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Mathias Bynens

Kevin Holesh,

You have a limited perspective on how other people design and develop. This article may be useless to you, but I use what Andy is talking about every single day.

Good for you!
Where did I say Andy’s article is useless? The article itself is brilliant, and I never said differently. I’m only having my doubts when it comes to actually applying the workflow this article describes. It might work for you, and maybe for some other web designers + developers, but it surely won’t work for out for everyone. And personally, from my own experience with clients, I’m afraid that in most situations, it won’t. Hence my comments, hence this discussion.
The people who are able to work like this are very lucky, and I truly envy them.
This is what I was trying to say by stating the “fairy tale” comment. Andy’s workflow is how it should be, for everyone — no argument there!

That’s like an architect not knowing about building materials. Or a chef who makes a mean recipe/plate design but can’t cook worth a damn.

I know a good design when I see one. I can improve a design’s usability while writing front-end code. But I possess no design skills whatsoever. Are you saying that makes me a bad front-end developer?

John Leschinski,

Mathias Bynens, If someone can’t put together HTML and CSS they probably shouldn’t be a “web designer”.

I agree wholeheartedly. (Did you think that I wouldn’t?) Web designers should at the very least have basic knowledge of HTML and CSS. Sadly, this isn’t the case. At all.

However, this doesn’t mean the designer and the front-end developer always have to be the same person (and I hope you didn’t mean to say this, as it would render the “front-end web developer” job title useless).


“Obviously, you’re talking about minor changes, not fundamental modifications to the original design — let alone, starting a new design from scratch.”
— Of course, new creative concepts take more time, but even these never need me to change HTML. Changes to layout are simple and mean only working in CSS.

How is this relevant? It doesn’t matter if you have to change HTML, CSS or both — the point is it takes time.

“This workflow might work for your projects, but this doesn’t mean it’ll work for any web design + development project. ”
— Did I infer that it would?

Why else are you mocking my “fairy tale” comment?

Oh, and web designers should learn markup and CSS. Otherwise they aren’t web designers.

I couldn’t agree more. But again, this doesn’t mean web designers should always be the one writing the CSS to their design, right? (↑ Please see my reply to Kevin, a few paragraphs up. ↑)

“There’s no way the front-end developer is gonna start working before the design is final (i.e. fully approved by the client). It’s called “working for free”.”
— Where I live, it’s called “tripe” — and that argument is full of it and based on generations old preconceptions about what designing, prototyping and developing is.

I wish it was. Sadly, that argument is a mere summary of my own experience.

A lot of people here seem to be thinking I don’t like your article or the way you present your designs to clients or something, but that’s just not true.

I agree that, for web designers with decent knowledge of HTML and CSS, designing in the browser is how it should be done.
All I’m saying is that freelancing non-designer front-end developers (like myself) usually get hired to convert a PSD (that’s already been made) into front-end code.

There must be more people like me… Do you have any tips for us as well? For example, how do we decide which ‘features’ of a design are CSS3able, and which are required?