The workflow between web designers and web developers can get quite difficult sometimes. Usually, the designers and developers are left to work things out by themselves. But there should be ways to bridge the gap between web designers and web developers so design and development work are consistently being done better and more efficiently. The most common two questions to answer – what is going wrong between these two jobs and how is it possible to avoid these things from in the future.
1. Developers and Designers are divided
Most sites need some manual design work and some manual development work. Yet, most designers have no idea how the coding part of their job should be done. But really, why is it so important that designers gain a better understanding to the coding side of the work?
Because only then will they understand how the developers’ code can directly affects their design decisions. Developers regularly tell designers that their design requests can’t be fulfilled, and designers are left thinking that it’s a matter of the bad coding decisions of the developers. If designers want to stop wasting their time on designing features that can’t be implemented, then they need to study some coding principles from this day on.
There are some solutions that can help designers and they don’t even need to learn how to code: 1. Use the website builder tool Webflow (or similar); 2. Keep asking the developers to explain their coding approach. The last one obviously depends on the developer’s desire to explain and their ability to communicate, so it might be better to focus on some useful tools.
Webflow (and other similar tools, like Webydo or Froont) is a tool that can make you a developer, even if you’re just a designer. Webflow is a website builder for creating professional responsive design without code. It allows, creating websites using some of the best practices, decisions, and tradeoffs. Using it will train you to consider development concerns as you’re developing sites. And developers will appreciate that you can provide them some code that they can get to immediately work on.
2. Developers and Designers are using different briefs
As usual, designers are involved in the earliest stages of planning and discussing of the web project, while developers are being involved in the project at later time. But what is the reason for this? The answer is that developers are thought of as robots who turn specifications into code.
But in reality, it’s different. When developers are kept aside from the bigger sight, project goals can get lost as different parts of the work move from the client to the project manager to the designer and finally to the developer. Imagine a situation when a designer is saying that you should use Helena font because it looks better in this exact design, but the developer is saying that you should use Helvetica font instead because it’s highly indexable by search engines, whose idea will win? When designers and developers are not working together from the very start, then the product becomes less about achieving the best result and more about making compromised solutions.
Get designers and developers together in the earliest stages and talking with a client and product managers so all parties work together from the beginning, understand all the rational decisions and are able to work as a team with a common goal.
3. Production content differs from mockups
Mockups usually use very simple images and text. But the real world is different. Once the site goes live, developers and designers realize that the design and code don’t account for variable image sizes and differences in text length and positioning.
With any project, the client always gives feedback on the site and proposes micro changes that should be applied and as a result you find yourself very far from the plans of the first mockups. Designers and developers begin to argue on how the new changes should be made. This is a confrontation that the developers and designers are never fully prepared for.
Try to use fewer concepts for mockups. Start with a live prototype of the website from the first day. The sooner you see the live result, the sooner the changes can be proposed. If you’re using a tool like Webflow, then you can start to build the real production site – not just prototypes.
So, when designers and developers don’t work together from the very beginning of a project, the end result is a site that will have lots of changes and bugs. Always try to avoid this from the beginning of a project.