Coming from a front end development perspective, I (Anthony, Ridge's front end development lead) wanted to share some thoughts about design. Wait...The developer wants to talk about design? Why is that and why would I want to read this? Well, over my many years of website development, one of the most important, and yet most misunderstood parts of our project methodology, is design.
Now before I begin, I think it prudent to point out that many, if not most, of our clients often walk through the door with an appreciation and understanding of design. They realize they need something professionally designed that matches their business need, reflects their personality as a business, and helps drive their business model. However, there are often times when the importance of design is not a pre-requisite of the client, and often leads to some difficulty in managing expectations in time, cost, and value. Let's dive in some more.
So what am I getting at? Well, very often, we run into clients who are very technically savvy and functionality focused. They believe in their product, have their business model ready and laid out, and are looking to get going quickly. They have a set of functional requirements ready to go, documented, and are ready to convey them and get development going ASAP. They are convinced they are prepared, and just think that "design" is simply "slapping a skin" on their functionality, and they can always "deal" with design down the road after they launch. In some cases, this may be true or lead to a successful outcome. However, I would argue that the success of such an approach would be in spite of critically overlooking design, not because they overlooked it.