The value of a designer in a software project

UI/UX specialists are critical to the success of a project. Recently, I had the opportunity to see the impact of this kind of expertise while being in charge of a software project.

Last year I started a new job as a full-stack developer being in charge of a new project.

This company is a gaming company, and the software to build is a dashboard for an internal advertising platform.

A user would be able to set up and configure the necessary settings in this dashboard for each game that has this platform configured in it. A very basic dashboard already existed but the users were not satisfied with it, as they wanted a tool that was more similar to the ones at the top of the market.

As such, I joined the team as the sole developer of this web application.

First of all, I began to gather some requirements. In other projects I worked on, the requirements were already in place as Jira tickets so this was the first time I ever did such a task.

During the meetings I was informed of that there wasn't any designer or UI/UX expert in the team, but they were going to contract one from a consulting firm.

Now, my academical background is purely in Computer Science and Software Engineering. I have no artistic background to perform designs and was never an artistic kind of person to begin with.


I always worked as a Full-Stack Developer but when doing frontend related tasks, the design was always provided together with the requirements, and we would discuss some possible changes.

After discussing my concerns with the product manager, we decided to develop a first version of this platform with a different design based on the operations of the already existing backoffice.

And so off I went to work and developed a great working first version of this Web App!

This application also included a dark mode which was a really cool challenge to develop and was also considered a nice to have according to the requirements.

After I finished this first version, a designer was finally hired!

I was relieved that I could begin to deliver a lot more value to the future users of the platform since the designer could finally fill the gaps in the development. On the first weeks of work, she created the branding for the application, as well as a first version of a complete design system.

After defining the second version of the UI based on the very same design system and branding she created, it was time to implement everything.

As you can imagine, a complete redesign of an application is something that takes a long time, which indeed has been taking. In the meantime, the designer is developing a new color scheme and new user flows according to the user's requirements, while performing some user testing in the future.

All of these tasks take me back to the time in univeristy where I did a course on Human-Computer Interaction. This subject is very important to consider when developing a product so having someone specialized in this can provide a huge value, and my experience does indeed show it.