Designers date developers
No, I don’t plan to tell romantic stories. It metaphorically explains how we deal with the potential gap during a digital product creation project.
In his essay on builtin.com, Nick Babich says, “Good communication between designers and developers is essential for creating great products. Too often, though, this relationship is marred by easily avoided problems. But you can avoid that trouble with these simple fixes.”
We often find trouble in our work because of broken communication or misunderstandings. Besides the known solutions of information handoff, Jira, and sharing prototypes through Zeplin, there are some human activities you could establish for trouble avoidance.
Please make sure the whole team understands their work’s goal. What would be the final product, who will use it, and in which environment? All teammates must feel that this list of tasks is not a meaningless set of doings but a part of a process of usable and valuable product creation.
Everybody has to be a “little product manager” in their place.
“Low and order”
Provide a simple and readable scope of work and timeline. Don’t work without visible goals and knowing deadlines upfront. Be sure to explain to all parties the other side’s constraints and motivations: designers to developers, developers to designers, all with QA, etc.
Nothing can be a surprise for your teammates.
“In the same boat”:
Everybody has to attend all relevant meetings from the commencing point. Your development team will participate in the discussion before your designer starts putting pixels on the screen. You will discuss the technical feasibility; your QA will understand the user flow and the decisions taken during the UX design, for example. An much more.
Use predefined design systems built of components:
The design system will be commonplace for all of your team. Find a time to create one (even a basic one). It is faster, more effective, and avoids misunderstandings and discrepancies.
Create and manage a set of product documents in a way everybody can find and use during the process. Some of your teammates can update parts of these documents according to changes. We are all Agile teams; this is how you are not losing the grip.
In LET ME, each new developer and new designer have an opportunity to meet online (or on-premises) with the vis-a-vis. To show each other what their work looks like, the instruments, how created UI asset makes its way to the code, how things differ from the prototype to the production, the possibilities of further changes, etc.
Usually, we share a Figma/Zeplin screen and create a small portion of the product together.
This way, everybody coordinates, is familiar with possible difficulties, and is ready to cooperate.
How do you deal with the designer vs. developer situation in your organization?