All in the <head> – Ponderings and code by Drew McLellan –

Own Every Aspect of The Design

Most of the projects I work on are for design agencies – they design how the site or web app should look, and then bring it to us to attach the electrodes, crank up the power and bring their creation to life.

One thing that every project has in common is that there’s always a bit more to be designed than is apparent at the surface level. Even a simple five-page brochure site has more to think about than the layout and content of the five main pages. There’s things like the site map, accessibility statements and legal pages. If your site has forms — even a simple contact form — you need to think about the messaging around it. What does the user see when the form has been completed? What’s in the email that is generated?

The reality is that in most cases there are lots of details that don’t get planned in right from the start and end up being implemented by a developer. Perhaps by me. No matter how conscientious the developer, they’re rarely the best person to be making those design decisions.

That’s what they are — design decisions. From the subject line of an email, to the titles of the pages, these are all aspects of the user interface of the site. Even if elements, such as a contact form email, are essentially back-office. Your client is a user of the site too, and the way they interact with what you’ve built also needs to be well designed. Ultimately, you’ll hope they come back to you with the next project, so their experience of your work is equally important to that of the end user.

Don’t let us developers design parts of your user interface. Take ownership of every aspect of the design.