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To build or not to build?

Sarah Graveling
Sarah Graveling
Creative Director
2 May 2008

This is a reoccurring question that is often discussed amongst web designers, especially when interviewing for new designers at Tamar. Tamar is relatively unique in that we have always employed web designers that can build their websites as well as design them, as other agencies tend to split the two disciplines.

Naturally everyone is different and leans more towards design or development skills but every designer we employ must have a good understanding of css and accessibility standards. 

Why? There are many different reasons for this. Personally, the best web designers I’ve worked with are the ones that have a full knowledge and passion for the web and its capabilities and that includes the desire to build their creations. The worst (and admittedly I’m going back a few years) are the print designers that treat the internet as static pages and have little understanding for how the web is built and functions, especially when it comes to the treatment of type.

Another reason for wanting to do css/html is so I can take the project to the next stage. One of the most satisfying parts of any new site is starting the build once the visuals have been signed off by the client.

However, I also think its important that a line is drawn as to how much development designers should do. As a rule we do css/html, but anything more technical such as javascript/.Net is handed over to the developers. It’s important to develop an area of expertise within the industry, rather than spread yours skills too thinly over multiple areas.

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