When does design end?

A case for front-end developers in the design team.

In the world of web design, the design process is often perceived as a series of discrete steps: first, we plan; next, we design; finally, we hand over to development. But at OHMY, we've found that this traditional approach can overlook an integral part of the process: the browser.

Why do we believe that the browser plays such an essential role in web design? It's because the browser is not just a passive vessel for displaying our creations but an active participant that shapes them. Our designs are not static but need to flex and adapt to the ever-evolving browser environment. And to truly embrace this flexibility, we need to consider the browser as part of our design process. This is why we advocate for a more integrated approach where design and development are not separate stages but overlapping areas of a continuous process.

This integrated approach is rooted in our founding. OHMY was born from a unique partnership between a designer and a developer. The company started after we began working together at advertising agencies, and our unique approach to creative briefs resonated with clients. This ethos of integrated creativity and technical expertise has remained at the core of our practice.

Handing over designs

The handover from design to development is usually viewed as a moment of completion. The design is done, approved, and ready to be coded into existence. But we believe this perspective limits the potential of both design and development. We involve our developers from the beginning of the design process. They bring their unique knowledge and perspective to our planning sessions and design discussions. This collaborative approach allows us to anticipate potential issues, and look for opportunities to elevate areas of the design and plan effectively. We believe this integration of design and development is essential for creating the best possible product.

In this integrated process, front-end development is not the end of the design phase but rather a part of it. Essentially, a set of platform-agnostic guides that any partner team can seamlessly integrate with any backend system. This approach not only preserves the integrity of the original designs but also aligns with the brand vision, ensuring that the final product is as close to the original intent as possible.

By engaging us in the front-end development process, there are several benefits:

  • The site is developed to be platform agnostic. It's not led by the constraints of the original platform, and hence free to be the best version of itself.

  • By the time you come to review the front-end work, it's browser tested and looks just as intended.

  • Everything provided is modular and componentized - this has been thought about from the start rather than at the end.

  • The code is written to not be reliant on heavy third-party libraries so fewer dependencies and smaller load, which equates to a faster website.

  • We develop responsively so any issues around screen size compatibility are picked up and solved early in the process.

What if you have an existing development partner? This approach has clear benefits if that is the case. They can focus their expertise on backend development, ensuring the stability and security of your website. This way, you're getting the most out of all parties involved and ultimately, a superior end product.

An evolving process

This doesn't mean that the launch of a website marks the end of the website's design. We see websites as living entities that continue to evolve post-launch. Instead of treating this post-launch phase as a series of reactive fixes, we approach it as an opportunity for proactive improvement. We incorporate user feedback, browser updates, and new products into our designs to ensure that the website remains relevant and engaging.

OHMY is committed to delivering the best possible output for our clients. A team that understands the value of an integrated design and development process, and a team that continuously refines and improves your product in response to the ever-evolving digital landscape.



Joe Burke

About OHMY

OHMY is a design and technology studio that builds brands and digital products. We help established businesses and startups to give meaningful answers to their most challenging questions.