Alan Taylor of The Big Picture proves how designers who can also develop are able to get things done without jumping through hoops of approval, explanation, and cycles of review.

In an interview at, Alan talks about how The Big Picture came to life within the Boston Globe.

I have an advantage in that my main role is as a developer here, so I could build all my own templates, format my own style, and so on. I sort of bullldozed some things through though, like extra width, few ads, and I made it simple internally by doing it mostly on my own, no requests for development time, marketing or promotion. After the legal questions were settled, I was free to try it out. It took off fast.

This is another example of why I strongly advocate that designers build development skills into their kit. When you’re able to do things yourself, you can just do them. You don’t need anybody’s approval or anyone else’s time. And sometimes that makes the crucial difference between an unimplemented idea or a great success like The Big Picture.