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24 ways to impress your friends

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Alison Green

Great article! I was nodding in agreement all the way through.

I’d add a couple of things to your list:

If the designer is using a particular non-web font for some elements to match the brand font (designers often seem to do this with navigation items) and there’s therefore a requirement for the developer to create graphics with HTML image replacement – has the designer created all the states (including hover and current) for each of the nav items? Saves the developer having to delve into the photoshop file and create them all – especially if the designer has used all sorts of shading and special effects that only they can recall and recreate.

Designers often seem to forget to style up all the basic content elements. I would include the following as mandatory:

* lists (ordered and unordered)

* headers – at least h1-h3, but preferably h1-h6 in case the client goes crazy with nested headings when they do the content loading

* a standard table layout for any tabular data the client might want to include

* image treatments – eg floated left/right, dropshadows etc and how the designer sees these being used by the client when they have free-reign in the CMS content-loading stage. For example – if image treatment includes a drop-shadow, has the designer considered both portrait- and landscape-shaped images and created a drop-shadow for each – assuming they are only allowing images of specific dimensions? If they will be allowing the client to add images of any dimension the developer needs to know this so that they can style drop-shadows for images of any size – which as we know is quite a lot more work…

I would also encourage designers to work to a grid and ensure that all their edges line up. There’s nothing more annoying for this developer than having to to re-make background images because the designer hasn’t bothered to line everything up and their background boxes are a pixel or two out.

Finally, I would absolutely agree that it makes financial sense to involve the developer right from the start. We can advise on which design elements are likely to cost more than the budget will allow, and we can often come up with sensible ways of achieving the IA in design without blowing the budget once it gets to the development stage.