In my previous post, I urged developers to learn a mainstream graphics editing program. This is purely a mechanical skill, so it seemed reasonable for developers to give it a shot. If we can absorb extremely complex development environments, compilers, and databases, why not a graphics editor? But as a few commenters pointed out, competence in a graphics editor isn't enough; you also have to learn some basic design principles to use the tool effectively. Turn the tables for a moment: would it be reasonable to expect designers to learn our favorite development IDE, purely as a tool, without any guidance on how to write code, too?
This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2007/05/basic-design-principles-for-software-developers.html