How to design a great website. The question of the new millenia asked by novice entrepreneurs and the business savvy alike. As Google and users get smarter and more accustomed to newer, fancier and quicker websites it’s important for any business, regardless of industry, to create the best website possible just to stay competitive.

But how?

By integrating design and development from strategy and research to articulating designs through finished product. Collaboration between both mindsets leads to an increasingly positive user experience — ultimately driving more qualified leads.

Integrating viewpoints from design and development into website strategy should be standard operating procedure for any website build or rebuild. Mobile responsiveness, clear user flows, updated visuals and scalable designs are some of the many intricate pieces to a stellar website and amazing user experience. All of which can be improved by cohesive teamwork between website designers and developers.

The key to this collaboration is to think less “We’ll just cross that bridge when we get there” and more “Let’s build the bridges now.”

If a designer goes rogue and doesn’t consider how their design will render across different devices, the developer won’t be able to develop a quick, easy-to-navigate site. If a developer takes a design and ignores the critical dimensions required to make it work, there will be user issues across devices.

Fostering collaboration between design and development helps to create fewer “oh no” moments leading to an overall higher functioning, positive user experience.

So what are the biggest benefits of this collaboration?

Capitalizing on Each Skill Set

A web development team should work together as a united group instead of dividing strategy and taking strictly “Design” and “Development” roles. Cohesive collaboration between designers and developers should constantly address the important questions and provide interesting solutions to any problem. In this process, designers and developers will each bring their own skills to the table. Ultimately they will launch a website that meets and exceeds the project’s expectations.

What’s Important for Each Skill Set?

  • Designers:
    • Understand the core concepts and philosophies of design and use that expertise to create responsive designs that can be efficiently coded
    • Provide expertise on wireframes and website strategy to help construct the layout and content hierarchy of the website before applying aesthetics
    • Understand and advocate for the brand, style, and voice of the website’s stakeholders
  • Developers:
    • Understand the project goals and see what technological solutions they can add to the mix
    • Bring honest, capable solutions to fit the needs of the website’s stakeholders
    • Work closely with designers by testing prototypes, QA’ing designs, and voicing potential areas of concern
    • Collaborate with the design team to incorporate functionality before development begins — successfully creating responsive, scalable, and battle-tested layouts
Example of a prototype
Gif Credit: Charles Patterson, InVision Studio by Dribble

Interested in learning how both our designers and developers take UX best practices and implement them into website projects? Read more on our blog The Importance of UX in Web Design!

Fewer Details Falling Through the Cracks

Designers and developers must build up knowledge of each other’s world and collaborate to prevent issues from popping up too late in the game. A capable, bug-free website stems from an intuitive strategy and asking the right questions — especially when it comes to interacting with the client.

Integrating Designers and Developers Into Client Meetings & Interactions Allows:

  • Designers to provide a unique twist on the layout, module, and design strategy based on first-hand interactions with stakeholders
  • Developers to supply considerations as to how the website design can be scalable, repeatable, and versatile based on stakeholder requirements
  • Extra ears and minds ensure fewer details are missed down the road
  • Both parties get a better understanding of what the client is looking for

Have you ever walked out of a meeting and every team member has a different interpretation of what was discussed? If you run into this, make sure you take the time to align as a group. These interactions are just as crucial for catching the big things as they are for buttoning up final details in the end.Split picture showing half an image and website design and half the code behind it

Getting Designs Fully Incorporated Into Development

Integrated collaboration on website projects allows for a designer to design with a developer’s mindset. By collaborating with a developer, designers get a full understanding of the function of their designs before they are coded.

Instead of just plopping a project on a developers desk, the designers can provide the developer with a mock-up they know will function correctly when transferred into code. Additionally, designers will have the ability to fully integrate mobile-first philosophy during early design concepts, making for a smoother development phase of the project.

Results of Design & Development Collaboration

  • A fully thought out strategy with everyone on the same page
  • Expedited QA and editing process
  • UX considerations are incorporated at the beginning from two different, but necessary, mindsets
  • Smooth development phase with minimal hiccups
  • Designers & developers keep stakeholder goals in mind
  • All involved parties have a better idea of what to expect
  • Both designers and developers are more capable of offering the right options to fit stakeholder concerns, desires, or questions
  • Finally, a fully responsive site experience customized to the user base for the most positive user experience

If this collaboration happens effectively, it ensures that every step of the website development process supports the goals of creating a great website.

Making the Most Out of Your Team

When building a responsive website there are many different paths you could take, but integrating website designers and developers is the best way to start. Not only will you be on your way to higher search rankings, but your website will be capable of satisfying your customers’ needs when they search your site from any device.

As technology and Google become more advanced, the benefits that stem from talented designers and developers working together to build an overall better website is pivotal to future success.

If you’re ready to see the results for yourself or want to hear more about our process, contact us today. Let’s discuss how we can build an intuitive website to deliver positive user experience and the results you’re looking for!


About the Author

Evan Hanson

Evan is our Art Director and is in charge of everything related to design. Evan has six years of professional experience creatively solving problems as both a designer and a developer. He strives to make designs that not only accomplish his clients’ goals but are also engaging, impactful, and memorable to the user. Evan is trained in print, identity, typography, and digital design along with entrepreneurship, photography, and user experience. When he isn’t creating something, you’ll find him exploring record shops, checking out a new brewery, dreaming up new business ideas, or biking the trails.