A Designer's Guide to Getting Started with Web Development

Thursday Jun 22nd 2017 by Catherrine Garcia
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Your design options may be limited due to lack of technical skill. Designers who are capable of efficiently collaborating with developers will be able to open the doors to rewarding projects and lots of development in the future.

Designers and developers are sketched as individuals from two different planets but they are expected to work very closely at any contemporary web development job. They need to deal with new thoughts continuously and back them up in the several stages of product development procedure.

Let us consider a designer’s viewpoint for a while. It is indeed a challenging task for them to successfully collaborate with developers. For a successful job completion, these designers need to work their technical skills and build an easy relationship with developers. Let us discuss why designers need to bring in more technical expertise for collaborating with developers and how they can achieve the end-result efficiently.

Fundamentals of Digital Layout

As a designer, you may or may not have knowledge in a programming language. Learning the fundamentals of CSS and HTML can be an easy pursuit if the whole process is linked with web design. Every designer should really complete the following two courses to grasp the fundamentals of page layout.

The first course is HTML and CSS which includes an estimated time of seven hours. It provides you with the concept of basic page makeup, positioning, layout and the box model. You will be required to complete some sample projects. The second one is making a website which involves an estimated time of three hours. It will help you make a recent version of any website. You need just ten hours to get the basics. By investing, even a small, amount of time, you will come to know how your designs will be implemented.

Connect with a Developer

Pair programming is the key. It is an idea of software development and involves teaming up with developers. Besides the benefits of inclusion, it is a good way to transfer knowledge and also enhance team understanding. Often the developer and designer do not have not have a common understanding of the problems they encounter daily and how to handle them strategically. It is recommended to spend an hour sitting with a developer and explain the process to get a clear perception of the task. If you can perform this regularly on a project, it will help you to get actively engaged in it.

Select a Text Editor and Get Familiar with It

The text editor is the place where developers spend lots of time. A designer should select a decent text editor and get comfortable with its use. Some typical text editors are there to make comprehensive CSS or HTML. It is the leading choice for fast prototyping among the high-quality designers. If you are not comfortable with your prototype, use it for a better experience.

A good text editor plays an important role to enhance workflow. Two editors are particularly well-matched for the designers. The first one is WebStorm. If you want to provide more time to deal with HTML, JavaScript and CSS files, WebStorm has everything you require to perform common tasks. It will also help you fine-tune your workflow. The second one is Sublime Text. This cross-platform text editor looks good and includes lots of functions to help you perform front end coding. While working as a front-end designer, you must work with developers or may need to perform small code changes yourself.

Learn a Programming Language

Working with a developer will help you get a basic understanding of at least one programming language. The effort will go a long way towards effective collaboration. We recommended that you choose JavaScript. Read on to learn more about its three major plus points. JavaScript is known as the most popular programming language in the world. It is recommended that you grasp the basic concept, functionality and other features of the language.

JavaScript is very powerful for interactions in design. This language is popular for interactivity and online animation. If you want to design interactive pages compared to text-based and static pages, JavaScript plays an important role for this. The future of WordPress is strongly based on JavaScript. It is recommended to start learning the language to make living designs for the platform. A newbie can handle the language even with a fuzzy familiarity of the syntax. The concepts can be easily grasped, unlike other popular languages such as PHP, Python etc.

Make and Use a Style Guide

If you work with developers, two things will be obvious for you; process orientation and detailing. Developers need appropriate documentation. These are the descriptions many designers can learn from and it is suggested to introduce them in your project by using style guides. Sometimes pattern libraries are useful. Style guides are known as documented design components that are used throughout a project.

You can find some examples of style guides from MailChimp and WordPress Themes. If you want to get a complete theory, sites like Pattern Lab and UI Patterns are also useful. When you work with developers, the advantage of this approach is huge. Discipline, professionalism, and thoroughness are added into your process from which designers can benefit.

Realize Version Control

Version control is one of the favorite subjects of the developers. It can get overwhelming for someone from a non-technical background. Designers struggle to handle assets, track changes in spite of attempts to use programs such as LayerVault and Adobe’s Version Cue. That does not happen in the development world.

Introduction to Git for Web Designers will provide you with an easy introduction to the subject. Git for Designers is also important. An interactive Git Tutorial is also a good way to practice fundamentals of Gits in an easy and understandable interface. By learning the fundamentals of version control, simple changes can be completed to these files and improve the overall workflow.

Wrapping Up

In this era, even small teams can produce software products that are used to solve problems of millions of individuals. In this environment, your design options may be limited due to lack of technical skill. Designers who are capable of efficiently collaborating with developers will be able to open the doors to rewarding projects and lots of development in the future. All you need to do is accompany a developer to the workplace and set the ball rolling.

About the Author

Catherrine Garcia is a passionate blogger and a freelance Web Developer. She, along with her group of freelance developers, are experts in creating Websites on CMS.

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