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How to drive a web developer crazy in 20 easy steps

Be sure this works all the time. But don't do it unless you want people to hate you

Posted in Misc, Career

Let me tell you something: Once upon a time, I wanted to be a biologist. That was a long time ago. Then things changed and I became a programmer. Not bad for someone who wanted to make research the whole day but did not have enough patience for the results.

Little I knew about the problems I would face as programmer. In addition, they are quite different when you move from desktop to web development. A very common problem for web developers is dealing with the design team. We understand they follow the requests of the client but in 100% of the cases they just think we can do miracles with their graphics while creating the website.

Rafael Mumme, from the .net magazine, wrote an amazing article about the 20 things that drive web developers crazy. They are so real that I’ve seen at least 20 of them in the last 2 projects I was working on:

  1. Add rounded corners to every single element on the page. While you're at it, add shadows and gradients too.
  2. Use the same PSD as a starting point for every project. Hide unused layers, but don't delete them. Make sure your PSD is at least 100MB.
  3. Use sIFR on every piece of text. Bonus points if you choose a font that's very similar to Arial.
  4. Never use the same dimensions on elements. Give each a different font size and colour (for black, use #000000, #111111, #121212 ...).
  5. Use a lot of breakout images with transparency. Web developers love graphics breaking out of boxes and columns. Bonus points if you add text wrapping around images.
  6. Add a modal window. At least half the site should happen in a modal window.
  7. Add a Facebook Connect button. It's just a button. How hard can it be to implement?
  8. Hide important PSD layers. Later, tell the developer that they missed a hidden element.
  9. Create buttons with rollover, active and clicked states. Then don't tell anyone you've done this. Create a separate file for them and send it on at the last minute. We love surprises.
  10. Tell the developer about some fancy functionality you read about somewhere on a blog. Then tell them to build it, because, if you saw it somewhere, clearly it's possible.
  11. Add a carousel. Oh yeah, and make sure it's a full-screen carousel.
  12. Use Lorem Ipsum instead of real copy. And make sure the reserved space is not big enough for real copy.
  13. Randomly merge PSD layers. Why not? (But don't merge too many. It'll take you further away from the magic 100MB target).
  14. Name all your files 'final', plus a date and a random letter (final-2010-12-01a.psd, final- 2010-12-01r.psd, final-2010-12-02b.psd).
  15. Don't worry about making changes once everything is signed off. When we're done with a page, send another, completely different version of it. And tell us that those changes are necessary and essential for user experience.
  16. Don't name or organize your PSD layers and folders.
  17. If you're designing a form, forget about error and success states. We'll squeeze that stuff in somewhere. We love guessing your intentions.
  18. When you're designing a website, don't invite any developers for brainstorming or design meetings. Make sure we're the last ones to see the layout. Show it to the client first, so it will be too late to introduce even a modicum of sanity into your work.
  19. We should hang out more, so during QA don't use bug tracking software. Come sit with us for an entire day and point out changes you want made over our shoulders. Use the opportunity for some impromptu design updates as well.
  20. And finally, this is the most important thing: don't learn anything about HTML, CSS, JavaScript or browser issues. The less you know about it, the more important we seem.

Image from ShinyShiny.tv

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