Common Misconceptions Between Programming and Design

We’ve worked with a lot of marketing agencies over the years to fulfill their programming needs. There are many times when there is confusion in the programming process and now and then it causes some tensions. 

This article is a collection of questions and misunderstandings that we have seen over the years that we thought would be worth it to compile and share. We hope that it will help clear up the more common misconceptions.

Can a Site be “Pixel Perfect?”

Many times marketing agencies will come to us with a request that a website is code “pixel perfect.” What they mean by this is that they want the website to match exactly the design they provided.

This type of requirement normally comes from a print mindset where a designer can make things “pixel perfect.” However, when dealing with websites it’s not as easy. There are many considerations to take into account such as

  • Screen resolutions (the intricacies of responsive web development)
  • Mobile devices
  • Browsers

All these things taken into account means that things cannot be pixel perfect. There are nuances often times do not transfer well from design to HTML/CSS. For example, fonts will often times be rendered differently on different browsers. There can be a slight difference in how it appears and sometimes it is fixable and sometimes not.

When these situations arise there should be discussion between design and programming to come to an acceptable solution. Marketing agencies should realize that these types of issues can arise and to be prepared for them.

When is a Website Finished?

This is a common misunderstanding. A website is continual process. Just because an initial phase is complete does not mean there is no more to do. Often times marketing agencies look at launch as the final phase. This is not how programmers look at a site.

We see the launch as a way to see all the use case scenarios. We can never predict all the ways in which a user will interact with the site or program. We have to wait for people to use the site in order to see that data. No amount of testing can prepare for that.

Secondly, there is maintenance and upkeep to do on the site that needs to be done. Security is always a major concern and there are always functionality requests by the user.

Why is the design off in this demo?

Often times when showing a demo functionality we are showing functionality, and we leave the design integration last. We want to make suer that the functionality is 100% before moving on to making the design look good. Many times this has caused tension between design and programming even after it is explained that design integration is not 100%.

Functionality comes first in programming and then the polish of design is last. Otherwise, we would waste a lot of time doing it in reverse order.

Cytrus Logic has remedied these issues with our Progress Coordinators that take care of our clients and coordinate between all parties.

Jacob Billings
PhD Candidate - Complex Systems

I am a software engineer, linguist, and researcher of Complex Systems. I hold a bachelor's degree in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Utah, a Master’s degree in linguistics from Francisco Marroquín University in Guatemala City, and I am a doctoral candidate in Complex Systems at the Polytechnic University in Madrid, Spain.

Software Development: I bring over 20 years of experience in developing software for multiple clients in various environments. I have a solid knowledge of PHP, Javascript, MySQL, NoSQL, Python, and Java.

Over my career, I have had the opportunity to work on projects for some of the most recognized brands on the planet. Brands like Marriott Hotels, Microsoft, Ashland Chemical, Capital One Credit Cards, Cadbury Schweppes, GE and more. This has given me an in-depth understanding of my client's challenges as they grow. I know how to get a company from startup to maturity with technology. My specialties are in E-commerce(specifically Magento), process automation, and security.