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Thread: Bringing in a Hired Gun

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    Bringing in a Hired Gun

    Hi Guys,

    Been awhile since I sought out your advice. My website development continues to progress, albeit very deliberately.

    It's become clear to me that the developer really isn't equipped to design the killer home page that I believe I need. He has succeeded greatly on a lot of technical issues that match my requirements in areas such as site navigation and database search engine, so he still has my confidence.

    What I'd like to know is whether it's practical to hire someone from the outside to design the home page without using all the coding that the developer would (rightly) want to protect. Can such a division of labor between unrelated professionals be productive?

    The developer knows of my wishes and has not objected to my parceling out the work. He's made it clear that once the design is done, he'll integrate it into his coding.

    So, my concern is whether this arrangement can work and even whether it's somewhat commonplace in web development circles.

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  3. #2
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Yes, and yes. Respectively or not respectively. Your choice.

    Developers and designers can and often do work well together. I do it all the time. The key is this...you want to keep your developer as happy as you can and use your developer as much as you can. If (s)he has managed to do things of a technical nature, that's rare.

    You keep your developer as happy as you can by getting your designer to do the bare minimum required for your developer to get the design integrated with the coding. Usually that means "designer supplies PSD file or files if responsive design is a consideration and it should be, and developer takes it from there." Don't let the designer do too much as far as coding is concerned...chances are the developer will completely ignore the designer's code and use his/her own anyway. Just pictures, that's it.
    Vapr_Arts and mergatroid like this.
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    Thanks for the encouraging reply! I was thrown in a couple of spots, however.

    The last sentence . . . Do you mean to wrap up by saying, metaphorically, "here's a look at what to expect?"

    Also the last sentence of the first paragraph. What is rare? A developer who does things of a technical nature? Or keeping them happy? Actually, are you referring to the developer or the designer here?

    Sorry about being fairly thick on these matters. What is obvious to most members of the Forum is still new ground for me.

    Thanks again for taking the time. Though a couple of your ideas still need to be resolved in my head, the great gist of what you wrote is hugely encouraging.

    And . . . as far as the psychology goes, I've made sure to have my developer's "back" every step of the way, even jettisoning a suitor for designing my page when he became too disparaging of the developer.

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    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alloverthemap View Post
    Thanks for the encouraging reply! I was thrown in a couple of spots, however.
    .
    No worries, bro. I do that from time to time.
    Quote Originally Posted by alloverthemap View Post
    The last sentence . . . Do you mean to wrap up by saying, metaphorically, "here's a look at what to expect?"
    .
    More "if you have to prioritize between keeping the two happy, keep the developer happy". They're much harder to find.

    Quote Originally Posted by alloverthemap View Post
    Also the last sentence of the first paragraph. What is rare? A developer who does things of a technical nature? Or keeping them happy? Actually, are you referring to the developer or the designer here?
    The developer...and what's rare is a developer that can solve problems. Most "developers" nowadays are "W*rdPr*ss experts" whose idea of "development" is finding a plugin that will hopefully solve a problem and then claiming it can't be done when such a plugin doesn't exist. Those who know how to code are a rare breed indeed.

    Quote Originally Posted by alloverthemap View Post

    And . . . as far as the psychology goes, I've made sure to have my developer's "back" every step of the way, even jettisoning a suitor for designing my page when he became too disparaging of the developer
    That's precisely what you should have done. Your developer has helped you. The suitor hasn't. Your developer has earned that kind of support as a result, and good on you for recognizing it.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

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    Thanks again for the valuable insights!

    I'm going to try and solve this in-house with the developer and just pay a la carte for his designer's time. I'm getting it a very inexpensive rate. If his abilities don't measure up to my visions for the home page, then I'll do some shopping on the outside.

    By the way . . . it is a WordPress site. But it will be very, very dynamic once completed, so I'll need to take over the reins myself on it. So, I think in this case, not having sophisticated code probably is an advantage.

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    I work with designers, it can be done. Sounds like you have a dev who is open to it so, why not. Not all good devs. can design and will admit to it ( I'm reminded of Nicholle Sullivan saying "thank god no one has me design" at a speech once). A good relationship between the Dev and Designer are key, there going to be times when the dev sees things in the design that just wont work for one reason ore another ( accessibility issues and such), so that's the time when feathers can ruffle because you have a Designer who wants to preserve her design and a coder who wants to keep it clean and "right". Listen to the dev here,lol.

    On this whole WP thing. Sometimes I think it gets a bad rap, and rightfully so. Game makes points where so called devs who use Wordpress will just use some theme, slap in a plug-in and say "look what I can do". No, you cant.. you have caused people like me who start from the ground up each time with just the barest of boilerplate to come on sites and defend what an actual WP expert can do. Beyond a caching plug in, I have ONE I use, and that's only for use when other " developers" contact me stating they need this and that functionality from some theme that they are "developing" (P-U-H-LEASE). So I have a simple one where I can put my JS and CSS that wont interfere with the theme in case they update the bloated thing.

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    Senior Member RDesignista's Avatar
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    let your developer, develop. let your designer, design.

    we all want a lebron james-type player that we can add to our team and fill multiple roles with high performance, but we have to pay big bucks for a player like that cause it's uncommon.

    if anything, get a good designer that knows websites and have 'em make mockups. with a mockup in place, a good front end dev can churn out the website with ease.

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    Thanks guys. Haven't been back in a while.

    Things are going well, if very slowly, in the formation of my page. What would seem to be fairly basic tasks, however, are taking a week to complete, with regularity. So it's your last sentence, RDesignista which intrigues me.

    Here's what I'm looking for from the developer: A screen which will fit a photo and a caption on it that can be linked to from a thumbnail gallery. This formula will be repeated for approximately 30 different pages. The content will change -- and be uploaded by me -- but the format will stay consistent.

    Could a task like this really take a week to accomplish? I hate to think I'm being yanked around because my developer is very communicative and responsive to my needs, but something like this makes me wonder whether I'm being pushed aside to the back of a pile of projects and attended to for five minutes a day.

    Any general insights, as always, met with great appreciation.

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    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    It could, yes. It depends on whether or not a plugin exists for it, the skill level of the developer, and as you said any other projects.

    You're probably not getting pushed aside as much as the developer may not know the best approach or may be looking up plugins that would work.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

    My stuff (well, some of it): My bowling alley site | Canadian Postal Code Info (beta)

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    Thanks very much. Such a scenario does seem consistent with the output accomplished thus far. Glad to hear there's nothing particularly alarming about the amount of time even seemingly simple requests might require for the developer.


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