Successful Full Stack Design

Full Stack Design is the latest term coined in the Web Development Hemisphere and is quite relatable to the changing Development Environment around the World. Full Stack Designer is someone who is skilled in UI Design, UX Design, Interaction Design and Frontend Development. They understand and are responsible for the complete development cycle from the Application Idea to its Development.

Full Stack Designer or his team is responsible for designing the User Interface, how the Users interact with the Application UI, how the Application UI interacts with the Server (Backend code), preparing the UI Prototypes as well as the Final Development.

Following are the 10 Tips To Successful Full Stack Design: –


Every project development starts with the UX Design. To be a Full Stack Designer, one needs to be good at designing UIs and should be able to envision User Interactions with the Application with this UI. User Experience plays an important role in the success or failure of an Application. Most designers first prepare their designs using pen and paper. A step further is taken and these designs are be moved to the UX Design Software. There are many tools available for this task like Axure, Mockplus, Justinmind, Balsamiq. These tools basically provide quick Drag and Drop functionalities, you can simply drag and drop widgets, buttons links, tables, etc. You can add notes and share prepared UIs with your teams.


Visuals preparations using Photoshop Coral Draw etc. Every Application has its own look and feel. This gives every app a unique signature. This look and feel is maintained throughout the application. Visual Preparations start from Logo design and can cover Widgets, Tables and Layouts. Photoshop Designers first finalize the UX, then prepare the UI Design on Photoshop, once all this is finalized, the App cycle is moved forward to prototyping.


Once the UI is finalized, the prepared widgets, tables, buttons are now to coded for prototyping. You can prepare these on your own or you can use existing UI libraries such as Twitter Bootstrap, jQueryUI, Google’s Material UI, Kendo UI, which are the most common choices. These libraries are already optimized to work well on various screen sizes. All you need to do is pick the UI library of your choice without the worries of browser’s incompatibilities. Using UI libraries will save a lot of time.


Knowledge of HTML and CSS. A Full Stack Designer should be familiar with the Frontend Technologies. Full Stack Designer actively participates and codes the Frontend of an Application. Knowledge and experience of these technologies are required. To convert the prepared UIs to code and to be able to use any UI libraries, ones must possess knowledge of HTML and CSS.


Applications are dynamic these days. HTML and CSS give Look and Feel to the application. Dynamic behavior are a must have for every application these days, JavaScript solves that purpose. Along with adding animations, content loading with AJAX, elements manipulation on DOM, everything is achieved using JavaScript. Please note, CSS3 now offers cleaner approaches for animations using, CSS Transitions, Rotates etc. You should opt for CSS animations wherever possible.


Knowledge of Browser APIs. Applications are a lot about User Interactions. JavaScript developers can make use of awesome Browser APIS like Audio, Video, Web RTC, LocalStorage, etc. to gather data from the User. The age of plugins is over, now browsers come with inbuilt APIs that are now accessible using JavScript. A Full Stack Designer must be familiar of what APIs can be used in his/her Application to make it more interactive.


Knowledge of JS Libraries for special tasks. Imagine you need graphs for your application. Technologies like SVG, Canvas are used to create these graphs. Not just graphs, these technologies along with WebGL is also used to create High End HTML Games. Using these directly is tricky and uses deep knowledge of Maths. It is something an App Developer would not prefer to indulge in directly. Using these technologies are different than just plain HTML. Rather, libraries like D3, PaperJS, etc. are used to create sophisticated graphs. These libraries are using SVG or Canvas at the backend, but we are interacting with it using JavaScript functions. Knowledge of these libraries are surely going to save a lot of time and bucks.


CSS has been extended now to manipulate the page as per the screen size it is being viewed upon. This is a tricky skill and is being used in all web apps and webpages these days. If you opt for a UI library, it is probably already being taken care of, but extra knowledge is helpful. So become familiar with actually coding responsive CSS.


Data Exchange with the Server. Data is mostly shared in JSON format. Full Stack Designer should understand JSON and AJAX. Data would basically be requested by making GET requests using AJAX functions. This functionality is made available to Developers via Javascript. Full Stack Designer should understand this functionality well and the app must be prepared considering User’s and Backend requirements when it comes to data exchange.


Proper sync with the Application’s Backend Design. Backend Developers are going to provide methods to send and receive data in an application. It is going to take care of Caches and Data. Full Stack Designer should possess at least a basic idea of what methods are to be made available to the App by the Backend. So the last tip is to stay in sync with the Backend Developers to prepare the required data exchange methods for the Application, in which both, the User and the Backend, are taken care of.