Crossing design disciplines

20th May 2016

Product Designer to Web Designer and Developer

Dan, our lead designer and developer, has his roots in product design, skills that have stood up well in the digital world of web design and development. Product designers have to think both creatively and technically, designing a and bringing to market a product from an client brief or from seeing a need for a new or re-designed product in the marketplace.

Generating ideas, refining a concept, producing mockups and prototypes are all highly creative tasks, but a product designer needs to be constantly thinking how this product will be used and by who, how it will to be made and how will the materials used will perform under the strain of use. Manufacturing processes bring constraints, materials technology will determine certain outcomes, products must be designed to the rules of manufacturing, where price per unit is everything.

Blue sky thinkers will pluck the most incredible ideas from seemingly nowhere, yet often lack the patience to work though the technical processes required. Engineers know how to make things work, yet sometimes lack the aesthetic design skills to make a product shine when its sat on the shelf next to its competition. Product designers have a balance of skills between the creative and the technical that allows them to take random ideas and turn them into real, tangible products that have not only been designed for a purpose, but also to a budget.

So how does that translate to web design and development? Those two areas were, traditionally, filled by two different people, one creative, the other a programmer or coder. Front end web development now requires more knowledge of both, but often a designer will lean towards design and a programmer towards code, which is a very natural response. Having the skills to not only determine if a creative or technical solution to a problem is best, but possessing the ability to take either path means we more often end up with the correct solution as there is less natural bias.

Designing and developing a website or application is in a number of ways akin to designing a product, the design has satisfy the brief, to work in a pre-determined environment using a range of available development techniques for a specific market, all within the constraints of a budget. Starting a project with the end goal in mind is the brief, knowing how to turn that brief into a reality is where we come in.

If you’d like to discuss your next project, please get in touch.


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