Why should designers and web developers work together?

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It seems to be a common sense: designers and developers must work together.

But often the exact opposite happens. While working on the same project, designers and web developers work separately from each other. The designer works to create elements, color pallets and typography that look great, while the programmer encodes and prepares the material for publishing on the Internet. This can just cause disharmony both between them and in the final design.

If designers and developers work together on projects from start to finish, the result will be a more coherent web project with excellent aesthetics, user interface and clean code. When there is a collaborative process there is less work and processing, and it takes a shorter time to complete the project.

Designer versus programmer
By tradition, a designer and a web developer mean different jobs. Web designers typically use design software like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator to create the appearance of the elements and the web site, and then the programmer encodes that aesthetics using HTML, CSS, Javascript, jQuery, and other programming languages, and takes care to function seamlessly after setting it up online.

Although the programmer and designer can work from different offices and even from different countries, each of them needs the skills of the other to create a complete website. Well … that’s why they have to work together.

The advantages of working together
Simply put, the biggest reason why developers and web designers need to work together is to create a more complete web project. Each segment of the project, from the look to the interactions, works better when there is cooperation between developers and designers. (And at this moment it is almost impossible to avoid cooperation.

And while we discuss the need for collaboration between web designers and developers, let’s not weep to invite designers to interact.

Cooperation has many other advantages:

A second pair of eyes that can spot the flaws and mistakes
More creative ideas and design
Full experience (because designers will be able to understand what a programmer can create)
A related end product in which all parts and the whole interaction look like belonging and fit into aesthetics
You will learn how the designer / programmer works
Integration of ideas for a better version of what the project should have been
The focus of the mission and the objectives of the design project
Disadvantages of working together
Although I want to say that there are no shortcomings, it would still be too naive.

There are many problems that can arise while you work together, but these two will have to take into account:

You will have costs related to the need for everyone to be at the same place at the same time, especially if workers are not at the same location. Use teleconferencing and online sharing tools to interact when you can not all be assembled in one place at the same time.
Sometimes people will have different thoughts and will not agree with each other, but are we adults? Somehow, we have to overcome it.

What can you do?

Now that you are thinking of all the possible reasons why you should work with a designer or programmer, let’s see how you can implement it in reality. It begins with clear communication.

Web designers and web developers must put the project first and in the decision-making process always think about the whole picture. You must understand that you will ever receive battles, but also that many battles will have to be lost.

The best start is to go to lunch or coffee with your co-worker. Get to know him and his style before you start making a draft. Declare that you want to work together in a team and set some basic rules.

Anyone involved in the project should contact the others, and this often (it might be good to schedule meetings in the project calendar). So you will be sure that everyone works according to the contract and is not late. Remember that you must be kind, offer constructive criticism and be open to others’ ideas. Also, appreciate the opportunity to learn something new.

5 tips for designers
Explain the theory of design in a simple way to help the programmer understand where the aesthetics comes from.
Consider the interactive elements and the way they work for their own design. Design all stages of interactivity.
Design fully. Do not expect the programmer to copy and edit parts that are similar to each other. Create an item for each condition.
Seek help in the work process. If you are not sure if a particular font will work on the web, ask!
Provide usable file formats for your items. The elements should be with the appropriate resolution and size for use on the web.

5 tips for developers
Learn the basic things about web design. If you know at least a little theory about color and font, and even language, it will be much easier.
Be honest about what you can and can not do. If a designer tries to do something that can not be transmitted on the web, the sooner you tell him, the better.
Be available for questions and assistance during the design process.
Get involved in the process from the start. Help with design ideas that will work with UX.
Maintain the integrity of the design during the programming process. (Even in parts that you dislike or disagree with.) If something visually changes without having a “programmer” cause you will not get anything more than an enemy.
The best tips for designers and developers, which are not new but still relevant, are the principles of the Manifesto for Agile Software Development. These are the four principles under which all designers and developers need to work (live).

People and the interaction over the process and tools
Software that works on detailed documentation
Cooperation with customers over negotiations for a business agreement
Adjustment to changes over blindly monitoring plans
Skills that everyone can benefit from

In order to overcome the gap between designers and developers and to have better co-operation, both professionals should be able to speak the other’s language. Designers and developers should begin to expand skill sets.

Each designer and programmer should have basic knowledge of:

The basics of design as color, space and typography
Optimal formats and image sizes
Basic understanding of HTML and CSS
Use of web fonts
Trends in design and programming
Understanding user preferences and needs
Networks, work frames and functional displays

Conclusion
The question is no longer whether developers and designers should work together, but rather how to better understand the obligations of the other. Ultimately, both professions have one goal: to create a phenomenal web site.

What we really need to think of is “design programming”. The reality is that programming is a design, and design is programming. You can not have one without the other, and as the web design becomes more complex, this will become a reality again. Therefore, perhaps what we really need is a new job description or job title that shows that web developers and web designers are connected.

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