For most customers, the front-end of a service, website, or even an invoice management system is the first thing they see and it’s the main factor that determines the usability of the solution. Although it’s up to the back-end to keep the entire system up and running, the façade is just as important from the point of view of the average user.
As such, it’s crucial to pick the right developer or development partner when working on the front-end and to make sure that the person or company selected understands the ins-and-outs of a good front-end, knows the best practices, is experienced in building secure and resilient solutions, and knows what to look out for to ensure that the end-user has a seamless experience when using the final product.
What exactly is the front-end and its development?
Simply put, front-end development involves everything that the end–user is directly in contact with, so if a service has a button, a text box, a menu bar, or a well–displayed list of files, then the front-end developer is responsible for making it tick.
Note: in the case of front-end development, we can also talk about headless front-end, i.e. development where the user interface is not part of the tool itself, but we will talk about this topic in more detail in the following articles.
In most cases, a front-end developer does not work alone, because although they may have a good eye for design, developers are usually more tech-focused, which means that in addition to them, designers, testers and, if necessary, UX-specialists are involved in creating a good user interface.
As part of the development process, the designer creates a mockup of what the final product should look like, the developer makes it actually work, and the tester makes sure that everything works as it should. Each party has its own tools to achieve its goals, but from the developers’ point of view, they have different languages, platforms, and frameworks to work with.
What skills should the developer have?
Although each project is different and may require specific skills, it’s worth making sure that the partner you pick has their fundamentals down. As such, every front-end developer should have fluency in:
HTML / CSS
HTML and CSS are the basis of websites and web-based user interfaces, therefore it’s hard to find a front-end developer who lacks these skills. However, skill levels vary, so you should make sure that your partner can actually use these languages well enough to make the system do what it needs to do.
With so many different frameworks, it’s important for a developer to be able to pick just the right one, as all frameworks are created with specific goals in mind.
Every modern front-end developer should be able to create user interfaces that work flawlessly regardless of the screen size. An interface that adapts to the size and format of the screen it’s displayed on is considered responsive, as such whether it is a phone screen or a billboard, everything displayed is properly scaled and easily usable by the user.
Version control, optimization, and testing
In addition to all of the above, a good front-end developer should also make their creation as foolproof and efficient as possible. This means that during the development process, the developer should create systems that store earlier versions of the code (using Git, for example) and constantly check their own work to make sure that it’s well–optimized and can run without issues on any browser.
The developer should also be able to test his code on an ongoing basis, despite the fact that a tester will also check it before handing it over to the customer.
What have we done so far?
Experience is just as important as skills. As a result of our extensive history, Uptime has an experienced team of developers who can create front-end solutions that perfectly meet the customer’s needs.
Uptime’s developers have an extensive track record of working on larger and more complicated projects that include larger-than-average e-commerce solutions, news portals as well as self-service environments for large companies.
To highlight a few recent projects, Uptime created a custom B2B e-commerce solution for Sandman; we also created a webstore for a well-known media company Ekspress Meedia. Uptime has also developed several front-end solutions for the business news site Äripäev, the latest of which is the new look for its sub-portals. In addition to this, the recently finished self-service portal for Alexela helps the energy company reduce the burden on service staff by allowing customers to handle simpler and repetitive tasks on their own.
You can find even more case studies and references here.
If you need a hand with front-end solutions, then get in contact with us. We’re sure that we can work out just the right approach.