[thelist] Designer vs. Coder

Marc Seyon seyon at carib-link.net
Mon Feb 26 15:33:52 CST 2001

Hi Jeana,

Allow me to give you an example of how "designing" a website could work.

The first draft, which shows only how it will look is done with no code. 
You use something like Photoshop, and put it together with all the 
different elements - logos, backgrounds, images, text - in separate layers 
so they can be moved around, resized, manipulated.

This is the design. No coding necessary.

Once that's done, Designer takes the required graphic elements - logos, etc 
- and separates them into individual files, and passes this on to the 
Coder, who will code the page.

So there, you can say that there is separation between design and coding. 
BUT in a real situation, you usually have the Coder (to use your title) 
collaborating with the Designer, perhaps making comments and suggestions to 
facilitate the transition from Photoshop image to web document.

Or more likely, you have a Designer (artist) who has knowledge of web 
design, though perhaps not enough to actually build an entire site. But 
enough to understand what should and should not be done.

And similarly, you may have a Coder who can make his own images, but not 
with the level of skill as a bonafide Designer (read trained graphic artist).

So, you can see there is some blurring of the lines here, and each person 
should have some understanding of the other's area of expertise, if only to 
facilitate communication.

All that being said, to answer your specific question:
>Can someone be very good at both?

Yes. Just as someone can be an excellent carpenter and plumber, or Java 
programmer and Perl programmer, or husband and father. They're not mutually 

>   Designers I think will tend to drift towards dreamweaver..
>it's faster, its easier, and they can see the designs.. pretty.. *poof*
>there it is.  Coders are interested in back-end...  how it loads, how it's
>handled on different systems/browsers/etc, getting the most done in
>least amount of lines of correct code...

I don't quite agree with this statement. A designer should be interested in 
knowing how his/her design will look on different systems/browsers. If not, 
s/he should probably stick to print media IMO.

You may not know *how* to get exactly the effect you desire, but you should 
know that it needs to be done.

>If we seperate content and design, are we also seperating the jobs?

Yes, you can separate jobs to an extremely high granularity, but I don't 
think Designer/Coder breaks down to a Design/Content split. In this 
example, Designer and Coder both do Design work. Content is another 
discussion altogether - copywriters, etc.

Question: Am I too longwinded? :-)


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