When it comes to web development, it can be tough to be the last person to touch something
Do you remember that Art Director who burst into your office with a crazy deadline for a print piece and then let you figure out who to actually make it happen? Or the salesperson who sold a client something that couldn't possibly be delivered? These days, if you are a web designer I've got bad news for you: you may actually be that person.
How Designers Drive Development
Clients are a visceral bunch and most clients hiring an outside firm for web or application design don't have any idea how long something will take to build. What they do know, is what they see in front of them, which makes web design a critical component of helping a client realize the vision that they've hired you to create.
How to Help
The trick is, while imagining neat features that may enhance the user experience and really get the client excited you are determining how your developer is going to spend his next few weeks (or months). Things that may take an hour or two to design (like a zipcode lookup field), can take days, weeks or even months to develop. That's great if the client's budget and the project timeline is open ended, but chances are they're not. So, if you want to make your developers happy, be sure to show them your designs and solicit their feedback BEFORE you show them to the client. You just might make a friend for life.
- Design has a huge impact on project cost.
- It can be tough to be the last person to touch something.
- Developers think of design as black magic.
- Don't expect to earn points by suggesting technology solutions.
- Developers do have a horse in the race.
I'll be looking at each of these items in turn and talking about them in detail in a blog post over the next five weeks.