epistio logo

How to Work with a Designer as a Developer

Table of Contents

Having a strong bond with a designer as a developer is the healthiest way to manage the project at hand. Many projects tend to separate the developers and the designers and make it harder for them to communicate easily, which usually results in issues that revolve around UX and UI.

Why Work Together

To get the best out of the product you’re working on, you need a sound understanding of the UX and UI design together, as they go hand-in-hand, and a set of skills to integrate the design of the last product into the code.

1. A second POV

Criticizing doesn’t have to be always as bad as we think it to be, that’s what constructive criticism is for, right? A true friend is the one that helps you grow. You might have written the best working set of lines that you’ve ever worked on but a view of someone else will always help you make it even better. Letting a designer up your work is always a great idea and might show you something that you might have missed.

2. Creative boost

Even though there are many common tasks that developers and designers have, they act like the right and left parts of a brain. Having the technical and analytical data to have it all put in is awesome but what if it just doesn’t look that good? After all, the users’ only concern is to see only what is put in front of them and not know how it’s working. If it works, it’s great, but probably many other products work well and appeal to the eye. Let a designer make your product look great.

3. United, cohesive product

The main thing to focus on is the product and it should stay as the main focus throughout the creation process. The user will see the end result, not how it came into being so keeping the big picture in mind while working together will give an understanding of both sides because the aim is the same.

4. Focus

Keeping someone near to remind you of how the product should turn out will help with keeping the focus of both parties - the developer and the designer. Sometimes the new ideas can drift away from what’s at hand so working together will maintain the needed focus.

5. Communication leads to better results

A developer might not understand the design theory, just as a designer might not understand how a little change could need lots of lines of code to be written again. Designers talk to the users, whereas developers talk to the computers. Taking their views into consideration will bridge the gap between the product and the users.

How to Work Together

Since we’ve gathered enough reasons as to why designers and developers should be working together, now let’s see tips on how they can make it work.


1. Talk it out

It’s now evident that you should be getting ideas from your designer but how will you have that effective communication? If something ever gets stuck in your mind, you should be able to talk about it freely and let them explain their whys. To give an example, if your designer thinks that adding a little animation will bring visualisation to the product and help it grow, don’t just think about it as “frosting” but trust that it will work, it might affect the SEO, bring more traffic etc. Small changes might create big differences and finding those are what designers are there for.

2. Know your limits

If you think that the idea a designer will bring is too much for your skills for now or will affect the product in an unpreferred way (e.g. inaccessibility, decreased speed when loading pages, browser incompatibility), let them know about it. It will develop a mutual understanding of the teammates and might even bring about more creative ideas.

3. Use the same language

It’s always good for designers to know the basics of HTML, CSS or JavaScript. Since they’ll know how the wished design is going to be implemented into the code, it’ll help them visualise the process. Just as that, it wouldn’t hurt a developer to understand the practical part of SEO besides the technical one, or getting the basics of some image editing tools. Understanding why the designer chose to go in that way will help you both brainstorm more effectively.

4. The big picture

Both designers and developers should be able to identify what the target audience will ask for from the product and implement their ideas accordingly, how to use web fonts, image sizing and formatting, understanding of typography even at its very basic level. So that you both can talk the same language when it comes to performance, user experience, features, ideas, etc.

5. Flexibility

Understanding how a product should be presented both technically and aesthetically will provide flexibility for the project since it will lead to more ideas and will cancel out the fixed wireframes and the ideas won’t be facts but rather, prototypes that can be developed into thought-out plans.

Where to Find Them

To find the best people that you think will be great for what you wish to develop and let them help you reach a wider range of audiences, it’s always a good idea to check out online portfolio sites. Super Portfolio is one of them and will help you find who you’re looking for on the discover page after you sign up. Connect to the world and find your teammates and see what they’ve been working on to work on projects together!