In this post I wanted to discuss the “Developer/Designer relationship” and why is is both unique and important.
Designers are a creative type, working in relaxed and colourful office space, with music playing and more colour charts than you knew existed. Although on one hand this brings the very best out of the designers and gets their creative juices flowing, it can be a nightmare for a developer!
The world of website and digital development has seen rapid advancements in what can be achieved and there are some extremely impressive website out there to be admired but a website build can only be as good as it’s design.
Designing for web is in itself a specialism, as is designing for print, producing typography or digital illustrations. Luckily I work with a specialist web designer who has a very good understanding of all things web, which gives me great confidence in knowing the designs I will get will be optimised and fucntional for online delivery. Many web designers in fact all web designers I have worked with are actually secret coders aswell and have usually all built a website or two themselves!
I work closely with Mandy Wong-Oultrum (mandywongdesign.com) who a web designer by day, but a developer by night (meaning I can’t pull the wool over her eyes and pretend some tricky techniques can’t be achieved, as usually she’s already found a solution!) which is a massive benefit to me because when designing websites there are a huge number of factors which need to be taken into consideration which you wouldn’t even thing twice about in any other type of design. Knowing that Mandy will have thought thoroughly about the development side of things in terms of her designs really helps and allows me to focus fully on producing code that will do the designs justice (which Mandy always likes to push the boundaries of!).
Having a close relationship between designers and developers is a hugely important factor in creating high quality websites. By nature a developer is a coder and thinks about things logically and from a functional point of view, designers by nature are very visual and creative which can lead to firstly great designs but ones which may not be very functional or work well digitally. The user experience is key and the journey a user has through your website has to be the top priority, as a user who does not find your website easy to use, aesthetically pleasing and functional will not return. Hence the close collaboration between the designer and developer is essential from early prototyping all the way through to final testing and deployment as balancing all the aesthetics and design of the site with a fast, responsive and functional base can sometimes be very tricky to achieve.
Working closely in this design/development relationship is also a healthy learning experience as you share knowledge, ideas and techniques and as a result both gain a greater understanding of your opposites specialism and the better the understanding, the better the collaboration and the client will reap the rewards of a well thought out/well designed and well built site.
To summerise, it is very important for designers and developer to collaborate from the very start of a website build and constant communication throughout the design and build process will ensure the best possible website for you as a client. Luckily for me I work with a very talented designer who in turn pushes me and my skillset, and my learning of new techniques and practices never stops and that can only be a good thing!