Designers & Developers: Can They Work Together?

Written by Harsh Vijay
Published on November 5th, 2020

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We want to know if it’s possible to work together without one side experiencing undue friction due to clunky review processes, inflexible timelines, and incompatible collaboration tools?

Designer pain points

Once the client shares the brief for what they envision their website to look like, designers get to work bringing it to life through their creatives. From ideation to sketches to colourising, the designs go through several stages to gain approvals from the client.

Then, the designer shares these designs with the web developer to build the actual website. This is where everything usually goes wrong.

Sometimes, the webpage ends up looking nothing like the designs shared. Others, the coding has changed the entire structure of the website design and thus, begins an endless cycle of emails and marked-up screenshots to bridge the gap between the designer’s vision and the web developer’s output.

Developer pain points

From the developer’s perspective, it’s easy to see why designs don’t manifest themselves exactly how the designer envisioned. It boils down to a lack of functionality. Sometimes, designers may have a limited understanding of how user interfaces and user journeys are crafted — this leads to pretty but effectively useless designs.

On the flip side, sometimes, designers fail to clearly communicate the aspects and details of their design that make the website truly functional for users. This is when the developer steps in and uses their understanding and develops something completely different from the original design.

United by a common goal

While designers and developers have different skills, they’re usually considered two sides of the same coin. This is because you cannot have great web design without one or the other.

A good designer will be intuitive and imaginative, with the ability to grasp different concepts such as colour, typography, spatial relationships, user experience, and more.

The best developers should be able to glean user journeys through details and manipulate the designs to develop an attractive website for users.

At the end of the day, both designers and developers work towards a common goal: a website that showcases the product in the best way possible. A good website is attractively designed with the right brand colours, messaging, and eye-catching images & typography. Simultaneously, the design must be functional, responsive, and encourage users to heed the call to action (CTA).

How can designers & developers work together?

We’ve talked about how communication and collaboration or a lack thereof can impact the web design process. A visual feedback and collaboration tool like ruttl can help designers and developers work together to build simple to use yet beautiful websites to attract users.

Clunky, old-school review processes that use endless marked-up screenshots or lengthy email threads make it difficult to find the changes that are needed to make the website better.

Enter ruttl

As a team of designers and developers ourselves, we’ve experienced the problems of the old design review process first-hand. That’s when we knew it was time to create something that could solve the problem and allow designers and developers to work on web design projects easily.

ruttl is this fruit of our labour. It is a website feedback tool that allows designers to seek contextual feedback on illustrations and designs thereby reducing the number of variations needed. Stakeholders and managers can make changes to elements and copy while leaving comments on live staging websites without any coding knowledge — this allows developers to properly understand how the final website needs to be.

We wanted to create something larger than a simple collaboration and productivity tool — ruttl enables designers, developers, copywriters, managers, clients, and stakeholders to work together to create brilliant websites.

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