Custom Digital

Why Software Developers Should Understand User Experience (UX)

April 30,2020

Have you ever downloaded a highly useful software only to feel like chucking your phone or computer at the ground after repeatedly hitting the wrong buttons or being unable to find the functions you need? Too many cases of this happening in the world is why we have UX/UI design. Better usability eventually leads to higher ratings, higher ROI, and a host of other benefits you can see in this infographic

UI/UX designers, combining the analytical with the artistic and empathetic, are crucial factors to further advancing our technology. Combining a deep understanding of an array of human emotions to map out optimal usability for software. They work closely with software developers, ensuring that the user journey through the developments aren’t causing frustrated 1-star reviews. In a competitive market, amazing usability can differentiate your software from others who claim to accomplish the same ends. 

This differing way of thinking can lead to conflicts and misunderstandings between the two teams, often caused by the bias of engineers. Stereotypically, engineering requires empirical and quantitative approaches, and this way of thinking is not always conducive to user experience.  

Software developers don’t need to become full-fledged designers themselves, but should have a basic understanding of what they’re working so closely with. This applies to back-end engineers as well. Here’s why we think you need to ensure your engineers understand usability:

Better communication with the designers

Even if they’re working on the same parts of the same projects, designers and engineers usually think differently due to their job duties. Unfortunately, this sometimes can carry over to communication where one party may use phrases and terms that make the other go “huh?” 

The better the teams understand one another, the faster and more efficient their (extremely important) collaborations will flow. As a developer, perhaps you designed a function a certain way that its interface should make it clear. Miscommunications and misunderstandings can result in further complications.

Some seemingly minor technical issues are big user experience issues

Research has shown that many users will immediately abandon a website if it loads too slowly even by just a few seconds. A developer oblivious to user experience may not think that this is a big deal. A more understanding developer would be able to prioritize “minor” issues like this. All you need to do is to view things from a different perspective. 

This perspective shift is necessary for a software engineer to understand the importance of working on a smaller issue earlier in the user journey rather than something larger nearer the end of the typical journey where the user will already be more familiar with the product. Remember, functionality doesn’t equate to usability. As human-like, accurate, and precise as your chatbot is, few will discover its wonders if it isn’t easy to open and use. 

It ends up benefiting the development team in the end anyway, since better UX is linked to  less time spent developing the software overall.

Simplify navigation and interaction in the first place

Developers shouldn’t need an in-depth user experience education to realize that a chatbot shouldn’t take up half the screen. Account registrations shouldn’t have 10 steps. The link to the blog shouldn’t be buried deep in the navigation. Even if there’s a world-class team of designers ready to take on any design challenge, developers having rudimentary understanding and consideration for UX/UI can prevent massive refinements from being needed in the first place. This way, the designers can focus on more advanced and innovative duties.

A developer can build nearly anything, but should understand why it needs to be built. Is this piece of the software addressing the right pain points? Taking their needs into consideration provides some guidance during the development process. Looking at a component through the lens of function and efficiency alone won’t cut it anymore. Just because your complex sign-up process collects a ton of useful information, it won’t be collecting much if users find it not worth completing. 


How an app feels isn’t purely based off of how it works. Just because an app can solve a certain problem doesn’t mean it’s doing so in the most convenient, clear way possible. 

Software development and UX/UI design have always gone hand-in-hand, but the teams need to understand each other’s perspectives in order to keep pulling each other up. Since both perspectives require highly different viewpoints, not all developers will be taking complex human decision-making and emotions into account. Fortunately for you, we’ve trained our engineers to know who they’re building for, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us and let’s get some easily-understood software building!