Web Design and Development
How to achieve quality by combining web design and development
Any web design and development project requires designers and developers to work together. However, it is often found that these professionals rarely collaborate while working on the very same project. The designer works on elements, typography, color palettes, while the developer focuses on the code, test cases and web publishing. It is important that the designer and developer are on the same page because a lack of a coordination can impact the final design itself. Many designers are unaware about the development process or how the developer’s code brings their designs to life. Understanding the limitations and constraints of the development process is essential as it will lead to more practical designs. What is needed is a collaborative approach that results in a more cohesive web project that delivers a clean and an aesthetics, user interface.
Collaboration across design and development: An emerging trend
Experts believe that an increased collaboration between web design and development teams will pave the way to future web development. This collaboration will be fostered by the new design software and toolboxes used by web designers. The tools will continue to mature and designers will no longer depend on a select few specialized applications. Moreover, it is predicted that web design and development teams will break out of their respective silos and develop a greater understanding to improve the workflow speed. Moreover, time and money will be saved due to less work and rework during the project. The growth of eCommerce and the need for responsive web design has given rise to greater collaboration that will help to meet needs of new generation of consumers. Additionally, the emergence of new design elements like video backgrounds calls for the merging of design and engineering.
The possibility of designers and developers breaking their barriers depends on the project management who is responsible for aligning the two teams towards a common goal. The designers and developers must look at the big picture before concentrating on their individual work processes. A vast majority of the project managers strive to get designers and developers see eye to eye. However, it is a challenging task to break the ice and achieve tam cohesion. This because designers and developers rarely empathize with each other. In such cases, the challenge can be met by maintaining clear communication between the cross-functional team members.
Opening communication channels
Your team-building efforts can be put into action by establishing proper communication channels between the client, the web design and development team. Interacting with the designers and developers in an informal way will help you to know his or her style before the first sketch or wireframe prototype is designed. In this way, the team members will be able to take constructive criticism as the project evolves. Breaking the communication barriers ensure that the team members learn to see things from each others perspective. Moreover, effective communication motivates the team members as they get to learn new things along the way.
Following are the 5 communication tips for designers:
- The design theory must be explained in a simple manner to the developers so that they understand the aesthetic sense of your design elements
- Make sure to explain how the design elements will interact with each other. The interactivity must be explained to the developers for effective coding and clarity
- The web design must be ready and complete in all aspects. Designers must not expect developers to complete their designs
- Always check with the team to ensure that a specific font is working or not
- Design elements must be provided in proper file formats, resolution and size
Like designers, developers also need to follow certain guidelines to achieve team cohesion. Following are the 5 guidelines for the developers:
- Strive to get the basic idea about the design elements so that it is easier to understand the designer’s point of view
- Communicate clearly about the design issues in the initial stages itself
- Provide guidance and help during the design process
- Work with the designer from the start and brainstorm ideas that will help in UX design
- Maintain the integrity of the design even if there you disagree to certain aspects of it
Both, the designers as well as developers, need to understand each other’s language and have a basic understanding of the following areas to create high-quality websites:
- Basic design principles related to color, space and typography
- An understanding of HTML and CSS
- Appropriate usage of web fonts
- Latest trends in web design and development
- Right understanding of user wants, needs and requirements
- Optimal image formats and sizes
- Prototyping using grids, framework and wireframing
Most importantly, teams are advised to follow agile software development process to enable cross-functional members to work together. The ‘Manifesto for Agile Software Development’ clearly stipulates the following four principles that must be followed by all web designers, interaction designers and web developers:
- Focus on team members and interactions over project processes
- Continuously improve the software rather than focusing on documentation
- Collaborate with customer on a continuous basis
- Constantly respond to design and code change
Adopt a framework
It is essential to have a web design and development framework that will enable the team members to collaborate and deliver high-quality websites. A framework or a project management software helps designers to store all project-related design elements like buttons, UI components and forms in a single location. The central location can also contribute to scalability and it brings all the stakeholders under one roof.
Thus adopting a web development framework improves performance and efficiency of the web development tasks, websites and web services. A framework helps designers and developers to explore multiple options and save invaluable time by having access libraries and design elements. In the absence of a framework, web development would have been a difficult as teams would have worked separately on tasks like coding, building database, designing user interface and ensuring security. Designers and developers must be familiar with all aspects of the frameworks that they are using. Moreover, the team members must be familiar with a number of web development frameworks and e-Commerce platforms that are available in the market. It is good to work with a framework that helps to merge web design and development.
Best Practices for merging web design and development
It is clear that great websites can be built by successfully merging web design with development. An effective web development team must follow all the best practices that are essential for delivering a successful web design and development project.
Leading by Design
A ‘design’ is a graphic drawing produced to project the look and function of the website before it is made. Hence, it is desirable to involve the designer first and then bringing in the developer at a later stage. Most of the confusions occur during the handover stages and hence involving the designer initial client meetings eliminates cross wires and miscommunication between the teams.
Inculcating business sense
Much of the web designing is dictated by the client’s branding strategy. So designers as well as developers need to perceive the project from the client’s perspective. The teams need to understand the client’s business requirements and make suitable suggestions of changes to help the customers met their business objectives. In this way, the designers and developers will work hand-in-hand to work out any solutions.
Designer and developer can help each other by giving specific points on the design and the project approach. A developer can review the wireframes made by a designer and the designer can suggest a development technique that can enable the developer to bring the design to life in a perfect way.
Following a well-defined process
Collaboration must not occur in a haphazard manner. Instead, team must follow a proper process to work together and complete the project. It is important that the process is suitable for the entire team. Customers must also be involved in the development process as any evolving changes can be incorporated in the design as soon as possible.
Adopting an agile methodology
A waterfall model for software development segregates different teams and their respective processes. In the absence of a team cohesion, the chances of errors and bugs in the website design increase considerably. An agile methodology requires cross-functional team members to work together to develop the website and make effective changes in cycles of continuous improvements.
Focussing on Quality Control
During the project lifespan, a consistent dialogue between the designer and developer must occur. A thorough review mechanism and a quality control process is needed to eliminate all the misinterpretations of the design. The designers and developers must participate in the review process so that any inconsistencies are identified and the problems are resolved. The quality control will also impact the future design processes in a positive way.
Separating the great from the good
There are plenty of web designers who can deliver good design; however there are very few designers who can churn out great website design. A great website is built if developers and designers have empathy for each other. In order to deliver a great design, the project must be managed by a great team who share common goal and look at the bigger picture than individual perceptions. It is the team effort that ultimately separates the great from the good.
Designers and developers can work together to address issues related to content optimization. Positioning content and graphics in appropriate places within the site and landing pages. Additionally, tagging the images with suitable content enables search crawlers to understand what every image communicates. Designers and developers can together decide upon the image size and format. Successful content optimization helps in improving the site’s load speed and search rankings.
How do we merge web design and development?
Reach Above Media offers web design and development services that have proved to be effective marketing tools that deliver a high return on investment. We have extensive project management experience of combining web design and development services together to build websites that are attractive and easy to use. Moreover, our design and development teams incorporate latest business concepts into the web design. Our experienced designers are certified and they collaborate with the development team by following our proven agile methodology of web development. Our agile approach has enabled us to incorporate a review session with the designers at the end of every sprint.
Our web design and development teams follow a planned approach and they interact with the end users from the inception of the project. In the initial phases, the team plan together to understand the business goals and to brainstorm ideas fro designing the website. If required, the team designs content management systems to suit customer needs. Finally, the website is launched after thorough testing. We have always delivered a perfect product by aligning designers and developers towards the same goal.
Our web design and development services have helped out clients to achieve their business goals and objectives. Our design and development teams work towards a common objective: to provide your business with functional website design that not only captures attention but also convert visitors into customers. At Reach Above Media, our developers are continuously involved throughout the design process and they interact with various stakeholders and designers to clarify doubts and also to obtain accurate functional requirements. In the initial stages, the development team can be found answering question and understanding the designer’s perspective. This approach has enabled different cross-functional team members to take project ownership right from thee beginning. Merging our web design and development skillsets help us to respond quickly to customer needs. The collaboration between our designers and developers have always proved fruitful as the joint efforts have helped us to build responsive websites for various types of devices.
We never compromise on quality and our error-free websites are highly optimized for your business success. The joint efforts of our web design and development teams have improved versatility and enabled to deliver services like web portal solutions, internet and intranet solution, corporate web services, business applications, social network development, ecommerce solution, payment processor integrations and customized applications. Finally, the design and the development teams ensure the flawless operation of your website by delivering ongoing maintenance services.