Design for Developers

Design for Developers book cover.
Credit: Manning

One of my favorite web designers, Stephanie Stimac, asked me to write the foreword for her amazing new book, Design for Developers. With her permission, and Manning’s, I’m reprinting it here.

I’ve worked on the web for a long time. When I say a long time, I mean a long time. As in my first browser was on the command line old. As in my first back-end development was a CGI script old. With my nearly three decades of building dozens upon dozens of projects for the web, the one skill I’ve found most valuable is the ability to bridge the gaps between the worlds of design, user experience, and development.

Each of these fields attract practitioners from different education and/or hobbyist backgrounds. This can be a point of tension, as folks in each camp tend to see their own field as having the greatest influence on a web project’s success. The reality is that web exists in the nexus of these fields, relying equally on what each of these practices bring to the table. I have found that the most valuable people in any web project are those that understand enough of each field to be able to operate in that nexus, ensuring each team is communicating effectively with the other teams and that everyone is working together toward a shared goal.

Which brings me to Stephanie Stimac’s Design for Developers. This book is an invaluable resource for developers looking to level up in their understanding of what it takes to build for the web today. It provides a crash course in design and user experience in a way that will both improve your fluency with these topics and give you the necessary skills to become productive in these spaces as well. Beyond that superficial perspective, however, this book provides the foundation for leveling up your career and becoming the person who thrives in the space between design, user experience, and development.

Stephanie is the perfect person to provide you with these insights as well. Not only is she an excellent communicator, she also has years of working experience as a designer, developer, user experience practitioner, and an educator. She’s even worked behind the scenes on web browsers and the web standards they implement, giving her an incredible depth of understanding when it comes to the web and the tools we rely on to build it.

Whether you’re a longtime developer looking to grow a new branch on your skill tree or you’re starting out and looking to get a solid foundation in what it takes to build for the web, Design for Developers is sure to provide you with a wealth of knowledge to help you on your way.