The developer’s perspective: What makes a great UI/UX designer?

Blog | January 18, 2021

We asked our software developers what they think makes a great UI/UX designer. Read all about it!


The internet is full of articles where senior designers explain what makes a good UI/UX designer. But, when building software, designers work with software developers rather than other designers. That’s why we decided to ask our software developers what they would look for in a designer, colleague and team member. After all, it’s the software developers who do the actual work with designers.

Our frontend developers Pirkka and Mika, who are the brains behind the Kodan Frontend Community, created a list of four traits they think make the perfect designer.

1. A good designer cares about the user

“I can’t understand how someone could be a good designer if they don’t think of the user,” Pirkka explains.

A good designer is interested in user needs, motivations and opinions. Equally important is the ability to communicate user insights to the rest of the team in a format that everyone understands, like user stories or prototypes.

2. A good designer communicates well and shares knowledge

Simply put, clear communication helps projects run smoothly. Good communication makes good collaboration - and we are all about good collaboration at Kodan.

Kodan designers and developers often sit down for brainstorming sessions and design reviews. Two-way feedback is a must to make these meetings meaningful. A good designer knows how to give and receive constructive feedback, and understands that their work needs to be backed by data, not just opinions.

Our developers love it when UI/UX designers share their research, results, optimisation insights and their understanding of end-user goals. After all, designers have a fantastic understanding of the real-world user, so their input is hugely beneficial to developers, and there’s no point keeping those insights hidden! Professional designers make sure that everyone in the team has access to relevant information.

3. A good designer understands accessibility

Accessibility skills have become increasingly important for both UX/ UI designers and developers. Accessibility requirements are already written in EU law, and of course, the rest of the world is also full of many different users with various needs.

With this in mind, developers appreciate UI/ UX designers who consider accessibility on every project. These days, using colour alone to make information understandable is not enough. That’s why the UI/ UX designers our developers love to work with are up to date with relevant accessibility guidelines. A good designer is also comfortable with adaptable design, user testing and device-independent design.

4. A good designer embraces reusable components

Developers love working with structured, reusable design. It lets them focus on other issues and offers a better user experience overall. And when it comes to teamwork, reusable components bridge the gap between designers and developers by meeting both their needs. All this results in seamless collaboration, better communication and easier workdays for all. At Kodan, designers who embrace reusable components are highly valued.

The list above is based on the actual attributes our developers look for when interviewing potential designers. Of course, we don’t expect one person to possess every trait mentioned, that would be too good to be true!

But, if you happen to be a tremendous UI/UX designer (or a software developer) and you enjoyed this post, drop us a line today to see what wonders we could work together.

Want to know more?

Our expertise is at your service. Whether you’re starting a new project or need assistance with an existing one, we’re here to help.

Say hello to get the ball rolling.