The term designer is often misunderstood; a designer, in the most basic sense, is a person who creates objects. The general public regularly finds the object purely in its aesthetic form, ignoring the astounding complexity required to perform its function. In the field of software design, reinforcement of this behaviour has led to a wide disjuncture between graphic designers and software developers.
The most important personality trait in a software developer is the ability to think creatively. Creative thinking and problem solving enable developers to find solutions that create a better product. This is the same personality trait that enables user experience designers, graphic designers, interface designers et cetera, to create better products.
Segregation of graphic design and software development teams causes turmoil during the software design process. It encourages ignorance from both teams and discourages innovation. Forward thinking software design companies are working to remove the membrane separating these two creative types. Aesthetic development and system architecture are equally critical factors on user experience, which ultimately defines the success of a software product; a fully integrated team has the ability to merge these two facets of software product design and create a truly successful product.
The transition from print to web in the traditional design community has facilitated the misconception that software developers are non-creative. Software development has fallen into existing conventions perpetuated by the relationship graphic designers have with printers from previous generations. These conventions state that software developers are purely technical and exist solely to replicate supplied creative into the final medium. The problem here lies in the fact that graphic designers generally do not understand the technical limitations or potential of the final medium.
Aesthetic developers who are able to collaborate with system architectects are highly valued on a software design team. While a true multi-disciplinary software designer is hard to find, they can be the key to supporting a larger, integrated team. Highly skilled professionals from both persuasions need to work together on a product to produce top-quality work.
Dissolving the separation between aesthetic development and system architecture teams encourages synergies between team members that increase productivity, improve features and drive product value.