Designers should coders should design

Learnt an interesting tidbit / rumor / gossip today.

At Google, top management has the mandate that all designers should code. Period. And at Apple, the engineers are told that they need to have an understanding for design. (Sidenote: Looking forward to laying my hands on a book on Apple’s design process, which they usually keep a secret.)

Yet another example of almost opposite cultures and philosophies, but radically successful.

Google gets your job done. Rapid, relevant search, fast email and storage, great maps product. For Google, you are a user who needs to get jobs done.

Apple gives you the experience you want as a human. Smooth transitions, delightful animations, and moments where you go, ‘Wow, someone actually thought of that’. For me, one such feature was the page turn animation in the iBooks app.

It’s elaborate, it’s exquisite, it’s Apple. But I will let my fanboy-ism rest here.

Don’t get me wrong, I think Google has an edge in an AI-first world. If everything becomes content, the company with the algorithms to control the content comes out ahead.

But I don’t want to look at it as a race. Both philosophies work, and we as users, we as humans, decide what suits us.

That’s the boon of capitalism.

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