Designing your own website is an involved, yet exciting process. Seeing your vision brought to life by a developer can be extremely rewarding. However, far too often there is a disconnect between website design and development that can lead to websites ending up drastically different from their intended form. Fortunately, all it takes is just a little bit of extra preparation to ensure the website design you envision will become a reality. The following are just a few simple ways you can help prepare your website design for development.
Thoroughly Document Your Design
Most issues that arise between clients and developers can be solved with simple communication. If a developer doesn’t know exactly what you want, there’s no guarantee the finished project is going to turn out how you imagined. Miscommunication can cost both you and your developer time and money, but thankfully you can easily avoid this by thoroughly documenting your design before you submit it for development.
The job of the developer is to take your design and turn it into a functional website, not to interpret what you want and put their own spin on it. Clear and concise instructions allow a developer to do his or her job much easier than having to play guess the font size with your design. Be sure to thoroughly document the following items:
- Font Size
- Color (Hexadecimals are great!)
- Responsive Design Rules
For more unusual and specific details, feel free to leave the developers a note explaining just what you want. Most design programs such as Photoshop have the functionality to do this, or you can simply add your notes and documentation to an external text file if need be.
Give Examples of Interactive Features
Chances are your web design is going to include a fair amount of interactive features, such as drop-down menus or image sliders. Be sure to include examples of how you want these elements to appear so they will fit in nicely with the rest of your design. It won’t matter how pretty the rest of your website looks, a poorly implemented menu will stick out like a sore thumb. Let your developers have a look at what you have in mind for these features instead of making them guess or replace them with a generic alternative.
Feel Free to Do Revisions, But Keep Them To Yourself
Designing a website is an intricate task, you’re likely going to go through several different versions until you finalize your design. All of these different versions might be useful to you when making revisions, but for the developer it’s unnecessary. They only require the final design to properly do their job, so if it’s not intended to be included in the final product don’t bother sending it. The more organized the files you send off for development, the easier it is for developers to get down to work.
Review, Review, Review
Before handing off your final design for development, it’s always a good idea to take your time and go over every little detail to make sure you have everything just as you want it. Proofread your notes and documentation to make sure you didn’t miss anything important, and be sure you have all the necessary files together before you send them off. Taking the time to double or even triple check your website design can save you in the long run by avoiding mistakes and revisions during the development stage.