Keep your coders and designers friends… have clear boundaries

If you’re managing any web development stuff, there’s two worlds that exist in a binary star-like dance. There’s the world of the coder and the world of the designer.

Sometimes, these co-exist in the one person – a hybrid. but these people are more like a pulsar who are invisible for periods of time.

The coder’s world is all about what does it “do”… and (more importantly) what doesn’t it do? Once they know what you want it to do, their brain starts working away at what they need to do to make it do what you want it to do. Use this skill! They will ask you questions that you don’t even know you need to answer; “Ok, so after they press that button, what’s meant to happen? They get an email or you get an email, what???”

The designers world is all about how it looks. This is usually a static idea. When the web page pops up, before the user does anything, this is what they will see. They care about how people will feel in the site, what mood they will have.

Coders don’t want to work out how things are meant to look. That’s not their job spec. They don’t want to decide how much drop-shadow a menu should have. They don’t want to decide how much spacing should be around that header. They just care about what will happen when you click it.

Designers don’t want to code. (I think its like surgery to them)

The trick is to keep these worlds distinct, and yet, get them talking about all those little fiddly bits. Get your coders asking your designers, “You need to show me what you want it to look like, after the user does X”.