In the recent past, Web designers worked as a team. A Web designer’s main task was to design the interface only. The tasks of a Web designer were very limited, but at the same time they were very important too. Users notice the UI initially whenever they access the application.
Some time back, the profile of a Web designer was someone who used to design Web pages. They, along with the client, choose a color palette, position things, and make it visually appealing. The Web developer’s role was to take care of the usability and the design aspect of the Web page. The main tools of a Web designer are Photoshop, HTML, and CSS. After the completion of pertinent design tasks of the Web page, the Web developer adds dynamic functionalities to the Web page and makes it more user-friendly.
So the crux is, Web designers take care of only the designing aspect of the Web page, whereas the job of the Web developers is to add functionality to the Web page.
Demanding Nature of the Industry
So, the Web Designer’s role has transformed to a UI Developer’s role, but it does mean a person who can develop or design the page cannot add functionality to the page. A UI developer creates the Web site - writes the HTML/CSS, and if the page has any dynamic content, his job is to develop that as well.
Keeping in mind the growing diversity of platforms these days, HTML5+ CSS3 is pretty much the only option available. People from so many industries want to solve the multi-platform problem and HTML5 exhibits the greatest potential to tackle the challenge. We found that 80% of developers found HTML5 useful and 70% found it important. Even when they may be frustrated today, they are optimistic and think it is just a matter of time for tools to appear, and so on. HTML5 is the fastest way to reach the largest number of users on anything with a device screen. The latest surveys seem to indicate that a large portion of developers agree. Previously, Web designers developed the HTML pages for browsers only, but now the client’s requirement is to show how a single design adapts into three target layouts—Default, Portrait Tablet, and Smartphone. A responsive layout does help us to show the layouts for a view on a single page. Therefore, a UI developer knows how the system should adapt. Responsive layouts use HTML+JS+CSS3 media queries on the Web that are quite exciting things.
In the field of Web design and development, we’re quickly getting to the point of being unable to keep up with the endless new resolutions and devices.
Although UI Developers are sometimes referred to as programmers, their skills usually exceed those of a conventional software developer. Think of a UI Developer as more of a technical expert with programming skills.
For many UI developers, it is now taken for granted that client-side frameworks are the way to build rich web apps. If you are not using one, you are either not building an application or you are just missing out on something. There is a lot of consensuses among the main frameworks about how to do it (model-view architecture, declarative bindings, etc.).
The Model-View-Controller Pattern
The model view controller pattern is a pattern based on the names of its main parts, which are as follows:
- Model – This is a domain-specific representation of the information on which the application operates. The model is another name for the domain layer. Domain logic adds meaning to raw data (for example: calculating if today is the birthday of the user, or the taxes and shipping charges for shopping cart items).
- View - Renders the model into a form suitable for interaction, typically a user interface element. MVC is often seen in web applications, where the view is the HTML page and the code which gathers dynamic data for the page.
- Controller - Processes and responds to events, typically user actions, and invokes changes on the model and perhaps the view.
Key Tasks of a UI Developer
Following are some key tasks of a UI developer:
- Create Web application front end as per design comps and information architecture
- Integrate front-end application with the application business layer
- Follow best practices and standards for accessibility and cross-browser compatibility
- Collect feedback from design and technical staff on Website development needs
- Understand executing accessibility and progressive enhancement presentation
- Stick to established coding standards and group procedures individually and in teams
- Plan and estimate projects and reports hours to administration for billing
- Add to engineering team’s culture of high code quality
- Coordinate with Interface Design Architects for meeting accessibility standards at code level
- Create conceptual diagrams, visual mock-ups, and manage detailed user interface specifications
- Conduct usability testing to resolve interface problems
- Engage in requirement specification process for new software functionality
- Ensure design consistency with client’s development standards and guidelines
- Design and build UIs on any server platform in a team environment
- Guide and maintain developer teams and best practices