It is often seen that there is a cold war between web designers and developers because of various reasons. In modern development approaches, it is important for designers and developers to collaborate on a project and then work accordingly. But bridging the gap between these two teams is not that easy.
The role of web developers in a project is to handle behind-the-scenes tasks that make the website or application work. It mostly involves coding. Whereas, web designers take care of graphics, website layout, user interface, and other design elements like the placement of menus and color schemes.
Overall, building a website will involve the efforts of both web designers and developers. Hence, the conflicts between these teams seem very unusual. To build a great web project, both the teams need to collaborate so that they can discuss features, rethink design, review prototypes, and more. This collaboration will bring both to the same page and in sync.
Reasons for the gap between designers and developers
If designers and developers don’t collaborate, there can be misunderstandings and different interpretations for the same goal.
The main reason behind the lack of collaboration between the two is that they both have distinct ways of addressing problems. For example, these teams are assigned to a web project with apparent guidelines about expectations of owner and users. Designers will work their best to bring attractive visuals to the app. However, when the developers receive the prototype, they might find that they would need to work far more than expected to make the prototype work.
This can result in various problems like quality assurance issues, missing the deadline of delivering the project, poor user experience, etc.
Bridging the designer-developer gap
Having said that, now let’s talk about how designers and developers can work together and deliver excellent projects.
- Making developers a part of early steps
Often, designers begin working on a project and then pass the finished design work to developers. The developers then need to code keeping the design in mind. It can also happen vice versa in some cases.
This clearly shows the gap between the two. To reduce this gap, developers should be brought to the project when it is started. This doesn’t mean that developers will interrupt in the work of designers. What it means is that allow developers to be a part of a discussion between designers and clients.
Designers should talk to developers when working on design elements which would be included in the project. When developers know about every design aspect of the project, it can become easier for them to find bugs or other errors following development processes. Also, they can adjust the design if a certain code doesn’t behave properly.
- Properly organize the handling of project from designers to developers
To set up a website, designers finish their Photoshop creations or sketches and then hand them over to developers. If this process is handled properly and organized well, developers would need to put lesser efforts in developing the project.
This can reduce the time developers would need to code and minimize potential issues at the time of converting design aspects into HTML.
To make this process seamless and productive, designers should label all the design elements in the right way, so that developers wouldn’t need to waste time in understanding everything on their own.
After passing over the designs, the designers should collaborate with developers to go over the designs. This will help developers to clearly understand all the details. They can ask the queries to designers right from the beginning so that they wouldn’t get stuck in between and waste time.
- Leverage power of presentations
Presentations are very effective in discussing and understanding a project. For a web development project, designers and developers should put their energy and time to discuss the project from scratch and plan every stage of it. It will help both the entities to understand the needs and expectations of clients.
This approach will eliminate the time which is wasted to make changes to design or development aspects if the client doesn’t feel satisfied. Whether creating a new project or adding features to existing one, presentations are always good medium to bring together designers and developers.
- Share the basic knowledge with each other
Sometimes, a reason of gap between the two entities is lack of understanding related to work of each other. Designers might be having great design ideas but coding them wouldn’t be that easy. On the other hand, the developers might assume something technically possible as easy to design.
By sharing the basic concepts and skills with each other, not only the gap can be reduced, but also help in improving understanding of both sides. For example, developers can share some references to designers, so they would have a better idea whether their designs can be coded easily.
Vice versa, designers can share some tutorials or other material with developers to help them learn the basics of web designing and graphics. When there will be better understanding of both sides, designers and developers will create a great project.
- Interact as much as possible
According to a survey, on average, a company suffers loss of around $62.4 million per year because of lack of communication between team members.
Designers and developers should meet and communicate as and when possible. This can help in better understanding the work of each other and avoid reworking.
They should discuss the latest trends in web designing and web development so that they can implement new tools and technologies together in next projects. Tech companies like Microsoft and Amazon launch new tools rapidly to make the lives of developers and designers easier. If someone from the team is aware of it, he/she can discuss it with others as well.
Designing and development should go hand in hand, because without one, another is unstable. While designers are user-oriented, developers are solution-oriented. To build and deliver a great web project, they need to work together and understand work of each other.