Bridging The Gap Between Development And Design

In today’s world of web development, it isn’t enough to just know how to code or just know how to design. But how much do you need to know about another’s field of expertise?
In the past people have said that finding someone who can design a website and then code it is akin to a unicorn: they don’t exist. However, that is no longer the case…
Web designers are now expected to know how to code. They may not be required to know some of the trickier back-end coding languages, but most will agree that a designer should know HTML and CSS, with a basic knowledge of JavaScript or other interactive programming languages.
The same goes for web developers. Nowadays, they are expected to be familiar with basic design principles in order to know what will work best for a site.
We’ve come up with seven reasons why designers should learn to code and why developers should learn design in order to improve the website end product:

  1. Eliminate restrictions. A designer that can’t code can never actually produce a working site without the help of a developer. They can create mock-ups, but these detailed plans will remain in Photoshop (or wherever else they’re designed) until a developer can get their hands on them. By knowing how to code, a designer can turn mockups into functioning sites. Even if they need a developer’s assistance later on, they can at least understand how the site will work.
  2. Improve collaboration. Most designers aren’t going to be able to develop every single aspect of their site. You have to consider back-end and full-stack development, as well as other details of a complex website. However, if a designer at least knows how these concepts work on a basic level, they can greatly improve how they communicate with a developer.
  3. Provide a great user experience. Developers can sometimes forget that what they’re creating will actually be used by a human being. Familiarity with design principles can greatly improve this and create a better user experience. A site should always be user friendly, even if that means cutting back on some of the technicality.
  4. Cater to a new internet where mobile is king. Every site needs to be mobile friendly; there really aren’t any excuses anymore. This means that designers need to have the ability to design and create a site that will work for desktops, tablets and mobile devices. On the other hand, a developer has to consider how their code will appear across several devices. A knowledge of both design and development will create aesthetically pleasing and properly functioning responsive websites.
  5. Expand your skill set. An ability to design and develop a website makes you stand out from any one-trick competition. Although you will still be collaborating with others when building a site, having both skills in your repertoire will give you the edge every time. This opens up an entire new world of job opportunities.
  6. Be involved in every step. A well-rounded designer or developer is involved in every step of creating a website. They begin with initial planning and design, and continue on when it’s time to actually build the site. They take longer strides in the process of creating a site and are never left out.
  7. Save time and headaches. Although learning how to code or learning design may require a steep learning curve, in the long run it will drastically save time and frustration. Problems will be solved without having to consult with a designer or developer every time. This eliminates the need for frustrating email threads between designers and developers.

Bridging the gap between design and development doesn’t eliminate collaboration, it improves it. When designers can speak the same language as developers, the end product will always be close to the original concept. Tackling these skills together greatly improves both the process and final result of a website.

For those who don’t want to worry about design or development, check out WestHost’s Website Builder! Build a responsive site for your business with no coding required.