Front-End Development

Integrating branding and design into your websites through crafty, easy to use interfaces

What is Front-End Development?

Front-end development is the coding involved to (re)create the look and feel of your website on the web: in other words, taking design concepts and graphic elements, and using code to put it together so your website looks and behaves as designed.

The main front-end technologies are:

  • HTML (to create the page structure for your site)
  • CSS (to control the appearance )
  • JavaScript (to create the interactions)

 

Front-end development is not only key to the presentation of your website design – it ensures your website is accessible and standards-compliant, and that it loads efficiently.

Front-End Development at Signify

At Signify our front-end developers are responsible for:

  • Creating static page templates
  • Theming (or integrating): applying a custom look and feel (design) to a content management system
  • Skinning mobile and web application interfaces

 

Accessibility and Standards Compliance

Signify has long advocated accessibility and web standards compliance.

Developers at Signify ensure that HTML and CSS code adheres to the current best-practice standards. We write code to international and New Zealand based accessibility standards: WCAG 2.0 (http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/), and the New Zealand Government Web Accessibility Standard (https://webtoolkit.govt.nz/standards/web-accessibility-standard-1-0/).

We use the concept of “progressive enhancement” (http://alistapart.com/article/understandingprogressiveenhancement) and related techniques to ensure your content is available to the widest possible audience.

Interactive and Modern

Accessible does not equal boring. Our front-end developers can build interactive and engaging designs whilst maintaining usability and accessibility.

These days it’s important to think about making your website usable on phone and tablet devices. Signify uses responsive design techniques to build your website so it adjusts the display to whatever your users choose to browse on, whether desktop, tablet, phone, television, or fridge! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_refrigerator).

The Process

Our front-end development team work from wireframes or, more commonly, design concepts. If possible we prefer to engage early with designers to produce interfaces that:

  • are accessible: we can identify issues with colour-contrast ratios and the existence of appropriate text equivalents
  • are mobile friendly: there are many ways to implement a responsive (mobile friendly) design - we can work with the designers to figure out where device break-points exist, how content may be ordered, and how images and other graphical elements behave as screen-size is reduced
  • have fewer implementation issues: we can identify design elements or interactions that will be complicated to implement from a development perspective, and work with designers around changes that may make implementation significantly easier.

From there, the design is deconstructed and cut up into individual components that are integrated into your website or application. This is done while maintaining the dimensions and integrity of the original design concept.

Also see: Accessibility

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