Questioning the quality of our work

Posted by Garrett on

We took a break from client work last week to hold our second Erskine Breakfast event in our Nottingham office. It was a packed house and the topic of discussion was the creative process. This is a summary of my talk on improving the quality of our work throughout the project lifecycle.

Our design and development team is constantly improving the way we work together across different “departments” as well as with our clients. Questioning the quality of our work, the communication with our clients and how we can make that better.

Over the years we’ve naturally transitioned our approach to creating web projects from a siloed waterfall approach to working more collaboratively. Most of the changes we’ve made spawned from the following areas

Design implementation

Design implementation breakdowns are a classic example of working separately on a project rather than together. The designer makes their masterpiece, emails it to the developer and the final implementation isn’t quite as it should be. LOL.

This is an easy one, and we can avoid it by putting more thought into our design deliverables and, as a designer, thinking more like a front-ender in terms of deliverables.

Thou shall not leave guesswork to the front-end developer.
Albert Einstein

Here are a few examples of design deliverables we’ve introduced over the last few years. Hint: lives have been changed.

Living, master color guide
Detailed typographic styleguide and how the elements of the page fit together
Fully exported, optimized and organized imagery

Breakdowns in communication

This can be both an internal issue with our teams and an external issue with our clients.

Clients first. At the start of a web project we shouldn’t assume the client knows what we’re talking about. Don’t roll into a kickoff meeting beatboxing buzz words. Guide and teach your clients in plain, simple language all the way through. They’ll love you for that new found small talk they can bust out at next year’s holiday bash.

Internally we need to talk more cross department. It should be fair game, and encouraged, for designers to have development feedback and vice versa. Also, daily stand-up meetings. Knowing what everyone on your team worked on yesterday, is working on today and is having trouble with is a life saver for productivity and openness.


The key to maintainability is realizing early on that a web project is never over and that shortcut you took last week will haunt you next year. It doesn’t matter what your project conventions are as long as your project has conventions and your team is sticking to them. Build for maintainability and build for the future.

More Articles

Donkeytail plugin for Craft CMS

Posted by Garrett

Today we released the lite version of Donkeytail, a Craft CMS plugin we’ve been using internally for a few months now. Donkeytail stems from a need we had to content manage dots on images. Maps come up a lot in our world. From maps for new development projects to maps for hiking trails through the Scottish Highlands, and most of the time it makes more sense to roll our own system for design… Read More »

Inaugural #CraftCMS meetup in Dallas

Posted by Garrett

Yesterday we hosted the inaugural #CraftCMS Dallas meetup by our friends at Busy Noggin — complete with lots of pizza, Twig and general website chatter. A good time was had and we’re looking forward to being a part of the growing Craft CMS community here in Dallas. If you missed it but are into Craft, don’t fret - there’ll be plenty more to come. If you’ve not used Craft but are… Read More »

Bob’s your uncle!

Posted by Garrett

A hearty welcome to the latest additions to our growing family, Steve Sharpe and Gavin Platt. Steve’s in Nottingham with Chris, and Gavin’s from wherever he’s calling home this week (though his mailing address is in Leeds). Steve’s our new in-house engineer — building anything from complex enterprise applications to native apps for iOS and Android. Gavin joins us after 10 years as a self… Read More »

Why our clients love Craft

More and more people are discovering Craft. With big names like the Associated Press, Netflix, and Agatha Christie moving to Craft, the future looks bright. There’s a lot out there on what makes Craft great from a technical standpoint, but Craft is great for non-technical users, too. Here are the biggest reasons… Read More »

View All Articles

Envelope Icon

Join Our Newsletter

We don’t send them often, but you’ll want in on this action when we do.

Are you a design agency looking for a web development partner?

We can help