This is a guest post by Nikki from Night Owl Studio
As a designer I’ve struggled with the web development side of my business from the very beginning. I’ve spent countless hours scouring the depths of google for coding solutions, I’ve watched more tutorials than I can count and I’ve sat frustrated behind my computer screen when I can’t find an answer to my issues. It has undoubtedly been the most stressful and challenging aspect of my business.
I decided to reach out to a developer (ahem…Krista) in a moment of crisis. I had a completion deadline for a client’s site that was fast approaching and there was one piece of the site that I could not get to work the way I wanted. I had struggled for weeks tweaking the code, asking people I knew who dabbled in web development and I came up empty-handed a week before my deadline. I was at my wits end and frantic to deliver what I had promised my client. So, I reached out to Krista, who within two days solved my problems.
I quickly realized the value in working with a developer and from that point on I decided that I needed to keep a developer in my back pocket for future projects. I now consider it a routine business expense and adjust my pricing based on the amount of work needed beyond myself. This is a huge piece in business growth and understanding that collaboration can provide your client the most quality work. I could go on and on for days about all the reasons I think EVERY designer should keep a trusted developer in their back pocket but I’ll narrow it down to the top 6 reasons!
Why Does Every Designer Need a Developer in Their Back Pocket?
Having the expertise of a developer at your fingertips is a pretty powerful feeling. There is a comfort in knowing that for any question you have or issue you encounter, you have somebody who knows the answers. You also have somebody to bounce ideas off of. Maybe you’re questioning the functionality of a design element or wondering what the best option is for your client’s web needs like a membership page or e-commerce section. Having a reliable source of expertise is so valuable!
To me, this is the most valuable aspect in working with a developer. More than likely I could “figure out” how to do something but I will waste a lot of time “figuring it out.” Time equals money and I want to waste as little time as possible on each project. With the time I save working with a developer I can create more quality design work and build a stronger relationship with my clients. If you’re a designer, your clients are hiring you to DESIGN.
Pure and simple, working a with a developer is a huge stress reducer. There are a few web tasks that are just incredibly stressful to me and I would much rather pass them off to a developer who can handle them for me. A great example of this is setting up a staging site to work on while maintaining the client’s live site. It’s not an extremely difficult task but it requires a lot of steps and makes me nervous if something goes wrong. So, that’s when a developer comes in and does all that stressful work for me so I can get busy designing. It’s peace of mind!
Working with a developer provides you with endless possibilities. There’s no longer the question, “can I do that?”. Practically anything you design can be done and done well. Don’t dumb down designs because you don’t know how to do the code work or because it will take you too long to figure out. Design freely knowing that your ideas can indeed come to life. It’s seriously like working with a magician!
Focus on Design:
This is my favorite part of working with a developer. I get to focus on design. I don’t have to get caught up dealing with coding issues or functionality problems. I get to focus all my time and energy into what I do best, which is design. I feel like I can truly provide my clients with my absolute best work because I’m not distracted by coding nightmares or pesky issues anymore!
When a client hears I work with a developer it instantly gives me more credibility because it shows professionalism. It shows the client that you take your work and their business serious because you’re working with outside sources to ensure the most quality product. Being a reliable, credible business will bring in more clients time and time again!
So, if you’re a designer out there struggling with the web development side of your business, consider working with a developer and get back to focusing on design!