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What materials to expect from a designer

  • # July 1, 2012 at 7:32 am

    Hi, I recently was working with a designer to build a site and was provided with only a layered psd file as a comp to base the site design. There were no wireframes or other specs provided. I found this a bit frustrating as I had to constantly dig into the psd and use measurement tools to figure out how things should be. It made me wonder what it is reasonable to expect ask for in terms of specs and design docs when working with a designer to build a site. Ideas? Opinions?

    # July 1, 2012 at 11:32 am

    If you’re instructing a designer then it’s up to you to explain (in detail) what it is you expect whether it be dimensions of individual items for your coder or something else.

    That should form part of your contract so that you can build the site you want.

    Also, remember that, from what you have said, you have asked him to design the ‘look’ of your site. If your site was going to be responsive then multiple designs might be appropriate and thus specific measurements might be less relevant as these might be substituted with %ages.

    Even once you have the PSD and you are now coding it…is it really necessary to know that a box is exactly 957px wide in the comp. What if you are designing for 960 px? Wouldn’t you just assume that he meant 960px?

    If he gave you a PSD based on 960px but you are coding for 1140px…who’s fault is that?

    As I said, you’re apparently paying for the look…not the code…at least from your OP.

    # July 1, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    There was no actual problem. So no one was at fault. My question was simply intended to get a sense of what others request from designers when working with them separately. If a layered PSD is standard that’s the answer I was lookin for.

    # July 1, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    I’d be happy with a PSD

    # July 1, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    PSD’s are fine for me. I usually just use them as a guide rather than pixel perfect anyway. I rarely use the exact measurements unless there’s good reasoning behind the design choices.

    # July 2, 2012 at 2:27 am

    I’m with Paulie in that unless specified otherwise, you will likely get a PSD. Most designers have a lot of the basic dimensions in their heads so a spec sheet isn’t a standard document anyone is creating for every project (at least in my experience).

    You are getting in the realm of why it’s so important to make sure the contract is both very specific and every party understands what’s in it. I take a good chunk of time going over the contract with clients. I feel like a lot of clients get the impression contracts are there to hide things and when no one explains it all to them it almost validates that impression.

    If that’s something you’ve identified you absolutely need – then make sure you plan accordingly on your next project. Also, you can always go back to the designer if you need that stuff and he’ll like just charge for the extra time involved to produce everything you need.

    # July 4, 2012 at 6:06 am

    Right, thanks all! This is very helpful.

    # July 4, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    When I used to design for the web I would add a group called “Notes” for the developer in PS. I marked certain areas explaining basic things such as line-height or whatever may look confusing to someone other than me. This certainly helps solve some confusion. Anyway, I just wanted to throw this out there.

    @andy_unleash Ha. There usually is a good reason (grid).

    # July 4, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Figured I’d chime in as well. I usually only get a PSD, though if the designer knows what they are doing it’s usually prepped for me. By that I mean all layers that aren’t being used are discarded, things are cleaned up, layers given proper names, etc. If the designer knows how to use Layer Comps it’s an amazing experience!

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