UX Engineer Role: Prototyping and Design Perfecting in CODE Using Teradata's Covalent

When I was first introduced to this concept by Covalent’s® inventor Kyle Ledbetter, I thought how that can even be possible.

I came from a 17+ years background in classic UX-Design flow, where you go from Sketch > Wireframe > Prototype and Code.

After 2 weeks of working in Covalent, I started to realize why would anybody prototype some that would be trashed later on? The more I engaged with Covalent the more Kyle’s vision was clear to me and gave me more reasons to write this article and share my overall experience.

This article covers a very high level of new method of prototyping/design UX Developer role, based on the Open source Teradata's® Covalent and leans toward lower cost and enhanced UI Development, UI/UX Design delivery & perfection.


A UX Developer is an integral part of the UX/UI development process. They are the front-end developers with an artistic talent with a very detailed pixel perfect eye for crafting effective UI, and, furthermore, have a declared interest in understanding the user experience and human factor work that goes ahead of the UI/UX design.

They’re the people who run usability tests, do user research, and hold control of the workshops and stakeholder communications that form a key part of the garden variety UXer’s role; their goal is to understand the strategy and customer insight that drives the bigger picture product decisions and creates an absolute flow of no FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt)

FUD is one of the major key players of User’s experience and the phycology or personality between the product and it’s customers.

There are different levels of user’s experience – these levels originate on a range between the pixel and the Users. UXers generally sit further toward the User end of the scale, with a experienced focus on understanding the customer and stakeholders, as well as what will work for them as a holistic HCI experience. UX Developers, however, are situated much closer to the pixel. It is very common for a UX developer to record all behavioral transitions in an application in order to break it down enough to understand and recreate it.


UXers who prototype in code, work particularly well with UX developers. UX developers fill the gaps that a UXer with rudimentary development skills will leave, and strengthen the finer details of the UI. A UX developer on team can be used as a second pair of hands in the strategic/research aspects of a project, then work to create code prototypes quickly, moving away from sketches directly to code with more pixel perfected code quality. This eliminates the need to put stakeholders through the painful WireFraming process and are able to iterate on the ‘how it works’ part of the design from almost the very beginning with.

Having been involved in the UX process from the beginning of the project, A UX developer will have the ability to capture and understand the personality & user’s physiological need behind the product and UX Design approach and so will able to make good, consistent, UX decisions without needing every piece of UI defined.

Some would say that a UX developer is synonymous with interaction designer. While this is partially true, UX developer makes strong front-end development a critical part of their skillset. This creates an entirely different team dynamic and quality of interaction than an interaction designer who uses prototyping tools like Axure, Sketch, Blasamiq and similar apps.

“Production-quality pixel perfect code is the calling card of a UX developer.”

How to work with a UX Developer/UX Artist

  • Get them involved in the strategic parts of the UX flow – shaping the product, the audience, and the research. Let them increase their UX mastery and make sure they understand why things are happening the way they are in the project.
  • Whiteboard together and get prototyping in code as quickly as possible. This is not a senior/junior relationship, this is the emerging of harmonized skillset towards a rapid and more pixel perfect UI.
  • Share ownership of the UX. Don’t feel like you have to make all the design decisions your self. Let them own the finer details of the UI while you focus on the bigger things that are often hard to stick to when obsessing about the details on the interface.
  • Allow yourselves to push and pull the focus from the strategic, person level of the continuum, to the pixel perfect level. It is difficult for one person to maintain focus on both aspects of the field at the same time. A team like this helps enable this rapid shifting of perspective more effectively.

In the end, just remember that A UX developer is not a silver bullet. You can’t work this way on every project with different people, and it can be challenging to find the right UX developer to work with. If possible, working with DEV Group or team, or BYO Team tends to work best, and an essential member of that team should be an experience talented UX Developer/UX Artist.

Covalent utilizes and sharpens your UX Coding ability, and almost frees you from the CSS pain, and allows you to focus more on the Customer’s need and design pixel perfection aspect of the project.

Here is few of the many Bullet points of using Covalent;

  • Rapid Prototype in Code
  • No CSS Hassle and debugging most design is handled at markup level
  • All the time used to finish the prototype is not wasted and the finished experience is actual usable
  • Focus more on the customer’s need and pixel perfection
  • Better UX flow and experience for your product
  • Save enormous time in development delivery and faster turn around.
  • Utilize all the goodies from Google’s Angular2 and Material Design2
  • Easy to setup Mock API
  • D3JS Chart Support and development
  • Unit testing support

And many more features.