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Tech Industry's Future Rooted in Blend of Design, Computer Science

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Computer scientist and graphic designer John Maeda was the first design partner in Silicon Valley's venture capital industry.

Graphic designer and computer scientist John Maeda says developers need to think about design from day one.

Credit: Mona T. Brooks/KCPB

Startups as well as large tech firms now realize their products need to be both visually appealing and deliver great user experiences, which means developers need to think about design from the beginning, according to graphic designer and computer scientist John Maeda, who spoke Sunday at the SXSW festival in Austin, TX, where he issued the findings of his #DesignInTech report.

Although the world's first developers helped build the tech industry, its designers will define the industry's future, Maeda says. He believes the industry needs workers who can communicate ideas and create more satisfying experiences.

Since Maeda joined venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers last year as Silicon Valley's first-ever design partner, six other venture capital firms have brought on designers to help identify new talent and incorporate design into their portfolio companies' products.

Maeda's report also highlights the growing need for designers who double as programmers. More than 33 percent of 110 surveyed designers in the tech industry had formal engineering training and more than 50 percent had formal art or design training. In addition, in a survey of 370 designers, 93.5 percent described the ability to code as useful and occasionally essential.

From CNet
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