A Guide for Agencies and Graphic Designers in Hiring Web Developers

Graphic Designers and Web Developers have a long history (well not so long) of debating on web projects. Here’s some notes from the web development camp that may help Agencies and Graphic Design Companies looking to hire and work with web developers. They should help get the best outcome with everyone happy with the process.

We’ll just get into the detail with some lists. Starting with a main feature of websites these days, that is Content Management Systems like, WordPress and Joomla.

Content Management (CMS)

  • Dynamic content, page elements should allow for changing content.
  • Fixed areas, CMS systems generally have fixed locations for page elements such as header, sidebar, footer and navigation.
  • Fixed page templates, in a CMS the page template is generally universal to a website and applies to all pages. If there is multiple page templates required this should be advised at the project start.
  • Plan for expansion with dynamic content and the addition of new pages. The beauty of the modern web and CMS Systems is that the content is dynamic and can be always expanding. The design should allow for this.

Screen Area

Fonts

  • Web fonts consist of a set of standard serif and sans serif fonts that all users can render on their machines. The fonts come pre-loaded on every machine made in the world.
  • Web safe font, there are only 2 main font groups available. http://w3schools.com/css/css_font.asp
  • Google fonts are the best alternative, 214 are available which generally work well in web pages http://www.google.com/webfonts
  • Other fonts? Custom fonts can be included in web pages but should be restricted to main headings or graphical elements. This is because they can have a bad effect on page layout.
    • They must be included as an image, which is bad for SEO, and does not suit dynamic sites with CMS.
    • They must be included using custom font methods which are inaccurate in size and positioning.

Browser compatibility

  • By default the supported browsers are Firefox, Internet Explorer and Google Chrome.
  • Support for other browsers is by request and may be an additional cost.

Developer approval

  • All designs should be approved by the developer.
  • Please check all designs and concepts with the developer before seeking client approval.
  • Any design not approved by the developer might increase the cost of the project.
  • Designs should be provided in a 72dpi RGB Photoshop File. Don’t use higher resolution or CMYK colours.

Design Testing

  • Web sites need to be tested. This can be a lengthy process to complete as all browsers render content in a different way.  Final Quality Assurance testing will be done only at the end of the project so all versions of the site before that are to be considered “Production” versions and are a work in progress.
  • The agency must allow time for testing and feedback to the developer project to confirm required features are delivered.
  • The client must also allow time for checking and feedback on final project to confirm features are delivered.

Changes Requests

  • All changes and requests should be given in writing. This will help the developer check through lists without forgetting something.
  • Design approval stage should be considered final and changes to the design after development has started will affect the cost. Because technical development is labour intensive this will keep costs limited.

Web Page Limitations

  • There is no exact colour matching on the web, every monitor will display a different colour due to its age, technology used, or settings for brightness/contrast.
  • Font compatibility cannot be guaranteed if selecting custom fonts.
  • Identical match to graphics files cannot be assured. This is because all web browsers display a page slightly differently so some variation is inevitable.
  • Size on screen cannot be matched exactly. This is due to each screen having a different resolution. A higher resolution screen will display a page smaller, where a lower resolution screen will display larger. This is due to the age of the technology or also user preferences.

Further Reading

http://www.orbitmedia.com/blog/graphic-design-vs-web-design-separate-and-not-equal

http://www.solidstategroup.com/what-we-think/web-design-for-graphic-designers

Our Web Development Policies
https://www.creativ.com.au/web-development-policies/

 

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