becoming best friend with your developer

4 Ways to Become Best Friends with Your Developer

As designers, we tend to always point the finger at our developers when our designs that we spent hours of blood, sweat and tears creating (okay minus the blood) did not turn out how we envisioned. Well, let’s stop a minute and turn the tables. More often than not, developers are handed a messy photoshop file, given a 5 minute overview, and told to get started. If this is your process, can you really be surprised when you don’t get that pixel perfect design you were hoping for?

Here are some easy ways to become best friends with your developer/get a hello in the morning instead of a death stare.

#1 Talk to your developer.

I know time is of the essence, but it is always beneficial to have an initial conversation with your developer before starting the design process – it will save you hours in the long run. There are many ways to design and many ways to develop. Get to know your developer’s preferences and their workflow. What grid system are they using? What breakpoints should you be designing for? How do they prefer assets to be delivered? These simple questions can save time and avoid frustration.

#2 Create development friendly design.

Keep your developer in mind when making design decisions. I am not saying don’t be creative – but try to stay true to a responsive grid. And of course, if you are not sure just ask – your developer will appreciate it.

#3 Create a prototype.

Give your developer the big picture, don’t leave them guessing. It is important for your developer to understand the functionality of the project. What is the hover state? Is the header static? Have you provided every user scenario? A great way to communicate this is through InVision. Designers can easily upload and connect their screens, as well as add comments for their developer to view.

#4 Don’t just deliver assets.

There are amazing tools out there that provide your developer not only the assets for a web project, but the CSS properties, specs, and even a style guide. One of the many great tools out there is Sympli, a plugin that integrates with both Sketch and Photoshop. Pixel perfect design is a breeze with tools like Sympli.

These are four simple ways you can improve your relationship with your developer and get that amazing pixel perfect design in your end product.


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