It is said that the first impression makes the best impression. If we have to go by this notion for any app you have created, irrespective of the technology, the first aspect using which users of the app and gurus of the app-world judge your app is by the user interface.
In short, the user interface or the frontend of your app is used responsibly for the marketing muscle that your app is supposed to innately possess. Therefore, creating a front end with an impeccable, intuitive, and interactive interface remains an aspect of paramount importance when it comes to designing your app. This is one of the biggest reasons why front end development companies have found that prominence in recent years and the prominence is not expected to fade anytime soon.
It will not be an exaggeration to say that front-end development can be considered a perfect line of overlap between art and technology. On one side, you will need the psychological understanding of the users, the market, the color schemes, the fonts, the design, the layout, and even simple aspects like the call to action button that go into your app to ensure that it falls in line with the requirements of your customers. On the other side, you will need to have the technological expertise to create a front-end that maintains a high degree of fidelity to the design that you conceptualized at an artistic level.
Although the skill sets that are needed for front-end developers can be captured in the above two points, we have detailed below, a few skills that front-end development companies look for in front-end developers and designers in the year 2020.
- Design-Expertise – any front and has to start as a simple design on paper! The design on paper slowly transcends into the digital side of representations like Adobe Photoshop or CorelDraw. Although it is not an absolute necessity for a front-end developer to have these skills, a basic understanding of design would only ensure that they stay relevant in all the areas of the front-end development process, starting right from the conceptualization until the creation of the interface.
- Uncompromising skills in CSS – cascading style sheets can be considered the big daddy of digital design for the Web. When websites were plain HTML, it is CSS files that ruled the world of design. Maybe they might not be as widespread as they were once, but it does not mean that they are completely out of the market. Even today, a lot of websites that run on technologies like PHP (even WordPress sites!) rely on the CSS files.
- Understanding customer pulse – whether or not a user interface is good or bad is only decided by the way in which your customers respond to it. However, businesses cannot wait until the customers react! It is up to the front-end developer to be ahead in the game of understanding customers so they go in line with what the customers expect, and meet them if not exceed their expectations. Tinder could be stated as a very good example of how it exceeded customer expectations – when all the other apps were counting on presses or clicks on buttons, the tinder game of a novel idea of swiping right or left, going in line with the intuitive behavior of users and creating a revolution in the market.
- Modular thinking – change is the only constant thing and it cannot be any more true when it comes to customers and their expectations. What is in vogue today might be a thing of the past tomorrow-it is important for your front end design to be accommodative enough to make changes to your design without impacting the overall feel and functionality of the page or the app.
- Continuous learning – design, and technology deserve more attention than stock and commodities trading when it comes to being aware of what the future would be! It is important to learn new functionalities, new products, new design languages that have been invented, and new philosophies of design that are in trend right now to be the best front-end designer for your company.
- Have fun! – design is not a serious thing – well, not exactly! Design is a thing of creativity as much as it is about technology and any mundane work without fun will not foster and pamper creative thinking. As much as it is important to learn, it is important to have fun in your own way. Create some quirky designs every now and then, hang out with people, and learn what they think period for all you know, the best design idea would come from a drunk blabbering of your friend during your Saturday nights party!
It would surely be interesting to know that all the seven skills involved or not of the same kind – it is not like programming, or logic, or science. It involves art, psychology, technology, design thinking, and a lot more empathy.
This alone can make you become a successful front-end developer who can stand out from the rest of the crowd – a lot of people can be front and designers by qualification and experience, but it takes a very special understanding of users, your market, their expectations, the limitations that users have in terms of technology and internet speeds, and the kind of environments in which users will be interacting with your business, and a whole lot of things to ensure that you create an impeccable front and that falls in line with your business, your plant language, and your philosophies!
As you can see, design and front-end development are not monotonous but a grand culmination of multiple thought trains and skills. In this age where technology is slowly approaching saturation, it is important that your design game is strong!