Throughout my many years as a graphic designer (20+), I have had to morph into many different designer hats. The one hat that has been a major joy for me has been creating the look. feel and function of applications. I have been fortunate to work with many talented tech professionals which helped me become better at listening to the client’s requests and turn them into clean working prototypes. No matter what the design request was there have always been challenges but I think that is what keeps this industry moving forward and interesting.
Now to answer the question at hand. "The Difference Between UI/UX designer vs UI/UX Developer". Many people feel they are the same job title. This could not be further from the truth. The Designer should be the first one to hear the requests of the client to better understand the functionality and experience they want the end user to be excited about. Otherwise, the user will use the application once then never open it again. Question’s that always run through my mind are; What is the most important information that needs to be in the end users face? What color best portrays the clients brand and lives within the design? What patterns best work with what the end user will need? What out of the box experience can I create for this application? The last one is always on my mind. Human nature makes it easy and hard to introduce a new way of doing things. Some are natural and others are learned. Keeping up on the current patterns such as a hamburger menu or a swipe left function is normal for the average user, but couldn’t something different be introduced? What would make sense in your design? These are all designer questions.
The developer side of things is all about function. Make it work then figure out how it should look. This was the way of the world until about 6 years ago when companies like Google and FaceBook started really pushing the boundaries of design in their applications. The developer feels "If I push this button then it will do this, or take me there". Well, what about the experience of the user? If there is just a random button somewhere will it make sense for the user to even push it, or even want to? Now I am not knocking the developers but they should do their part of the equation and help push the boundaries of application functionality and let the designers figure out what is best for the end user in terms of look and feel.
The other aspect is in the job market. Employers looking for a UI/UX Designer should expect a graphic designer who can design in any space (medium) and produce logical solutions to the application they are working on. The UI/UX designer should have a knowledge of development to know what something does, but 9 out of 10 times they won’t know how to code it. This is the main problem when asked the difference between the two. A designer is a designer and a developer is a developer. Employers looking for both in one are going to have the same old bland designs with functionality that most end users will not understand nor enjoy using.
Please keep in mind that both are intricate parts of app development and both have their space. When working together with each other the possibilities are endless.