Yes, UI development is a specialty, and an important one at that. So are makeup, framing, lighting, fashion design, etc. Bad makeup can hide a woman's real beauty just as bad UI can make an app appear dysfunctional. But anyone who believes these components are more important than the core structure is not a software developer who gets it, and is further someone who appreciates true beauty.
Finally, it is absolutely false that UI has always been designer led. Absolutely false. Go tell Marissa Mayer that she is a designer and not a computer scientist. Furthermore, the designers involved in UI design are not the same class of designer as Jony Ive and the industrial designers he leads. You are misunderstanding and mixing up software design, industrial design, graphics design and UX design. Software developer my eye.
It is absolutely the case in Apple that UI is designer led. I've been there.
Ive, and his team, will furnish the designs and the graphics. The computer scientists will implement the UI designs he decides unless impossible in the time frame. This has nothing to do with me mixing up "software design, industrial design, graphics design, and UX design". We are talking about graphics, and UX design. Thats what UI means as mentioned here. I never mentioned industrial design, understandably, because it is unrelated to this thread.
Software design is something totally different. Its the designing how code interacts. Johnny Ive will have no say in that, and software engineers in return won't draw the buttons ( which is what we are talking about). This is how all major companies work, even if bedroom developers do it all, with understandably shoddy results.
Edited by asdasd - 5/2/13 at 8:49am