Should a web application be designed first, or developed first?
It’s obvious that designers and programmers feel differently about this.
Take this perspective, for example (all quotes from comments here):
As a programmer, I produce ugly-but-functional designs for the HTML monkeys to tart up however they like. Trying to do it the other way around is a recipe for disaster.
And this one:
I would say both things have to be done in parallel rather than first coding and then designing or the reverse way. The final product has to be clear enough so that the designer can work on how to present it while the coder is implementing each functionality.
What do you think? Can it be both ways? With our web application that we are building, our process has been to design everything in Photoshop before writing a single line of code. This may sound backwards to some people, but it has allowed us to see what the user will see, and show people our application.
Our web app would not have been as cool as it is if we hadn’t started with design.
There have been a large number of design improvements, and functionality improvements that have been made as a result of seeing something designed.
It’s quite possible that many people think of the design as purely aesthetic, when I see both the beauty side, as well as functionality and ease of use.
What do you think? In your projects, do you begin with code or with design?