The role of the design and development team is different in the process of product creation.
The design team focuses on aspects such as accessibility, visual appeal, and usability of design in context to a single solution.
Contrary to this, the development team emphasizes resolving the complexity and subtlety of codes and algorithms so that users can obtain an effective and efficient solution.
Both these domains have an explorative nature and offer a lot more to discover on an individual basis.
But the fact is that you can obtain exceptional results and solutions only when the two of them work in harmony.
Why do companies find it difficult to integrate the two domains?
The gap is their distinct approaches to problem-solving.
While the creative design must be user-oriented and focus on distinct aspects from the user point of view, the development must be solution-driven and focus on solving all possible problems beforehand.
Both are correct in their own zone, but if a solution combining ideologies and processes of both is taken, then it would be matchless and greatly fruitful.
So how can you bridge the gap between design and development team?
Ignoring your limitations is not the solution.
Rather, the solutions lie in recognizing those limitations and encourage sharing skills and concepts with each other.
Besides this, check these seven amazing tips that would help you bridge the rift between the two!
1. Bridging communication rift between the design and development
A communication gap can result in a lot of misunderstandings and differences in interpreting one same thing. Communication issues can result in various problems, like
- The unnecessary feedback loop between developers and designers
- Quality assurance problems
- Failing to complete the project within the specified time frame
- Inefficiency to leverage overlapping skills
- Unable to take the best advantage of advanced tools designed to make collaboration quicker and easier
- Bridging the communication gap between the two can resolve the problem to a great extent.
Hence, to ensure that such issues do not occur in your company, it is of utmost importance to bridge the gap between the two groups or teams.
2. Involving developers at an early level
Usually, designers practice their design process first and then pass it on to the developers.
One easy and efficient way to bridge the gap between developers and designers is to involve both of them right from the start.
- You can involve the developer right from the beginning by:
- Including them in meetings and conferences with clients
- Obtaining insights about best design elements for a web application
- Running design ideas to developers to identify code issues at an early stage and make necessary design amendments accordingly
3. Handoff the design to developers in an organized and comprehensive way
When you pass on design elements to developers right from the very start, make sure you follow a well-organized, comprehensive, and orderly approach to this.
This way, most of the potential issues would minimize, and developers would be easily able to transform the design into HTML.
Hence, the hand-off must be highly productive.
For this, you need to:
- Organize design files in a proper way. Clearly label every group and layer on page sections. Using click states and other color-coding elements would be helpful.
- Ask developers to go over the design. This would allow for clarifying final details.
- Encourage responsive thinking. The eventual design must be responsive to every screen.
4. Be prepared to witness unexpected issues
When handing off the prepared designs to developers, unexpected issues might occur.
For example, the design is not identical to the web page, or there might be few elements tinkering with developer and designer ends.
You can reduce such problems by using:
- Complete page screen captures
- Adding relevant notes to designs
5. Streamlining communication methodologies
Most of the times, developers and designers prefer using distinct methods of communication.
For example, the designers would prefer text project updates, while developers would like to provide email updates on a daily basis.
Using multiple forms of communication can actually make the process complex.
Maybe an important message missed. Hence, streamline the communication process.
For this, you must:
- Have a dedicated channel of communication so that screenshots and files can be shared
- Establish clear guidelines for communication, such as email updates
- Use Google Drive or other similar tools for information sharing
- Set up regular group conferences and meetings with team members
6. Bridge knowledge overlaps
In some situations, a gap occurs between developers and designers because of the lack of understanding of elements involved in the product creation process.
Developers may have ideas considering that everything is technically possible.
But designers may think that it is possible to form a good design involving lots of complicated coding.
Encouraging the sharing of basic skills and concepts between the two groups can help to create a great and fully-functional design.
For example, you can offer some coding resources to designers so that they have a better understanding of developer team thoughts.
Similarly, share design information among developers on basic design concepts and usability of design elements.
7. Consider the two as a one team
Rather than putting everyone off doing their own things, the best way is to work on a product as a team.
Put the two groups as a one team working on the same function in the given space.
Encourage them to have active participation and share of knowledge in meetings.
Allow them to have common lunchtimes. Use a dedicated communication channel to commonly address the issues of both the teams.
Lastly, discuss concerns and issued on a common platform and let the members of both groups can share their thoughts to bring the best results forward.
The key to creating a successful product that potential users will want to use is to address the limitations of designers as well as developers.
By taking these necessary steps, maintaining a smooth flow of communication process, and considering the two departments as a single team, you would be able to end up with results that are more cohesive and rewarding.
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Hermit Chawla is a Marketing Manager at Sprak Design. He would love to share thoughts on best graphic design company, lifestyle design, branding firm, exhibition design etc.