I'm sure you all have heard managers saying that "we need an analyzer", or "we need a designer". While I'm a .NET developer, I hardly can differentiate an analyzer from a designer (not web designer or UI designer).

Who is analyzer? Who is designer? Do they overlap?

2 Answers 2


Analysis: Define the problem. Answer this: "What do we need?"

Design: Define the solution. Answer this: "How will we build it?"

  • Therefore analysis is mostly used to meet functional requirements, design is used to meet non functional requirements.
    – refro
    Jul 26, 2011 at 9:52
  • +1 @S.Lott. I love your minimalistic approach and simplicity. Jul 26, 2011 at 9:55
  • 1
    @S.Lott: You know you can stop writing Python when writing English, don't you?
    – Vinko Vrsalovic
    Jul 26, 2011 at 10:01
  • 2
    @SF: Video games have two levels of analysis. The tools to build the game are sort of ordinary analysis to solve a problem ("what do we need to edit the levels?") The game levels, themselves, are crafted by story-tellers who are essentially analysts. The designers handle the implementation details for the tools or the levels.
    – S.Lott
    Jul 26, 2011 at 10:04
  • 4
    @refro: No. Analysis: Figure out what the requirements are. Design: Figure out how to meet the requirements. Note the complete lack of "functional" or "non-functional" anywhere in either statement. This is intentional. Jul 26, 2011 at 16:15

Study the Software Development Life Cycle. This question was answered within the first two weeks of Software Engineering 101. Its a relevant question, and there is a definite but sometimes not so clear answer.

If you can imagine the analysts, designers, coders, project manager, other roles as a large Venn diagram, analysts and designers overlap considerably.

Analysts are usually the pioneers in a project. They take usually a set of basic requirements provided to them by project managers and stakeholders, to nail them down and go over things with a fine tooth comb to figure out what exactly the project is. More specifically what the non-functional requirements are.

Designers take this information gathering from the analysts to iron out a functional requirements, along with many others possibly (hopefully) including UML.

On a side note, analysts are usually paid more than programmers.

  • I disagree with the "More specifically what the non-functionals are" part. Analysis covers all requirements, regardless of whether functional or non-functional. And designers design on both as well.
    – tofro
    Dec 11, 2016 at 18:16

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.