Posted 28th September 2016 | By Jack Rogers, Web Designer

Once again the blog schedule has made its loop around the office and it's my time to write a design blog, feeling fresh from my annual leave break in Amsterdam (it was great, thanks for asking!). This time I have a popular topic that is constantly discussed through other design blogs/social media and I would like to throw my 2 pennies in.

Should web designers know more about other aspects of a website project than just design? Does this improve you as designer? Or does it just make the design more complicated? I strongly believe that this is a question that's a matter of opinion with every individual and the experiences they have gained as a designer.

My job role at ExtraMile Communications is a 'Web Designer', this means that my typical daily tasks consist of meeting with clients to discuss client requirements, producing design concepts to ensure a project brief is met and liaising with web developers for initial creation of website structure and template.

Web designers and web developers need to work closely together to make sure that they are creating a website that is functional, incredibly user friendly and speedy. There's a vast amount of other qualities that a website needs but I'll use those 3 as an example. In my experience as a web designer I have had close communication with the developers I work with to make sure that what I'm designing is actually possible and has a reasonable time frame to complete. During this time I've sometimes needed to transition from design tasks to tasks a developer would be more associated with, in other terms, code stuff. This has given me much more in-depth knowledge about the procedures and time that it takes to create some of my designs, but this doesn't mean that I now remove parts of my design that could be tricky in development because then we wouldn't be taking our designs that extra mile (pun intended).

A good example of this is to check out one of our latest websites to go live. On this website we added an image slider that revealed a before and after photo when you moved the sliding bar left to right, this was a new design element that we hadn't used before and when liaising with the developers they were excited to make this work on the website.

The communication between web designers and web developers is a conversation that I think is happening 9 times out of 10 with any web project, as I think there's a clear natural link between both departments. One area I didn't associate a link between is Web Design and SEO, that was until I joined ExtraMile. Projects that we have that include SEO have an extra step in place where conversations between both departments happen. This may be before or after the designs are created depending on if there are any specific elements that need to be in mind in the design process. As we progress and start to get involved in more designs with SEO the more we learn about SEO and how we can create an environment that showcases SEO content in the best possible way.

So, should Web Designers know more about other aspects of a website project than just design? I think that having experience in other departments that work alongside a website project has helped me to get a better understanding on how websites work through each phase of its development. It helps me to have more of an attachment to my designs and have more pride in my work knowing that elements that are designed are used in a way to help the website to perform better not just to look great. Does this improve you as a designer? I think this has definitely had a positive effect on the way that I design, because there is more purpose behind what you design and it helps you to really understand the designs you want and helps you to create the website as if it was your own business. Does it make design more complicated? Not at all, I think it helps you to have a clear process on how you design, and to make sure that all the elements you create for the website has a purpose and will help the website to perform to the customers expectations.

Thanks for reading!

Written by Jack Rogers, Web Designer at ExtraMile Communications.


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