t’s crazy to think that in our technologically advanced society, that we still have designers using — and being taught to use them — outdated tools for designing for the web.
It’s important that a designer creating something for digital understand the space they are designing for. Just as a newspaper designer knows all the proper terminology associated with press and printing, a web designer should know how to implement their work on the web.
I know if you’re a designer who hasn’t made the leap to learn or understand code yet, you’re screaming into your computer or phone right now saying,
“Damnit, Lindsey designers don’t code.”
And to that I simply say why not?
I’ve come to realize that the more understanding I have about the way things function on the web, the easier it is for me to provide appropriate solutions for my clients based on their problems and THEIR BUDGET.
I understand that we all want to be the next designer they talk about in the textbooks, but not every client has that kind of budget. No scratch that 95% of clients do not have that budget.
For a creative to design something, and not understand how it’s going to be implemented, can be detrimental to a project budget. Imagine showing a client something, and they approve, and your development team says “I can’t do that, it’s going to take too long.”
Oh that sounds familiar to you doesn’t it?
So what do you do, you adapt. You take the time to figure out simple interactivity or simple semantics for code, and apply your knowledge to the design process. Learning and understanding the absolute basics of HTML and CSS will allow for you to make these decisions much quicker. So please, let’s stop being reluctant to learn some very valuable information to our process.
Even if you aren’t a front-end developer in the making, and trust me you don’t have to be, you should get a general idea of how to make things work in a browser, and more importantly how to make them adapt to varying screen sizes.
Understanding how positioning works, and how to move elements on a page from desktop to mobile, will also increase productivity for your team.
Imagine being handed something to design, say a magazine advertisement, and then the client says, now make that exact content fit on a 4 x 6 post card. You create a whole new file don’t you?
Well sometimes designers forget that you can’t — no you shouldn’t — just create a whole new file for different devices. I know it’s possible, but it will severely hinder your page load time to add extra code for this reason, and we know the importance of speed in our instantaneous content digestion patterns.