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To be completely honest, web development and web design are intertwined in such a way that there is not one without the other — not anymore at least. Long gone is the time when a web developer could use his HTML knowledge to build a website that “kinda works”, but is by no means attractive to the eye of other visitors. Today, it should be functional as well as aesthetically pleasing.
And even though web developers and web designers should work together on every project, there are pros and cons of every collaboration:
Benefits of developer-designer collaboration
■ Possibility of brainstorming sessions.
■ Idea-merging enables clear vision of what project is suppose to be like.
■ The second pair of eyes is more likely to note potential mistakes.
■ More cohesive, no-nonsense finished product.
Downsides of developer-designer collaboration
■ Ideally, they should be located in same space. Working remotely can sometimes represent an insurmountable obstacle.
■ Personal differences and radically different vision of how job should be done.
Nevertheless, collaboration is essential for web designers as well as web developers and should be nurtured carefully.
The following outlines 5 benefits of collaboration:
1. Solving problems as a team
As I already mentioned, two pairs of eyes are better than one. Similarly, two heads are better than one. From time to time, problems with the website development will arise. But having a teammate by your side at that point can mean the difference between “make it” or “break it.” By working with a team, you’ll come up with a more diverse range of solutions; you will have a better approach when handling problems, and — most importantly — you will be able to delegate work so the project could be finished faster.
2. Establish clear responsibilities
This is not as crucial for small web development teams as it is for big ones. If you have some developers grouping on the same task, one of two scenarios may occur: either the job gets done much faster (which is rare), or you end up with a mess caused by overlapping tasks. At this moment, it is of utmost importance to set clear responsibilities between team members.
By utilizing this approach, you will accomplish two things: First, there will be no “path crossing” and no one will step on each other's toes; and secondly, you will allow individual team members to develop their niche and become experts at it.
3. Rebalancing workload
Different phases of the project will bring different team members under pressure. For instance, on certain days the back-end developers will have it tough, while front-enders remain on standby waiting for colleagues to complete their work. The next day, however, front-end developers may come under pressure by being expected to complete their remaining duties swiftly.
If these situations keep occurring, there is a good chance you need to reorganize the process and rebalance the workload. The first step toward achieving this is keeping a close eye on task management, and tracking your team’s time and work. If you, on the other hand, ever decide to tackle this issue, there are a few project management tools on the market. However, it is important to analyze each one of them very carefully and select the best project management tools that can benefit your company in the long run.
4. Constant feedback
It is safe to say that developing a website is a creative process — a process of trial and error. It can be swift (completed in a matter of days), or everlasting (it can stretch out over the course of months). No matter the length, finishing the entire process just to have someone tell you that your work “simply won’t do” is incredibly frustrating. One way to ensure that your project is on track is to request constant feedback from your teammates as well as your clients (if possible). It doesn’t matter if it is in person or via live chat, peer and client input is something you can always and should always rely on.
5. Shorter completion time
The idea behind collaboration is increased efficiency of a project team, which is why miscommunication during the process can be a grave setback. For example, if you have a web developer and web designer working together on a new website, and your developer seems frustrated with cooperation, the designer is probably doing a sloppy job. Maybe he is prone to sending inconsistent designs, or unorganized files with messed up layers. Whatever the case may be, project completion is being slowed down; something must be done about it. The simplest solution is to lay out clear rules and ensure the team sticks to them, thus making the process as efficient as it can be. Rusty Cogs squeak and squeal — well-oiled ones perform without any hiccups.