A few weeks ago, I returned home from a design retreat in Palm Springs with 20 other freelance designers. The first night we arrived rather late and I found myself at the end of the table sitting next to some lovely ladies, including Star St. Germain. She gave us a little sneak preview into her Q&A topic all about web development and design. I quickly learned that Star and I have a big thing in common : knowing both design AND development. She leans more towards web, while I lean more towards design.
I’ve always been very thankful that I have knowledge in development, but recently, it seemed to be more of a hindrance. Not only did I want to focus on design and outsource developers, but I found myself a little stuck within the web design world. Because I have first hand experience in how coding works, I understand when a design would be extremely complicated to code … which means, I may shy away from some types of design in the web world. Star defines this as a hybrid designer and developer. As she explained this to me that first night, my mind was blown. I realized that YES, because I know code, the sky is not the limit when it comes to web design … but that’s okay.
Although this sounds like a negative thing ( and I thought so at first ), it’s definitely not. If you’re a designer who has coding knowledge ( hybrid ), you have a little more power in terms of understanding what will and will not work. In contrast, designers without coding knowledge can open a blank canvas and feel free to just design without constraint. They aren’t bound by div tags or jquery floating in the back of their brain. Both situations have their pros and cons … but neither is a bad place to be. For example, if you understand code, try to design more outside of your box. Design freely as much as you can. And for non-coders, maybe you make an effort to learn how to better send files to developers and make the collaboration process as seamless as possible. It takes work, but being on either end is absolutely fine. Don’t let it get you down.
Cheers to Star for making me believe it’s okay to be a hybrid. I’m that much more motivated & committed to be more free within my web design now! I know that there are so many talented developers out there that can make any design become a reality. It’s all about finding the perfect match!