When you compare Web Developers and Graphic Designers, neither of them are very good at designing a website in its entirety.
While Graphic Designers focus on visual, Web Developers focus on function. You need both to make a good website, but neither work very well by themselves.
Graphic Designers can’t plan the web design to work efficiently for web application because they can’t see the whole functionality of the website like Web Developers can.
It can be just as awkward when Web Developers try to design. While Developers already have an understanding of User Interface design (I like to think of this as the skeleton of the website, no flesh or skin to describe of yet), they don’t always know how to make it look appealing. Developers know how to make websites easy-to-navigate even though they may lack what out of the box thinking a Graphic Designer could bring to the table; or the
Which Came First, the Developer or the Designer?
Web Developers can build a website alone because they know User Interface design, though it might not necessarily be visually appealing. On the other hand, Graphic Designers would be hopeless without the Web Developer. They would have a visual idea, but no way of making it work or very importantly what kind of functionality is necessary to facilitate the needs of the visitors and their ease of access.
It’s surprising then that a website is often graphically designed first—then passed to a developer to be built second. As if to say to the developer “make it work. Turn this painting into reality.”
Of course, if Picasso was hired to design Facebook it wouldn’t work out until the developer said no to a few things first.
Interestingly, in the case of Facebook, it was developed first and designed second, which is the reverse order of what normally happens. The way I see it is the function of Facebook outweighs its initial graphic design. The web design was a priority after the Development. This was better for Facebook because the design fit the function and not the function made to fit the design.
Form Before Function? Function Before Form?
Think about the products on the market. Do they make the package before the product? Is the jar designed before knowing what it’s filled with? Is the label made before you know where it will fit?
Designing a website before Developing has worked fairly well because experienced Graphic Designers have adapted to creating web designs that are dynamic.
They can expand and contract regardless of the type and amount of information it is filled with. As is the Label (branding) is dynamic and can be adjusted just as easily no matter the shape of the website.
Eventually, no matter whether form or function is created first, issues will arise while creating a website. The only solution I can tell you is—just like the design agency DDB decided to put the Copywriter and Designer in the same room to create ads, so must the Web Developer and Graphic Designer when they build websites.
To get the best result, they must work together, simultaneously, in no order particular, even though they will be begrudgingly frustrated with one another’s restrictions and advice until they learn how to create together.
What other products can you think of that get designed before they’re invented?