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How Designers Can Reach Out To Developers (So That Everyone’s Happy)

So you’ve got a really wild website design idea that you think would look awesome online. You draft your desired look and where you want things to go on Sketch or Photoshop and present it excitedly to the person who will be responsible for making it happen. However, the moment he or she sees it, you are told it’s not doable. Then the arguments begin.

How do a designer and developer meet halfway? As a designer at WebDesign499, you have to understand that the success of a website is a two-pronged deal. It’s not just about you. No matter how magnificent your design might be, if you don’t work hand-in-hand with its developer, you might not even see a decent looking output at all.

Designers and developers should be closely involved in the project from the very start. The former will be responsible for the likes of imagery, color, typeface, while the latter will give advice on function, maneuverability and overall performance. These all sound technical but, really, the true trick to working harmoniously is attitude.

Involve Each Other From Ground Zero

Developers and designers often work in a bubble. Most don’t even get to meet each other until the first draft is about to be presented. That’s where the conflict begins. The way to work around potential misunderstandings is to get involved from the very beginning. Discuss how you both want to see the project through, share your ideas and agree on what works (and what doesn’t). Both parties should understand what the other does so they can set realistic goals and expectations.

Label Your Files Properly

Designers often just dump a horde of unnamed files in a folder and expect the developer to figure it all out. That’s not the way to go and will only result in an upset client because of the delays. When you turn over your files to the developer, make sure everything is properly labeled. Organize your files properly, name folders accordingly and group similar elements in one place. This way, your developer will not get lost anywhere and there will be fewer calls bearing “I can’t find X anywhere.”

Consider The Environment

Mobile apps have different designs from websites and, as the designer, you should be well aware of the likes of margins, padding, screen size, canvas size and more. This way, you can come up with a draft that the developer will be able to use for the beta version.

Before you start designing, discuss with the developer first what you intend to do. No matter how stellar your work will look on Photoshop, it won’t be any use if actual production falls short of expectations just because you failed to communicate. Ask questions.

Be Friendly

Make the effort to reach out and be friends with your developer. This is the best way to ensure that your project goes smoothly and all expectations are met. Communication will also ensure that deadlines are met and the client is happy with the end result. You don’t have to be best buddies. You only need to foster a positive working relationship that enables each other to speak up and make recommendations. In the end, both of your happy, the project is executed with minor (or without) hitches and your client is pleased.