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The codeface gets a facelift

Posted : Friday, 06 April 2012 15:15:00

When I originally started this blog way back in 2009 I wrote is a learning aid and an introduction into the world of MVC.Net. At that time I wasn’t too bothered about the general appearance of it. It was OK, a bit plain but did the job. Over my career I’ve found its very important to know your strengths and equally important to know your weaknesses, on that note, visual design is a great weakness of mine. Like many developers I guess, my approach to design goes something along the lines of “centre align, arial font, bit of hex colour background and bosh – job done!”. I’ve met many designers over the years and am always amazed by how they come up with such variety and new ideas for what is, in the case of web-design, essentially a few hooks on the page to hang stuff from. I’ve met a few developers who have a degree of disdain, even contempt, for designers deeming design as simple as “colouring-in” or worse. While I would agree that generally there is more work involved in coding an application that designing the interface I would certainly contest that either is easier more important than the other. After all just look at the success of Apple, this is in no small part to their marrying exquisite design with well built application interfaces. My analogy to the design verses development debate goes like this.

An application is like a cake. The developer is the baker, turning his or her skills to blending the right mix of ingredients (patterns, practices, architecture) to make a beautiful tasting foodstuff. The designer on the other hand is responsible for icing the cake, creating such a visually appealing visage for the cake as to have the consumer (user) salivating before they’ve even taken a bite. So imagine the case where this delicious cake has been iced by someone with little skill and no care or attention for the end product. It doesn’t matter how good the cake might actually taste – if it looks horrible you ain’t gonna want to eat it!

I’ve been meaning to overhaul TheCodeface for a while now and while I was chatting online to a designer friend I used to work with called Louisa and I asked for a quote – she gave me a very reasonable price so I commissioned her to overhaul TheCodeface. As I said before I’ve worked with quite a few designers over the years and the ones that I remember most are the ones who its easy to work with from development perspective – The reskinning of TheCodeface was a breeze thanks in no small part to Louisa’s understanding of the development process and the point at which design and development meet (separation of concerns to use zeitgeist jargon). After a bit of toing and froing approved flats were converted into a series of html, css, images and Javascript files which I then incorporated into the site. I stipulated at the outset that I wanted a nice design that looks as good on mobile as it does on laptops and desktop and that’s what I now have, the whole process was quick easy and I am really happy with the results!

If you’re looking for a skilled designer go check out her website at CLK Digital.

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Comments

Conn Tuesday, 24 April 2012 06:21:33

Interesting metaphor re the cake. I would add that the designer is also responsible for slicing the cake into individual portions, placing it on an appropriate plate and selecting the correct cuttlery with which to bitesize the pudding and assisting with delivery to mouth. Nice design ceindegg.