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Sandrina Pereira
Sandrina Pereira

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Psst, you can empower the designers on your team

Tips from a frontend developer to another.

This zine is based on the article How Frontend Developers Can Empower Designer’s Work that I wrote for Smashing Magazine a few months ago. At the bottom, you can check the written version but for now check out the illustrative version! Feel free to download the printable version.

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And now the written version:

Look beyond your code editor

Remember these design principles when implementing user interfaces:

  • Hierarchy
  • Alignment
  • Spacing
  • Contract

Teach them code, not how to code.

Show to designers the joy of tweaking visuall stuff in the browser.

Dev Tools

Refine layouts, fonts, spacings and animations.

Code Playgrounds

Explore and tweak on Codepen or Glitch

Include each other in the process

Ask designers to include you in their design process and include them in the development process as well.

You'll discover they do much more than "make things pretty".

They'll better understand the web constraints and why a feature takes time to implement.

Have doubts about the design specs? Ask First!

Do not let assumptions turn into bad decisions. You’ll be risking the trust the designers put on you.

Whenever in doubt, reach out and clarify the specs. This will show designers that you care as much as they do.

Don’t make workarounds by yourself

When a designer asks you to implement a tricky design, don’t say “It’s impossible” nor try to implement a cheap version of it.

Explain to them, in simple terms, the constraints and be open to collaborating on a new solution.

Go off-the-record once in a while

We all have tasks to deliver and roadmaps to finish. However,
some of the best work happens off-the-record.

Go sneak into their workspace and explore new things. You never know what can come from there!

Let designers be picky

What it truly means to be picky:

  • Choose with care
  • Ensure cohesion
  • Create the best

be picky together <3

Thank you for reading!

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