What I am going to discuss is typical situation.

Most of the developers I know work on functionality first and then on design. BUT, when clients check the builds, they usually check design first without bothering much about functionality.

And since we are creating for clients, shouldn't work on what clients are going to check first?

What risks are involved if we work on UI first?


  • 2
    One risk, if you only have the UI to show, is that the client thinks all work is done because the UI is there and appears to work. Be aware of that risk when you show something to the client. Commented Jan 13, 2018 at 9:42
  • @BartvanIngenSchenau Obviously when I show something to the client, I will mention that design is done and functionality is pending. So, that shoudn't be an issue, I think.
    – meetpd
    Commented Jan 13, 2018 at 10:31
  • "What do you mean, the functionality isn't there yet. You just showed it to me." Try arguing with that, unless you can immediately show something going wrong if you really try to use the functionality. Commented Jan 13, 2018 at 15:57

1 Answer 1


I actually agree with you, starting with the UX is a great way to get your users (clients) to actually figure out what they want.

Here's the thing, most of them don't really know what they want until they see it. So making it visceral for them goes a long way to helping them refine the requirements and that helps drive the actual functionality you need to build.

I almost always start with UX these days, and I've not discovered a downside yet.

  • I have seen projects ruined because of this strategy. Some decisions regarding UX should be made carefully only after the constraints of the system are known. Take a chat-wise app as an example. When customers ask us for a chat to their mobile app, they have in mind all the WhatsApp's features. They ask for them and so does the UX dept. providing a full-featured mockup. However, nobody cared about how hard/expensive could it be to conciliate the functionality with these features. Well, the dev team will, later, and nobody will be happy listening what they have to say
    – Laiv
    Commented Jan 13, 2018 at 21:57
  • @Laiv that happens when the dev team isn't involved at all. In the ideal case, you iterate. Start with the desired UX, get feedback from both users and developers, build a functional prototype, and spiral on from there. Sure, if you do only photoshoot based designs, it's no good.
    – Paul
    Commented Jan 13, 2018 at 22:05
  • More to the point, any team working in a vacuum is a good recipe for failure.
    – Paul
    Commented Jan 13, 2018 at 22:06

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