How To Not Be An Annoying Designer

I’ve made it my business for the past two years to work only with designers and their agencies. I also come from a college background of design, which is a benefit when working in front-end development, as I still have an eye to make sure every pixel is in its place.

This also gives me the opportunity to see behind the scenes – I don’t deal directly with normal clients, but instead I interact with the designer who then interacts with the client. Sometimes I even interactive with the project manager, who deals with the designer, who deals with the client. Needless to say sometimes things can get quite messy. We developers love you designers, but things aren’t always rosy.

While we devs aren’t perfect when it comes to dealing with the “other side”, there are several things I’d like to point out that would really help us help you better – and ways you can avoid being that stereotypical annoying nerd type.

Be Upfront About The Project

One of the most annoying things that a designer can do is to not be upfront about a particular project. It’s really annoying – and almost a deal breaker – to deal with you as a designer at the beginning of the project, and then all of a sudden you disappear and some project manager from some company you’ve never heard of and never agreed to work with suddenly steps in to be your liaison. If you’re working with other agencies, that’s cool, just let us know up front that’s who we’ll be dealing with.

Your Mockups Look Like A Massacre

Your designs are your babies and we developers want to make sure we take care of them well – but it’s impossible to correctly code a site if we can’t get the resources we need. Handing us over a mockup that takes up half our HD, with hundreds of layers that aren’t named, grouped or in any logical order isn’t going to cut it. And please, don’t get angry if we end up missing all of your rollover states because of this.

Temper Tantrums

Nobody likes it when they can’t get their way – but sometimes the web is going to do what the web is going to do. Yes we’d like get everything pixel perfect, the unicorn animations smooth, parallax working behind jQuery flying wizards…but sometimes it’s just not possible. We’re not here to sabotage your design. We’re here to help you and sometimes you need to trust our judgement when something can’t, or shouldn’t, work.

You Stood Me Up!

Web projects are never precise in any category, and much less so in schedule. What you think is a quick and dirty project really ends up taking months, and something that looks long and daunting is finished in days. So we understand that you can’t always get the project start dates correct. But please, please, if you ask us to schedule you in for a date and realize you’re not going to be ready – please let us know so we can fit someone else in in that time slot. I often have 4-5 projects scheduled in for one week and normally only 2 come through. I end up turning down projects when I could’ve ending up doing them! I’ve contemplating require deposits before I put clients on the schedule, although this isn’t very convenient to you, the designer.

Developers Are Annoying Too

We developers are not without our own shortcomings and I know that it can be difficult dealing with us sometimes. A list of things I think we developers could work on as a whole:

  • Communication – we tend to drift off into our own world!
  • Pay Attention – especially the backend programmers who tend to skirt the details
  • Respect – just because you don’t touch the backend, doesn’t make you any less important or smart in the web world
  • Learn – I believe the web would be a prettier place if developers took some time to learn basic design principles and kept up with the trends and new techniques.

Your Thoughts

What are some of your pet peeves when working with designers? How can both sides better communicate?