By: Matt Hill
Over the years, the lines between a front-end developer and a designer have become blurred. Gone are the days of over-the-wall design processes whereby a designer forms a nice-looking website in Photoshop which is sent to a developer to create.
In order to break down the barriers, we need to alter our approach to one that encourages collaboration and communication. Our stereotypes of a web designer and a front-end developer need to be reconsidered for such a change.
Web designers are not artists focussed on layouts and colour. Instead they are required to acknowledge the whole experience of the product they are creating. Consideration for not just what it looks like, but how people will behave with it.
HTML and CSS are not programming, they are code for design and should be treated so. Front-end development is more closely coupled to a web designer than that of a full stack back-end developer and they have a wealth of experience of interactions with web applications.
The divide can be both mental and physical, often designers and developers are separated by room, building or even country. Bringing people to together in open spaces can breed communication between teams or collaboration tools such as Slack can be used where this isn’t possible. This being said, we must go further than bringing people together to get the best out of the individuals.
Inherently designers can be afraid when working with a developer as they can consider it will be difficult to communicate or they won’t understand, whereas developers can feel they aren’t ‘creative’ enough to offer an opinion.
All parties need to be on board and need to be prepared to help educate each other to the reasoning behind their thinking. Having the confidence to be honest with constructive criticism if you feel something isn’t going to be possible or work well is important.
Collaboration encourages design creativity and technical innovation whilst fast-prototyping efficiently involves stakeholders such as clients and project managers to get early sight of a final deliverable. The combination of these things contributes towards a product that feels together and provides a better overall experience, something we feel passionately for at Avvio Reply.