Designer’s Imaginary Boundaries

5 Nov 2016, By: Denis Ryaboshtanov

Is a designer fettered by knowledge of HTML layout?

We’ve come to a mutual opinion that it depends on a person. Some take rules and regulations as limits but others use these rules as their advantage and find ways to make their work more interesting and proficient.

So we have two kinds of people:

1. Those who take new rules as limitation and try to avoid them.
2. Those who take new rules as tips and try to use them to find new solutions in their work.

There is such concept as imaginary boundaries. A good example is modular grid, which is greatly widespread – almost all the web-sites are designed on the basis of a grid. Mentalstack designers are not an exception. We also use modular grids to develop high-quality products.

Quite often on the internet I see products where modular grid is really at work and that’s right because elements carefully ordered produce an impression of thorough work. But we should never forget that sometimes stepping over the boundaries provides better results than blind compliance with the rules.

What does knowledge of HTML layout give to a designer? Developing a high-quality design is a primary aim for a customer as well as for a designer. Here are some advantages, which bring a designer closer to this aim. For a designer, the main advantage of knowing the HTML layout is correct prototyping and reduction of mental suffering for pagemaker. Learning even the basic elements of HTML layout will speed up designer’s work and make it more effective, facilitating the pagemaker’s work at the same time. How does this help? A designer working out a model will simultaneously think about complications in realization of his work.

Such thought will give rise to ideas how to streamline and improve his product. But it is important not to overdo it. At times, excessive neatness may lead to weird UI solutions.

Why does knowledge of HTML layout make life easier? Perhaps the most significant is facilitating the communication. A designer who knows HTML layout will speak the same language with a pagemaker. And if a designer makes up his work by himself, the development cycle will be simplified for the whole team, which saves time and makes work more efficient. In practice, a designer who knows nuances of dealing with DOM elements can use their imaginary boundaries to his own advantage and employ them actively to improve his design.

Another advantage is that a designer with HTML layout skills will draw an executable design. In my practice, I met PSD models where designers outlined impossible things and pagemakers had to break their head over it and appeal to desperate measures to make the design correctly.

And the last advantage is that the designer will gain additional confidence in his work that his design will be made up without problems.

All Mentalstack designers are able to make up and they actually do that by themselves. This allows to remove an element from development chain. One person fulfills two functions, which helps to escape many troubles in communication, in making requirements specification, in development and HTML layout.

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