The Designer, Developer, and Missing Puzzle Piece in the Website Building Trifecta

As Designers, Developers and Strategists, the Current 120 team has the skills to create Traverse City's best websites

When choosing a freelancer or agency to design and develop your website, it's essential to sus out their skills. Are they an experienced developer? What languages do they speak (programming languages, that is)? Will they make my website work well and look aesthetically pleasing? These are all great points to discuss with your potential website design and development partner(s). But what if we told you there’s more? 

The website building process is often categorized into two sections: design and development. But as we see it, there are three. The third being strategy. Why is this final point so commonly left off the list? We'll break down the three roles and how they intermingle to create a beautiful, responsive, and lead-capturing tool for your business.  

  1. Design: In simple terms, the designer is the person who makes your website look striking. They work within your brand standards to ensure your fonts, colors, textures, and graphics best represent your brand. On some teams, the designer will create your desired website look in a program like InDesign or Illustrator. Then, that file is handed off to a developer to bring to life. A designer often has a background in graphic design or a related creative field. 

  2. Development: A developer is responsible for transforming front-end design into a searchable, clickable website. There are many types of developers who specialize in different languages like CSS, HTML, JavaScript, and Python. Different languages of code target different areas of your website. Some developers may specialize in front-end development (making your site beautiful), while some may prefer back-end code (which makes your site function). Development is an incredibly detailed and technical career path. While these individuals can make your website run without a hitch, they may not be skill at (or even interested in) the creative design side.  

    Designers and developers serve unique and specialized purposes. This is why they work so well together. In a way, they represent the left and right sides of your brain, working together to create a creative and technical harmony. 

    While these two are working together to ensure the customer has a great experience, we know there's still one piece missing in the puzzle. This piece is looking out for the owner of the website; the person who will be in the weeds, updating products, adding commas, and performing daily maintenance. This missing puzzle piece is the strategist. 

  3. Strategy: Throughout the website design and development process, the strategist keeps two people in mind: the end user and the website owner. The strategist first organizes the website's content so that it effortlessly encourages users to take action—aka spending their hard earned money on your product or service. Then, the designers and developers take over to carry out their duties. Finally, the strategist steps back in to think about the website's owner. Will this website be easy to update? Can Jane Doe add a new product by herself?  

At Current 120, we're a little bit lucky in the Designer–Developer–Strategist paradigm. Arielle was formally trained in both design AND development, making her the complete package. She understands that a website must be intentionally designed so that it connects with a client's target audience. On the flip side, she sees value in writing code that enhances the look and functionality of the site, without sacrificing the website owner's ease of updating the content. That's where Shelley comes in as the strategist. With a learned understanding of Design and Development, but no formal training in either, she's able to play the role of the client, testing how easy items are to edit and maintain. Also, she can explain to clients in layman's terms why their website looks and functions as it does. Combining our skills, we cover all the crucial roles in the website building process, making our team of two quite the trifecta.  

Are you interested in learning more about the website building process? Contact Shelley to schedule a call with the Current 120 team. We're always eager to help new clients reach their customers on the web.