How a Developer can Mitigate Stress of a Designer

Working with a designer and can be a challenge as a developer as we are totally different mind sets.  Working with a designer as a DotNet developer can be even more of a challenge, but there can be a simpler way.  DotNet can be absolutely daunting to a designer who is used to working with HTML or PHP, but using your designer as you build your application will make things easier for everyone.

If I have my way; I like to work with the design first and then do my coding as this provides the best results and the least stress for everyone involved.

I like to work with right from the HTML that a good designer produces.  That’s right, if you are going to be a designer, you better know how to produce your work as HTML.  The first thing I do as a DotNet developer is go through the HTML files and rename them all from as .HTM or .HTML file to a .ASPX file.  This sets me up to have IIS to know that I am now working with the DotNet Framework.  Secondly I create my web.config is there is none already to hold my appSettings and my ConnectionStrings.  Then I determine who needs a ASP.NET class file and who doesn’t.   I create my HTML class using the same name as the file and then I put my page directive at the top of the ASPX page to link the class file.

The question is now; how do I access my objects?

Well that is easy as long as the Designer who produced the HTML doesn’t use the element ID as part of their HTML style.  If the element that I need to access doesn’t have an ID assigned to it, I give it one.  Then I add runat=”server” to the HTML element so that I can access it.  By avoiding the standard ASP.NET elements and using the raw HTML elements I avoid the runat=”server” form.

The runat=”server” form is the most annoying thing for the web designer to work around.  It means that they are limited by where and how many forms they place in their design.  The other thing that the runat=”server” form does to the designer is it gives them another container to worry about creating complexity to the responsiveness of their design.

If you are working from code first; be careful of how you structure your HTML code.  Consult your designer regularly to ensure they can work with what you are creating.  Ask for their guidance and do not be proud as it will make everyone’s life easier.

If you are working from design first, use the design as given and don’t tweak it.  If you need tweaks consult the designer; that is what they are hired for.  You can merge elements to a master page for a common design, but make sure you consult the designer as to the best way to split their design code.

Everything in ASPX.NET produces HTML, but it is how it is structured that matters most to a designer.

Andrew Pallant (@LdnDeveloper) has been a web, database and desktop developer for over 16 years. Andrew has worked on projects that ranged from factory automation to writing business applications. Most recently he has been heavily involved in various forms for ecommerce projects. Over the years Andrew has worn many hats: Project Manager, IT Manager, Lead Developer, Supervisor of Developers and many more - See more at:

Posted in Better Coding, Design, Developement, DotNet, Personal Thoughts, Web