Getting started with code.

As most designers will know; you need to know web, or at least some of it.

Job descriptions everywhere have some form of preference for front-end coding languages such as HTML, CSS, or experience with popular content management systems. While this has been typically a role of a web designer, the position is now diverging. Front-end web development has become much more complicated from the early days of table-based, image heavy, static html sites. Even simple template packages are full of JavaScript events that make the user experience of a site that much more bearable, and integrated add-on's to handle email lists & payment transactions.

So why is this important for a graphic designer, we don't need to code. That's the issue. Read on...

While these jobs are diverging into more specialized roles, the knowledge to communicate ideas between these two different avenues of delivery requires some give from both sides. For example; if a designer is making a website and create an elegant art-deco website, hands it to the developer as a cut up Photoshop file and says, 'Make this look like this, we need fast load times and a responsive layout.' Chances are that the developer will take one look at it and walk away. Others will do the exact thing the designer wanted but it will be poorly deployed and then the designer is out of pocket, probably then loosing the client.

To collaborate effectively both parties need to have a common ground of knowledge to work with. From a designers perspective, knowing the limitations of the platforms available is a big help when pitching ideas to the client preventing over-selling and then lowering expectations. It's better to undersell the minimal viable product and then pitch possible features to add, to the client at a latter date.

For the freelancers out there looking to add web-development to their service list, research first and start gathering resources. Learning a new language does have a curve especially when it's a new concept; adding it to your service list with just the basics will end up hurting you in the long run. Do not experiment with clients; research new skills on your time and beef them up before pitching them to clients.

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