Is my web designer doing a good job?
I recently started working with a new client and I understood that many front end developers and web designers don’t approach things the same way. Here is a post about some of the things the person you’ve hired to create your webpage should be doing.
Learn to see the red flag signals
Often I see websites and wonder who designed this? And what were they thinking when they did it? Even more, what do the owners think about it?
I’ve created a list of the stages of workflow I follow when creating a website, to fit the needs of the customer:
- Features / Functionality
- The design stage
- The coding stage
Here are a few signs to recognize a designer is not doing a good job!
First of all when creating a web design the web designer needs to know who the client is? And who are the customers of the client? This is probably the most important stage of the design! Notice that the design or the coding part are not actually the most important.
Why, you say?
Well it’s simple! Before the designer can start creating, he/she needs to know what functionality the client needs. There’s no use of an awesome design that doesn’t do what is needed. We should try to create our web site design based on the functionality needed. Simple as that! If we don’t do so we would create the wrong design every single time.
The design stage
Once your web designer has understood who you are, what message you want to send, and who your clients or main audience are, he/she can start listing the features your website needs. Features are in other words the functionalities your website needs. The designer should now listen to the client and take into account the features the client wants. The designer also needs to exercise some empathy and try to put himself in the place of the client and just as well in the shoes of the client’s main audience.
When it is clear what features are needed, the creation of the design can start. Depending on the project the designer can provide you with one or several designs or mock ups of your future web site. This stage is the best moment to request the changes you want until you are satisfied. Your web designer should have something to say about your changes, if they affect your future website’s functionality or accessibility or the design language. You should get worried if your designer does everything you say without questioning because this might mean you are running the show instead of the designer and that they are not inputting their expertise.
The coding stage
This is one of my favorite parts of the job. The designer should create the layout you finally agree on and start the testing of the design layout. In this stage you can request some minor changes still!
Finally your web site designer should provide you with a preliminary testing version of your future web site.
What does this mean?
It’s an online early version of your website to be tested in different browsers. Since every browser renders (displays) things differently, it is important to test how your web site looks in different browsers. Also the designer should take into account what is your main audience and try to support the possible browsers they use. Let me show you an example, so it’ll be more clear.
Let’s say your company’s customers are from the older generation perhaps people older than 55 years old. This means your main audience most likely uses old browser versions or perhaps the browser that comes pre-installed in their computers. Browsers like IE8 (Internet Explorer), which means your website needs to support not only the modern browsers but browsers all the way back to IE8.
So people with newer browsers will view your web page taking advantage of the newer technologies, and people using older legacy browsers like IE8 will view your your web page with still a good design.
If you requested a responsive design ( a design that adapts the layout to the viewing resolution) it is also important to test how the website adapts to tablets and mobiles.
After all is set and we have tested in multiple browsers, and browser sizes if it’s needed, you should be ready to deploy your new website.
Everyone’s workflow is different and should accomplish the task. The question you should be asking yourself is; Is my web site designer or front end developer doing any of this? And if not, why not?