The Challenges of Designing and Development

Every industry is challenging however, designers and developers have to face a little more trouble because their industry is constantly evolving. Designers and developers are facing a lot of challenges every now and then. Today, we will be discussing the challenges faced by both, a designer and a developer.

The Challenges of Designing and Development

Designing Challenges:

In today’s world, one has to stay aggressive in order to lead the rat race. In designing industry, there is a lot of competition and to stay ahead designers should focus on being both, technical and strategic. Before I get into the recent challenges faced by designers, how about we dive a little bit into the history of designers? They have been witnessing challenges since ever.

1.   Playing it safe:

In late 90s web designing was taking baby steps. Even then, poor designers were stuck with static presentations because clients knew nothing about web designing and all they wanted was a website similar to their competitors. This is why the websites were pretty simple because the simplest layout was the safest best. Designers did not have much scope to do or learn back then and almost all websites looked similar.

2.   Welcome to the world of ‘Flash’:

A few years later, the clients were willing to try something new but it must have flash and pop-ups. The good thing was that designers were no longer working on tables and they have moved to divs. Now, instead of boring layouts, clients wanted flashy and colorful websites. Everyone wanted a flashy intro (which makes the site slow). This is when designers were told not to focus on any sort of content. The visual sparkle was much more important.

3.   A new jump in the designing industry:

The good thing is that flashy video trend did not last that long. A few years later, designers entered into the world of AJAX. This was the time when content overshadowed the graphical representations.

4.   Designers and browsers:

In early 20s people had much more options available as far as browsers were concerned. The list was no longer limited to IE and Netscape. Firefox, Opera and safari came into the market. The introduction of new browsers brought a lot of challenges for the designers. They had to face compatibility issues, layout issues and what not.

Changing Trends – The Real Challenge:

The whole concept behind peeking into the history was to highlight the main reason behind making this job a challenging one. A graphic designer’s job changes with the changing trends and trends change way too quickly. Adapting these changes becomes really challenging.

Recent biggest challenge:

Now that you are aware of the fact that trends are changing like anything and with the changing trends, as a designer you should expect lots of changes in clients as well. The new challenge for designers is mobile web designing, thanks to smartphones.

Now, before we get into the details of biggest challenge, let us talk about some other challenges designers are facing these days.

1.   Making website accessible:

We cannot deny the fact that web has become an integral part of our daily lives. One of the biggest challenges a web designer has to face is to make his website accessible on a larger scale. Now, defining website’s accessibility is not an easy thing but to be precise, your website should be accessible to people belonging from different countries, backgrounds using different browsers. As a designer it is your responsibility to create a website which is not only accessible across the globe but all the features are functional as well.

2.   Browser Compatibility:

Earlier designers used to overlook this aspect but with the introduction of so many new browsers, designers have to face this challenge of creating a website which is compatible with almost all browsers. Not only this, once you have created a browser compatible website, you need to get it tested on all browsers to make sure that website is functional.

3.   Navigational Challenges:

Navigational structure is indeed a very big challenge for web designers. If your visitor is not able to navigate through your website, he will leave it without wasting any moment. So, navigation is one of the most important aspects of any website because usability of the website depends on a good navigational structure. So, designers have to make sure that they provide users’ with a proper navigational structure so that users do not face any problem during their visit.

4.   Content Placement:

Another issue faced by designers is to provide a readable website. It is entirely up to a designer to place the content in a way which enhances the easy reading. While designers are working on website’s structure, they have to be very careful with content placement because if the content is not readable, users’ will leave the website. When it comes to font, usage of proper colors is also very important.

Responsive Web Designing – The biggest challenge:

Despite the fact that responsive web designing has been around for quite some time now, designers still face a lot of issues. Let us take a look at few of the challenges designers face due to RWD:

-      Amplification of RWD:

Earlier, explaining clients as to how their website will be designed was quite easy. Since it was not way too technical, clients’ used to understand things after a little bit of clarification. Designers had to get a simple wireframe of the website approved. However, this is no longer the case. Showing a visual stage for responsive web design is not at all an easy task. If you want an easy solution for this, I have it. All you need to do is show your client a demo of a responsive website you have already created and you are good to go.

-      Static or Sketches:

Designers no longer want to create a static layout in order to show it to the client. They now prefer sketches which are easy and quick to make. Clients still want static layout which puts the designer in a trouble. I would recommend designers to design fewer layouts and more elements. This will also help clients in understanding. Also, everyone has his own way of working so if you have any other way of creating a wireframe, please stick to whatever you are comfortable with.

-      Navigation and Images:

Earlier, the website navigation was only horizontal. However, with so many different kinds of devices available, navigation has become a big challenge for designers. As a designer you should analyze your website and then decide the navigational structure. Be sure to design something consistent. Apart from this, image handling is another challenge. How to design a website with images so they are properly viewable on all devices? Unfortunately for responsive images, there is no ultimate solution but you will find various solutions such as SVG Graphics today by Josh, online.

Other challenges include:

-      Data tables

-      Conversion of old websites

-      Old versions of IE

-      Testing responsive design

Development Challenges:

Development Challenges

Designers are not the only people to face challenges during website creation. Developers have to face a lot of challenges as well. Although, there are various challenges developers have to face, a few challenges keep coming back to them every now and then. These issues have nothing to do with programming but yes, due to advancement in technology, things have gotten a lot complicated.

Let us take a look at challenges faced by developers on regular basis.

1.   Availability of various browsers:

To begin with, you can choose a browser that you use on regular basis. Initially, users’ had only one browser which made it convenient for developers as well. They had to develop a website which was compatible with IE only. But in past few years, a lot of new browsers have been introduced. As mentioned above, multiple browsers have been issue for designers but it is a major challenge for developers as well. Developers have to make sure that they take care of HTML/CSS needs for all the browsers available. Apart from this, a web developer has to validate his code for different environments since a lot of different windows platforms are available.

2.   JavaScript:

Usage of JavaScript has always been a part of discussion among developers. You will find different opinions whether to use JavaScript or not especially after the AJAX has been introduced.  We can only assume the number of people of people who have JavaScript activated on their browsers. If there are people who have enabled JavaScript, there will be a few people who are not very comfortable activating it OR they could be using a mobile device.

So, the challenge here is to decide whether developers should or should not rely on JavaScript. A wise developer will never tell you to rely on JavaScript. While you are developing a website, develop it without JavaScript. When your website is functional without JavaScript, you can always add AJAXy in order to make things convenient for the users who are visiting your website.

3.   Cookies:

Cookies issue is once again a recurring challenge that web developers have to face every now and then. As a developer, you have to fix the bugs related to browsers however; users’ who have disabled their cookies will be a huge challenge for you. Since users’ are not very technical, they do not understand they deactivating cookies can cause a lot of issues.

You might find ways to dodge the challenge for instance adding PHPESSID but that will only make things look uglier and will also bring some serious security issues. This whole thing will just give you a headache. In order to save yourself from so much hassle, do not allow viewing of your website if the cookies have been disabled. If a user who has disabled cookies visits your website, you can inform him to enable cookies in order to be able to view your website. This will save you and the user from a lot of trouble.

The issues mentioned above are the recurring issues a developer has to face. Other than this a web developer now has to face a lot of issues due to excessive usage of mobile web.

Mobile Web Developments Challenges:

Mobile Web Developments

Developers can no longer ignore the importance of mobile web development. Due to smartphones, websites are being accessed via mobile devices. The major challenge for developers is to carry out the testing for mobile websites. Other than this, there is a wide range of mobile devices available and due to this, there will be various browsers available. Developing a website compatible with all browsers is a huge challenge.

-      Screen Sizes:

Mobile technology is constantly evolving and we see new phones in the market every now and then. All of them are with different screen sizes and a developer has to make sure that he develops a website which is compatible with all screen sizes and is easily viewable.

-      Instant Changes:

As mentioned above, technology is changing like anything. Developers have to constantly study the new technology and develop the website accordingly.

-      Testing Challenges:

This is a huge challenge for developers because numerous devices are available and obviously a website cannot be tested on all of them. So if you want to test your website, you can get it tested on the most famous phones. Almost all major features should be tested to see if they are functional or not.

Conclusion:

Designers and developers both have to face a lot of issues during designing and developing. A lot of issues faced are common between designers and developers because both are interlinked with each other. However, both, designers and developers have managed to face challenges in a great way because we all get a very comfortable web experience, don’t we? Mobile usage is also not very problematic and considering the pace with which technology is changing, we can expect a lot of more challenges for designers and developers. If you are a designer or developer please feel free to share your challenges with us.


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With a passion for Knowledge, Smashinghub has been created to explore things like Free Resources For Designers, Photographers, Web Developers and Inspiration.

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3 Comments

  1. Anne Newton says:

    When it comes to a website, accessibility is what matters to me. Visitors love a website that is easy to access.

  2. Kashif says:

    you discussing key areas where we should focus as designer and development perspective specially when we working as team. thanks for this helping article

  3. Andre says:

    Great article.Thanks!