. Today we will take a look at one of potential obstacles in communication between programmers and designers.


A simple thing like a placeholder for the username can become an obstacle if designers and programmers do not consider all sides of the problem from both perspectives. If you look at the image above as a designer you will pay attention to the typography, colors and other graphical properties while as a programmer you will be thinking about the length and structures that you will need to store the data into. How can we improve cooperation between these very different individuals to ensure that the project will be finished on time and projected budget?

Design is where science and art break even.

— Robin Mathew

Work on communication

At the very beginning of any project both the designer and the programmer must achieve a certain level of communication. They must share their points of view in order to exclude potential problems and limitations that might arise in the course of their collaboration.

In our example, that means that the designer must be aware of the fact that a user can have a very long name and will need much more space, while on the other hand the programmer must consider ways to shorten long usernames.

The right solution will ultimately depend on the project, but if both the programmer and the designer are aware of the problem, they will spend less time arguing and more time working on the project.

Share with us your examples of communication problems and solutions in order to help others in their cooperation.


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