Good design is constant contact

September 20, 2011

Constant contact between designers and engineers allowed for seamless integration of function and formal response.

Out of all the things I’ve read about Rams, the notion of “constant contact” is by far the most evocative of my day-to-day job as a designer at Twitter.

I work with some of the brightest and most talented engineers in the industry and I can honestly say that without the interactions I’ve had with them, my work would go no where. Good design is constant contact.

The dynamic of a designer-engineer pair is perhaps the most highly valued in design. Constant contact with an engineer provides a different point of view, one essential to how we build and iterate on not just code, but product. A great example of this has been working with @fat on Bootstrap.

Without @fat’s help, we wouldn’t have released it any time close to when we did, we wouldn’t have half the features we do, and we wouldn’t have any javascript plugins, tests, or makefile functionality. Plus, for an engineer, he’s got a great eye for what looks and feels great.

Again, constant contact is incredibly valuable. It leads to faster iteration and innovation and challenges your assumptions as a designer. It’s good design.