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How Specialist Does Your Front End Design Team Need to Be?

blur Content | February 25, 2014 | Design

Do you need massive specialisms or can you afford more breadth than depth?

Front end design is all about coherence. After all, without coherence, the user experience is compromised, and you can forget about usability and accessibility being part of your site.

Front end design is all about developing code and interface in tandem.

Working as a front end designer is all about working for the client while incorporating the technology, interface, and information required for the back end to function.

Front end design is all about developing code and interface in tandem. So, can one person do this, or do you need specialists to get the job done?

The Jack of All Trades

In modern business, employees are increasingly asked to cover two or three separate roles in one job. One good example of this is a relatively recent shift in the marketing industry.

A marketing professional increasingly needs to understand analytics, SEO, content marketing and pay per click, and people who understand the technical side of marketing tend to have the upper hand.

In the same way, website designers and coders have learned to integrate different tools and languages as part of a single job role. While the early days of the web may have involved hiring separate people to design a site, web designers are increasingly responsible for the code and usability as well.

Naturally, it makes sense to hire a jack of all trades if you have a limited budget. Your skilled web designer could be a whizz with user interface and user experience too. But are there any drawbacks to this approach?

The Economy of Usability

As much as it sounds appealing to spend less money on business websites, don’t lose sight of the fact that your business’ website is a shop window.

It may be your only shop window. For some customers, it’s the first contact they have with your brand, and it could make or break a conversion.

A poor website can kill enthusiasm for a company. Why? It might look old fashioned, or be difficult to navigate on a mobile device. The forms might not work properly, and the fonts might be too small to read.

On the flipside, a really great website can foster loyalty and drive conversions, and usability could be directly implicated in your ROI.

Our Verdict

If you care about developing an effective web presence, and you want the very best in usability, you will want to pool the expertise and input of several design professionals rather than relying on just one. You’ll invest in people in order to develop a fantastic website that has been tested for usability and a top notch user experience.

If you’re not convinced about the ROI of usability, think of it in simple terms. The website destination – whether it’s the contact page, the email signup form or the e-commerce store – is the final piece in a long process that involves far bigger budgets.

Inbound marketing, PPC, social media and a variety of other marketing methods all feed into the conversion: the critical moment when the visitor reaches out and crosses the threshold towards custom (or spends their first dollar).

Can you get away with a jack of all trades? Possibly. But Is it worth risking all that investment on something you merely ‘get away with’ in the end?

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