The Relationship Between Designers and Developers

If you were the sole developer (full stack) on a project, and it was getting a redesign, and you had a say in the process - what deliverables would you expect from the designer? Detailed PSDs? Are they responsible for more? Navigation flows? Effects of any kind? Content strategies? Expected user behaviors? How the application’s interface will behave in certain situations?

Just curious what deliverables people expect from designers, and what designers tend to think is encompassed by “their job”.

I understand that answers will vary from person to person, and I believe there really isn’t a right answer, just curious what people think about it.


To me, there does seem to be a very narrow view of what constitutes design at times within web-world. It does seem to me that’s it’s heavily slanted towards ‘graphic’ design, and not always design in the round.

I work in IT within the aerospace industry where design is about how to solve problems, not just make it look attractive. Design should get people from A to B efficiently, whilst accomplishing the task and ensuring safety. Keeping cost within reasonable bounds is obviously desirable too.

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As someone who works with designers in this exact situation…I’ll share my thoughts.

I am given PSDs from designers, and am expected to code them. The designer who makes the PSDs…here…we expect hover states defined, general fonts, font sizes, etc. All that basic stuff defined. If there is any specific functionality, we go over that.

We always schedule a call to go over the design and just go over it part by part, in general. This helps in case some hover states weren’t defined, or specific functionality needs to be talked about.

All images are, of course, easily extracted from photoshop to use.

I’d imagine this varies from business to business though.

Content belongs to the client (we have had some real messups by clients who destroyed perfect websites).
Fonts, navigation flows, effects, general UI, all is done by designer
Bringing the designers intentions to life is the developers job.

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