the d team

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the d team

 

You may have heard the statement before "we is greater than me" ... or maybe even "there is no I in team" ...

When considering the working relationship between the designer and the developer or the d team, as I like to call it, you should think in terms of we rather than me. If you work well with your web design team ... designer to developer, developer to programmer, or even project manager to client you will find you do better quality work, have more fun, and in the end make good money.

Good working relationships are a huge part of being successful financially and emotionally. If you are a designer or a developer please read the following tips on things you should do to create a more powerful we!

Designers should:

train developer

  • share design theories and rational - if you explain your design concepts you developer will buy in to your ideas and learn some design theory along the way
  • share design software tips and small tutorials - always share information and knowledge with your team, but especially your developer who will be opening your design files 

prepare and brainstorm

  • know your CMS - design with content output in mind and what your client truly can expect from the CMS
  • ask questions during the design phase - check with your developer during the design phase on any new design ideas to prevent clients approving something the developer may have a problem with building out
  • push the developer - don't be afraid to think up new layouts or functions for your website designs and present them to your developer

specify style - make sure you always style all of the standard website elements for your developer

  • navigation & various states
  • image treatments
  • headings - h1
  • sub headings - h2 & h3
  • body text
  • bullets
  • links

be organized

  • clean design files - one of the biggest ways to give your developer a headache is to give them a poorly built and unorganized design file
  • color palettes - as a designer I find it helpful to work with a color palette, but your color palette can also help your developer quickly grab color numbers for development
  • guides - if your design file does not have guides chances are you have a sloppy design file and the developer may have trouble lining elements up when building out your design
  • clean file folders - don't leave your developer guessing what file is the final design file or digging through support files once they open your file folder

be consistent

  • file structure - create a clean file structure and stick to it
  • design file structure - having an organized clean design file is great, but try and build them with a consistent structure to help the developer become more comfortable with your files

plan for real site

  • anticipate page & website growth
  • design for usability - don't simply design for form and forget function or you will surely make your client, their website visitors, and your developer very frustrated

get ready for design changes

  • this is not perfect print design - things are going to change when real content is in place or your client uses their CMS to make changes so create a design that accommodates change
  • plan new solutions with developer - if your developer runs into a problem with your design simply work with them to come up with a new solution

do pre launch design checks

  • don't be afraid to point out errors - it is your job as the designer to go back and check to make sure the design was cut-up and built out accurately

Developers should:

train designers

  • help with overall tech knowledge
  • share bits of coding
  • explain how designs are built out - if you are teaching your designer new tricks or ways you are developing then your designer will create better design files for you to work with

prepare and brainstorm

  • ask questions about the design during the design phase - if you see your designer creating something you are unsure about developing don't be afraid to ask questions
  • manage expectations - your designer will push you to develop new things, but be sure to explain exactly what the new piece will do and won't do so that you both know what to expect
  • think about updates & edits for the future - work with your designer to make sure you know what elements of the design the client will need to edit on their own or how you will come back to the website in the future to make easy updates
  • share exciting things you find - once again sharing knowledge and information is great for your team so be sure to share new exciting things you enjoy or find with your designer

be accurate - if you want to make your designer happy and do good work train yourself to see their designed details

  • margins
  • fonts/sizes
  • padding
  • line height
  • colors
  • details matter!

show initiative

  • approach designer with ideas
  • go above and beyond - your designer should be working hard to create amazing design files for you to work with so be sure to finish the job with all you've got
  • be willing to develop without design - if you need to add some extra style to a special programmed piece on a website don't be afraid to jump in there and develop without a final design file

stay organized

  • clean code - you never know who is going to have to come in behind you and make updates
  • file structure

review work

  • use checklists if necessary - deliver your development links complete and document your reviews so your team knows you've checked your work
  • final css/dev with real content - always look back over your development link once there is real content in place

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