Say you are going to build a fairly large website.
Would all the pages be designed before they are built, or would all the pages be built and functional before they are graphically designed?
I am a programmer and a graphic designer. When build a new website I usually have a rough outline of all the pages I am going to need and how they are going to work. I then usually start to build the pages, as I build the pages I tend to design the graphical interface at the same time.
I am starting to think this is bad because each page ends up looking good, but not uniform. Or even if they appear uniform they really aren't. For example, on page A and page B the heading looks the same but on page A it has a
50px margin while on page B it has a
50px padding. The styling for the heading on page A is defined in one
CSS file and the styling for the heading on page B is defined in another. Over time it can become a giant mess.
I need a new approach.
There are many ways I have learned to keep this kind of thing from happening in code (DRY). I don't really know how to apply them in this area though. Or maybe I just don't currently have the discipline.
One idea is, after the project outline is complete, create graphical designs of how all the pages will look before I build any. Then I should be able to design the styles before building the pages so I won't be introducing duplicate style definitions as I build.
The problem is, before I design a page with HTML/CSS, I design it in Photoshop. However, they don't always workout exactly the way I designed them in Photoshop. Sometimes I have to make adjustments to get it to look right on the page. Sometimes the adjustments needed differ from page to page. I don't see how I can plan this ahead of time.
What's the normal workflow for something like this?