Designers with the ability to code and developers with a dash of design skills — the rise of a third, more flexible role is at hand that cannot be pigeonholed solely as a developer or designer.

Shane Morris, Microsoft Australia’s user experience evangelist, described the diviner role between pure play developers and pure play designers as a developer/designer mash-up to bridge the gap between the design and the written code.

“You don’t know how many meetings I’ve sat in as a designer, where I’ve described the design and developer comes back with ‘You can’t do it’.

“For a lot of developers that’s the end of the conversation because they don’t have the confidence to engage the developer in a real conversation,” said Morris.

“The role of the diviner over the next few years will be to provide that intermediary between the two camps.”

Morris said that designers have to acknowledge that if they want to be a part of the game, then they have to play in the game. Designers needed to show up to meetings with all the technologists and show that they were there to play and were not some elitist whose level of involvement is only to meet with developers every two weeks.

While Morris proposed a convergence of skills and increased communication between the developer and designer, Microsoft won’t be looking to merge their design tools and coding tools together.

“I don’t think we could have jammed all that stuff into Visual Studio. As a user interface designer I think that would be bad for the interface of Visual Studio. I’m happy for there to be two separate tools and think that will continue in the future.”