June 13, 2019

How to Make the Web Design Process More Efficient for Developers

1. Keep Wireframes Accurate and Updated

If you are unfamiliar with the web development process, wireframes are basically a blueprint of the website itself. There are no design elements typically in a wireframe, instead it is usually contains what the site will need to entail from navigation links, spots for advertisements to straight-up functionality and more. It's key to keep your wireframes as updated as possible during the design process so once the design is handed to the developers, you will have no confusion on what something means or how it will function.

2. Save Out All Design Assets Ahead of Time

Once the design has been approved by your client, be sure to save out all design assets to make it easy on the development team. If your photos or illustrations have any special treatments or filters on them be sure to save those out too since CSS can only go so far in enhancing these elements. Don't forget to save out a high-quality version of the logo, illustrations, vector graphics, photographs used or anything else you can think of to help the development team along the way.
  • Tip: Put all of these elements in a universal folder labeled "images" to keep everything together and name each element accordingly to avoid confusion.

3. Provide Fonts Ahead of Time

One easy way to save time and to keep your developers from using the wrong versions of a font is to be sure to provide all the of fonts that you use in the creative process to your development team. Do not forget to tell them the weight of the font, style and anything else that they will need to know before getting started. If you are using Google Fonts or another online source of web fonts be sure to provide the links to them so they know where to get them from. If your client has a special font they request that needs to be purchased or downloaded to use be sure to also get this information ahead of the development process so this part does not slow the developers down once they are ready to begin.

4. Provide Colors Profiles and Hex Values

Colors on the web can get pretty complicated believe it or not. If you are working with a client with strict brand standards, it becomes even more key to make sure your development team has the right color hues before beginning the development process so be sure to provide your developers a list of the colors used in the design files as hex values and where they are applicable at on the site. Here at E-dreamz, we use Google Material Design's design standards to pick our colors from since they have been tested to be the best colors for all different screen types.

5. Mobile Design

Clear, efficient mobile design is absolutely key to creating a good website in 2019. So with this being said, it is critical to make sure you design out a good version of the site at the mobile size so your developers will have an idea of how you want the responsiveness to work and how you want the site to scale down at smaller sizes. If you aren't totally sure about how you want a certain part of the site or section to work you can always check in with your development team to see what they recommend and what is feasible based on your responsive structure. If you are choosing to leave out certain design elements at the mobile scale, which is often a choice by designers to keep the mobile experience simple, now is the time to let the developers know.

6. Explain Your Ideas Before the Dev Process Begins

Last but definitely not least, it's important to sit down and explain to your developers the design mock-ups you've come up with before they start the development process. Going through the designs and showing your thoughts and reasoning behind each design choice will only help them see your vision more clearly. This process could also help eliminate any confusion that could happen from the developers creating a site based solely on what they think something means or how they think something is going to function.
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By: Jane Londeree

Senior Web Designer