Three Things Every Designer Should Know About Development

Designers and developers follow their respective passions because it’s what they love to do. A designer loves working with graphics, fonts, and colors. A developer loves working with code, programs, and functions. But to create something great, they need to work together during website development.

Designers and developers need to be able to know a little bit about the other world. They need to be able to understand some of the key ideas to allow for a smoother transition between design and development. When the two sides understand each other, that’s when they start collaborating instead of just working together.

Tips For Designers During Website Development

Designers vs Developers - justify text in web development
Image from XKCD 1676
  1. The browser window will not be exactly what you want at all times.
    1. A desktop and mobile version of a website are a great starting point. Sometimes it’s best to let the developer come up with the responsive changes when needed during development. The disconnect comes when the designer wants something one way, but the developer knows it’s not possible or ideal.
    2. Sometimes things come up that need to get resolved during development. If you have an idea or a suggestion about how certain things move, respond, or function on the site, always take the extra step and include that in your presentation to the developer.
  2. The developer will, or at least should, have questions. Understanding the basics of development will help you anticipate questions the developer might have.
    1. You’ll be able to see your site as a versatile. The design becomes an interactive experience instead of a static design file.
    2. Try to think a little bit like a developer and account for those extra things that the developer usually has to try and come up with as she goes.
  3. Know what is possible so you can push boundaries. 
    1. There are always going to be things that are possible that you didn’t know about. By keeping up with the development world, you open yourself up to new design options.
  • BONUS: No matter how much you want it to, an image will NEVER be able to take up the entire browser window AND not get cut off AND stay proportional. Which brings us back to number 1 of the list.
  • SUPER BONUS: Read this before adding a slideshow to your design.

The more you know about what you’re designing for, the more versatile you will become. It can only benefit you to learn something new about the product you design for.