What elements of a website grab your attention at first glance? Most users notice the loading speed or layout of the website while exploring its content. No one focuses on the techniques and design of how a particular website is built unless you are a back-end developer.
Front-end development and back-end development are two components of website development. However, we will primarily focus on front-end development in this article. Front-end development deals with the outlook of the website; how the end-users find the website. Is the website user-friendly, secure, and aesthetically pleasing? How much time does it take to load? How long do users spend time on the website? In short, front-end development uses coding and other related design technologies to develop the elements of the website for the best user experience.
With the flux of e-commerce businesses and smart devices, users can check websites from any computing device. Web applications need to be accessible for different devices with various screen sizes and resolutions, which makes it hard for front-end developers to design websites. They must rely on the latest technologies and designing tools to build more interactive, consistent, and high-quality web applications for all devices and user experiences. No doubt it’s a challenging task; still, you can master the art of front-end development if you are well-versed with relevant technologies. If you are a newbie and wish to enter the front-end development world, you need to know what are technology skills and learn those that can help you succeed.
You must have proper command and training for relevant front-end development features and applications, from languages to designs to speed and scalability. Let’s give you an overview of what it takes to build a website display or develop what users are most interested in when they visit.
Here are the five steps for front-end web development that you should know.
Step #1: Collecting requirements
Like other software development projects, defining and collecting information about business requirements is the first step in the front-end development process. It serves as the foundation and the most crucial part of the web development project. At this stage, the following questions can be answered:
- What is the goal of the project?
- Who is the target audience?
- How will users interact and engage with the product?
Project managers and web development teams analyze the product’s requirements to deliver the best result and meet the client’s expectations. Later, the development team moves on to drafting the project’s features and functionality in the documentation for software specification.
Step#2: Designing prototype
A prototype provides the early version and roadmap to design the future website. It outlines a fundamental understanding of the website’s design and operation. The web developers produce a prototype for the client to evaluate after gathering the requirements. Once the prototype is completed, it is presented to the client for feedback. The prototype is then modified according to the client’s feedback and presented again for final approval. The web development team builds the website based on the approved prototype.
Step#3: Development of web application
The most important step in front-end web development is the development process itself. All the information is processed at this step, and a final product is achieved. Web developers define and pick the most relevant frameworks, practices, and tools to design the most efficient product. In addition, they create the code based on given specifications and install the related hardware and software elements. As a front-end web developer, you can perform the following duties:
- Create and develop reusable code
- Build end-user features (responsive web development)
- Ensure the optimized speed and scalability of web application
- Work on technical features like UI/UX design
- Validate all user input before providing it to the back-end developers
- Collaborate back and forth with the client and other team members
Responsive web development
What is RWD or responsive web development? It is a web-designing approach focused on productive user experience. You can follow the below-mentioned techniques to make a web application responsive.
- Flexible grids are the core elements of responsive websites. They help in website loading on different devices with different sizes. Similarly, breakpoints also ease website access on different devices.
- Flexible images are the must-haves for responsive web applications. It is harder to adjust images than text on different devices. Web developers might crop or render multiple versions of the image for the best fit on multiple devices.
- Prioritization of content helps in designing effective and highly user-engaging websites. The visual hierarchy on web pages is vital for responsive and user-friendly web applications.
- Touchscreen-friendly elements play a big role in the responsive design of web applications on mobile devices. Scrolling experience must be easy across all computing devices with enlarged and clear links.
Step#4: Testing and quality assurance
Testing the website assures you that it is properly functioning according to the requirements provided by the client. In collaboration with web developers, quality assurance experts test the web product application. They deploy the product in the testing phase and environment and check all end-user-relevant features, including loading speed, responsive design, and functionality. If a problem is detected, like bugs, or lack of compatibility with other devices, the QA team reports the findings to the relevant developer’s team. Web developers modify the product and send it for retesting. This process is repeated until the final, stable, and best version of the website is achieved.
Step#5: Monitoring and Maintenance
The web development process does not end with the completion of the website. Technical glitches or bugs may appear from time to time; web developers make consistent efforts to monitor the website’s performance.
As a front-end developer, you can measure and monitor the product’s real and perceived speed. Successful web applications use measurement metrics to improve the user experience, such as page load times and latency for crucial operations like purchase transactions, etc.
The objective of front-end development is to ensure a user-friendly website that provides convenience to the visitor and is compatible with a wide range of devices. In the wake of the surge of internet users, a well-functioning and user-engaged website are the gateways to success for any business and organization. Web development holds a promising future, and to become a good front-end web developer, you need to polish your technical skills before embarking on this challenging but fruitful journey.