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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.

In the spirit of better designer/developer relations, this post is part of a top 5 list of tips for designers working with developers:
  1. Design has a huge impact on project cost.
  2. It can be tough to be the last person to touch something.
  3. Developers think of design as black magic.
  4. Don't expect to earn points by suggesting technology solutions.
  5. 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.

Date posted: February 19, 2010

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About the Author

Joaquin Lippincott, CEO

Joaquin is a 20+ year technology veteran helping to lead businesses in the move to the Cloud. He frequently speaks on panels about the future of tech ranging from IoT and Machine Learning to the latest innovation in the entertainment industry.  He has helped to modernize software for industry leaders like Sony, Daimler, Intel, the Golden Globes, Siemens Wind Power, ABC, NBC, DC Comics, Warner Brothers & the Linux Foundation.

As the CEO and Founder of Metal Toad, an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, his primary job is to "get the right people in the room".  This one responsibility is cross-functional and includes both external business development functions as well as internal delegation and leadership development.

A UCLA alumni, he also serves in the community as a Board Member for the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce, and Stand for Children Oregon - a public education political advocacy group. As an outspoken advocate for entry-level job creation in tech he helped found the non-profit, P4TH, an organization dedicated to increasing the number of entry-level jobs in the tech industry, and is in the process of organizing an Advisory Board for the Bixel Exchange, a Los Angeles non-profit that provides almost 200 tech internships every year.


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