If you are programming web applications you should be constantly trying to improve your quality of decision making when it comes to design implementation.
Why design is fundamental to web application development for us:
1. Design is important. Perfect functionality without good design is, at best, ugly— at worst, entirely unusable. If we pride ourselves on quality functionality, let’s dress in up in suit and tie. The impact on clients and users will be multiplied.
2. “Pixel perfect” implementation is a lackluster way to approach web design. First of all, the reality of browsers will never allow that to happen in every view without major cost bloat to product owners. Second of all, the concept exists almost solely because designers don’t trust you. Designers do a lot of legitimate work making a lot of decisions about how things should sit on the page. When those decisions aren’t translated to the web page, they feel slighted and frustrated. So they hang the idea of pixel perfection over our heads. Instead, let’s respect the designers position in the process. We can do this by learning about the craft of UX, Typography and Grid-based Design— as well as Color Theory. We can also do this by communicating to the product owner that we know that their design is important and that we intend to be faithful to it. Rather than blindly committing to pixel perfection, let’s commit to understanding the style guide, layout, and type decisions and budgeting meaningful time and effort to implement the site correctly.
3. By understanding design fundamentals and CSS techniques, doing our jobs well will become easier. Pixel perfection can be a cop-out for us too. We think that we will just match the design perfectly without thought. But how many of us are surprised at our inaccuracies when we overlay our work with that of the designer? By understanding design basics, we can mentally categorize design decisions that our clients have made and more accurately predict such things as fonts, font size, padding, margins, widths, etc.