5 Tips on Preparing Your Design for Coders
Although design for coders doesn’t have too much in common in terms of programs used or work perspective, good workflow and smart communication between the two can make the difference between a mediocre online project and an award-winning one.
Start with a Solid Planning of the Project
Shipping a design off to a developer, along with a few requirements, may work for a very small project, but for any medium to the large-size project, and particularly a complex one, it can be a recipe for disaster. Planning needs to be put in place as part of the workflow.
Tips for Preparing Designs for Coding
Rather than tossing a design along with a set of requirements over the infamous “wall” and awaiting the results, web designers need to focus on doing things that will enable the coders to help them:
- Pixel Perfect is a Key Objective-If a professional coder is to implement your design down to the last detail, a specific level of design detail has to be provided. That is why it’s necessary to exactly specify elements such as padding and margins, font usage, style, and colors, and a range of other things.
- The Importance of Photoshop Etiquette- Make an extra effort to properly name your layers, logically structure your files, align your images, and perform all those related housekeeping chores that provide the coder with the needed information; and thereby keep the workflow moving smoothly.
- Communicate with the Coder- Do this on a regular basis, not for the purpose of getting the latest status, but as a means to ensure the coder is getting all the information needed, and to answer any questions. Developers appreciate it when you show any interest in helping them meet your project’s objectives.
- Don’t Forget Designs for Interactions- These designs can help a coder a great. The interactions in questions would include drop-down menus, button hover states, the intended use of sliders, etc.
- Get a Grasp of the Technology- By keeping up to speed on the latest technological trends, you will gain a better understanding of what is possible along with what is not. It is not uncommon for a coder, or even a coding guru, to be presented with a design feature that is impossible to implement.
Time is On Your Side
Get meaningful estimates, and coordinate with the coder and with your client. When everyone has bought into the process, you will definitely feel that time is on your side. One of the key factors in all of this is transparency. When everyone involved is in the loop, participants are much less apt to become worried or nervous, even if a project hits a bump in the road.