How Developers Can Help Designers

The biggest difficulty to commission a graphic design job is to know what kind of result you want. There may be a tendency to ask the designer to a “Do something”, and he will do it, but it might not be what you were looking for. I do not would to work with specifications for a development work too vague, and the designers are no longer telepaths than you. Spend enough time to define the type of work you are looking for.

Examples are useful

You do not have in mind a defined project, you will probably have at least preferences. Put together some examples of things you like or not, marking what aspects you like most, and why. Work you other people are fine, like the portfolio of your designer. Often, the process of putting together this sample of “likes” and “I do not like” will clarify your vision of the work you want done.

Believe in your designer

The essay uses the talents of others, instead of trying to do everything alone. Believe in the skills and experience of your designer. Do not use designers as drafters for drawings; Allow them flexibility to help and delight you. Don’t be too impositive.

A sketch arrives far

You’ve probably hired a designer because you’re not good designers yourself. If you are like a majority of developers, you should be a terrible designer, lacking any skill in the visual arts. That’s fine, and it’s normal. However, a (terrible) sketch of what you are looking for is often very, much more useful than a description, no matter how accurate. Do not be afraid to scribble something that serves as a guide; It can be exceptionally useful to make sure that all parties have the same idea.

Provide examples of data

As a developer, you have an idea of what kind of data your application will manipulate and show. Your designer, unless you say it, will use generic examples or even mock text for layouts. It is best for all that you provide realistic and meaningful examples from the beginning, paying particular attention to extreme cases (as short as possible, as long as possible, etc.). Submit all the work immediately strive to ensure that all the design work is described immediately, as for all work. Adding things after not only could lead after to cost increases, but it will also be difficult to program, and could have penalizing effects on the design work already done. As a developer, you know the high cost of changes at the last minute: the same applies to design. Remember the limitations of design your designer will work best to meet your limitations, so it is important that the specifications are accurate, including limitations. Screen size, orientations, font licenses, required branding colors/livery, available space for advertising or other static elements not related to the main content, and so on. Think carefully about the limitations for design, and make sure your designer knows from the beginning.


Be responsive

It is in your interest, financially and professionally, to be responsive with feedback when your designer presents the work. The design is not something to do after development, nor during. Ideally, a complete specification is followed by design, which executed from implementation; So spend time diligently working with your designer.

Don’t think it’s easy

The worst of a developer’s life is that non-developers believe that programming is easy. A change in a feature, support multiple elements instead of a single, or change as something works: we often have to explain the effort that was needed, and justify the resulting cost. The same applies to design, so resist the temptation to think that a change should be easy or fast simply because it is “only” visual. Not consummation your designer is a professional, and his discipline is not measured according to the same parameters that irritate so much the developers (stages of development, lines of code per day, tickets resolved, etc.). Designers must allow ideas to develop, experiment with approaches, or detach from a problem for a while to have a new perspective. Progress in design is not immediately measurable as in programming. Give time to the creative process, let your designer present you a coherent, consistent and fully developed work when ready.

Use the same tools

When possible, use the same tools as your designer, at least to the point of avoiding unnecessary discomfort for everyone. For a professional developer a copy of Photoshop will not bring on the paving, and it can be a very wise investment when it serves to remake the cuts of the drawings in emergency when the original designer is unavailable. At least, you have something that is sufficiently up to date that the designer does not have to do deadly jumps to work with you.

Speak the same language

Just as the designer accepts the responsibility of providing graphic segments from its design for you, you should likewise be responsible for translating design work into the world of programming. If you have special requests for file naming, Curatevene yourself later. If you need colors in hex format for CSS, or in RGB zero-to-one to use them in the code, do yourself the conversions, and not complicated without the life of the designer. Omit or translate terminology that does not necessarily make sense out of the implementive work.

Allow use as an element of the portfolio

If your designer is particularly proud of his work for you, he will ask you to use it as a piece of his portfolio. It’s an honest and fair thing to do, and it’s free marketing for everyone. It also strengthens the common merit, which will be useful when the time comes to commission the next job when your designer is very busy.
Business matters

Pay in time

Pay your designer in time, no apologies. Their payment times are independent of the development process and the release date. As soon as you are happy with work, you pay the remaining or the account in total. As an extra goodwill, you pay immediately instead of agreeing on the invoice date.

Do not accept volunteer work

Voluntary work is the work done before there is an agreement on payments (and often without guarantee of payment). There are many sites where you can publish your specs and budget, and designers will create work to answer your description (in greater or-more often-lesser extent). Then you can choose the piece you like, pay that person, and everyone else will have nothing for their job. This is a way of conducting terrible, destructive and unsustainable business, and is actively damaging the entire industry. Do not invite to volunteer work or support it in any form. Rather, do research on the designer you would like to employ (with personal recommendations and viewing the portfolios), then choose it, roll out a contract, and work with him.

Understand the model

Commonly, you will receive one (or perhaps a little more) proposal that meets your specifications, and you can request a certain number of changes and refinements to that proposed, depending on the agreements. Any other concept, design, turn of changes or other work will cost you an extra. This is a completely normal, reasonable and honest system, and it is the reality of the design industry. The way you balance the uncertainties of the extra costs for design changes is to present an accurate brief at the beginning, and be responsive to the designer during the process. For contrast, do not complain about the basic model, or do not expect hours of unreasonable design for a fixed price.

The source code is an extra

In most cases, the output of the development work is the source code for the application or the site; The product and the internal operation are the same. Therefore, in many cases, for development/programming, what you sell is the source code. This is not so in the design industry. The output of the design is the graphic work, in a useful format for use-commonly files PNG, EPS, PDF, maybe JPEG, or something else like that. It is not at all common for work files (Photoshop PSD, AI Illustrator and so on) to be included in the price. Of course, it is normal that they cost significantly more. This is normal and fair: if you need it, know that they will cost an extra be ready to pay for it.

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