OUR AIM IS TO BE YOUR GO-TO CREATIVE TEAM
So we asked developers how we could do better.
We’ve worked with a lot of developers, and we already have a pretty robust process in place, but there’s no substitute for user testing! That’s why we ran an anonymous survey to find out what developers see as the key common issues in the design-development process. We collected and reviewed feedback from a lot of developers, and identified where improvements could be made. We’ve combined this feedback, and our existing processes and experience into a set of guidelines to make things better for everyone involved, us, developers, and the end client.
How we work:
1: Regular communication from day one
We will involve developers early on, from pre-client previews of wireframes to get input on functionality, and designs to check the feasibility of what we’re proposing, right through to design feedback on the build before the clients are involved. This means no awkward client meetings, no revising signed off designs due to technical constraints, and no nasty surprises.
2: Feasible designs, suitable for the application
We will ensure that our designs stay within the technical constraints of the application at hand, from researching the grids, features and elements of a given framework to understanding the underlying database structure and backend capabilities of a given CMS.
3: Well structured, annotated mockups and assets
We’ll provide design mockups and assets to developers in the correct sizes and formats. Our PSD files are well organised, with annotations for any interactive behaviours and animations, and examples where appropriate.
We’ll make sure we define grids and spacing as well as typography, colour and elements, and we’ll make sure assets are in the right size and format, and clearly named and organised.
4: Continuity, consistency and flexibility
Through the use of our ‘kitchen sink’ style guide we’ll ensure all our elements are well thought out and clearly defined, so extending or expanding the product isn’t a chore.
We’ll consider responsiveness, designing mobile first where possible, and supplement our designs with clear examples of any specific mobile or desktop behaviours, so there’s no grey areas.
5: Feedback that goes in both directions
Two heads are better than one, and we’ve all spent a lot of time solving interface problems using our respective approaches.
For us, working well with developers is a vital and rewarding part of our job, and not just an inconvenient necessity. We believe one of the biggest disconnects is the outdated belief that design & development are separate disciplines, rather than parts of a whole.
6: The ultimate ‘Kitchen Sink’ page
Take the stress out of adding new content and features:
- Colour palette defined in hex codes
- Typography including sizes, spacing, line height and any other info needed
- Grid & spacing rules for elements, columns and layouts, including annotated overlays showing how they’re used in the layout
- Examples of all common elements including buttons, forms, panels, lists, items for archive templates, popups, tooltips and more
- Annotated PDF explaining interactive behaviour/animation for elements like buttons, popups, tooltips and so on
As a developer, I find it’s a rare pleasure to work with designers that really understand the web. Puree’s designs looked great, but they were also very well thought through and meticulously commented. As project managers, Puree were extremely effective, obtaining resources quickly, and communicating technical concepts fluently to the end client. We hope to work with them again soon.
I have worked for Puree on a couple of projects all of which require replicating near pixel perfect websites from their designs. This was easily achievable with their very helpful Kitchen Sink documentation which gives me quick and easy access to the entire sites’ design requirements, units and measures. Without this the projects would have taken great deal longer to complete with all the extra phone calls and emails to clarify design points. I only wish all designers would take this approach. I find Puree’s design work to be highly creative, inventive and to a very high standard which is a pleasure to replicate into websites and I look forward to working with them again in the future.
James, Media Grin
As a developer, you’ll notice the benefits…
We bring a wide range of experience in using visual & aesthetic methods to solve UX problems, to complement developers technical knowhow, so we can attack problems from multiple angles.
A stronger portfolio
We get it, you just want to get your head down and write beautiful code. And we just want to create beautiful designs. By working together we can make things that look great and work well, meaning less head-scratching and a better portfolio for everyone.