Can a Graphic Designer also do Web Development ?
No, is the short answer. Graphic Design is a left brain activity, whereas Web Development is a right brain area. Most web developers fancy themselves as graphic designers and create mediocre design at best. Same
with Graphic Designers, they think that they can create a design and then put it on the web and it will just work forever – wrong ! They both try to do the two jobs so that they
get more work and can charge the client less. The Client that goes for it, is looking for the lowest price option, so they already know that this can lead to tears – whats the surprise here ? Did they really think that this “Unicorn” existed and that they could do everything ?
Ferrari do not ask their designers to physically build the car, nor do they ask auto mechanics to design it. When you go to hospital for surgery, the surgeon does not nurse you on the ward, nor does the nurse attempt the surgery. We may need different skill sets or personality traits, in order to achieve one overall task.
Many Web Agencies try to employ a good senior graphic designer and a good senior web developer, two very difficult positions to fill well, so very very few manage to do it well. Even if they do, they rarely hold on to the staff very long. Just accept that you can employ two people, but ensure that they can work together. The Graphic designer could design something that will cost more to build, unless they talk to the Web Developer about the best layout first. Between them they can work together to keep costs down or get the best results. Any Graphic Designer who is not used to working in Web Design, will generally design for Print, which will lead to poor web design and low conversion of visitors. Get one that can show loads of examples of work done, similar to the work you want done. Also check out their “style” to see if you like it. They all have their own, so you want to be sure that you like it. Generally, their “Look” is going to show through all their work. If you asked Picasso to paint something for you, you would have an idea what the style would be like. Developers are the same, they like one code or platform more than any other, so they will work with .Net or Joomla or WordPress. These are very different platforms, so get advice on which is best for your project. Ideally, work with a Web Partner or Project Manager, to ensure that you get the right team on board and remember that you will also need a Digital Marketer to be involved from the start. If you are project managing yourself, then accept that you have to do some work too. Throwing money at something will not necessarily get it done. Have meetings about the project, the progress, the milestones. Have points that need consensus, say at wireframe stage and Design MockUp stage and Navigation stage as well.
eCommerce Web Design
eCommerce Design is different again, because many eCommerce websites are just that, full blown ecommerce, without the Content Management System aspect, so the scope for design is reduced, therefore you have to be laser specific, which is even more of a challenge. Online shops are all about showing product for sale, whereas we would recommend that every shop should also have a Content Management System for showing good quality design and content, to attract visitors in the first place.