Aug 17, 2018 - Suri Patel    

How to design for (and with) developers

UX Manager Sarrah Vesselov shares her thoughts on how to design for a developer audience.

Designers have a challenging task: Solve problems to empower users to do their best work. To understand how designers balance the demands of their roles as problem solvers with the evolving needs of an audience, I chatted with UX Manager Sarrah Vesselov about the considerations that go into designing for developers.

How has designing for developers evolved over time?

“It has become more complex since developers are using tools to do multiple things rather than a single thing.”

How do you view developer feedback?

“Developers are as close to designers as you get. We’re all problem solvers.”

How has Hacker News feedback changed GitLab’s design?

“Having a direct line to people who are using our product every day allows us to quickly iterate and make changes. When I’m talking to people on Hacker News, I link them to issues, and I really value their feedback.”

What do you consider when trying to create positive UX experiences for developers?

“It’s important to understand developers’ goals and motivations and what they’re trying to accomplish.”

What’s the greatest challenge in designing for developers?

“Things keep getting more and more complex. Trying to make life easier for someone is a challenge.”

What advice do you have for other designers who have developers in mind?

“Make allies out of the developers you work with to better understand the developers you’re designing for.”

Interested in joining the UX team?

Our incredible UX team is rapidly growing, and we'd love to be your teammate! If you'd like to design for a developer audience, please apply for one of our open positions.

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