IT has its widespread wings across the globe now. And all of these information technology firms hire designers and developers to get the hard work done.
But the most common aspect we find in almost all of them is that the designers and developers stay as two different entities. They sat in two different rooms or even two different offices of the same company.
After the designers are done with what they’re working on, they’ll pass it for the remaining part of completion to the developers.
They then integrate those designs without any form of internal communication with the designers. No daily sessions. No brainstorming. And absolutely no exchange of ideas.
These are the main problems that arose due to this disconnection between designers and developers:
- That created a not-so-required wave of recurring feedback circuits between design team & dev team.
- That also narrowed the probabilities for implementing innovative and productive ideas as both assets possessed a lack of knowledge of each other’s domain.
- The testing process consumed a greater time than required. That was a deeper issue than expected.
- Some of the assets had multifaceted skills. Due to the lack of a bridge, much of their skill sets were kept undiscovered and untouched.
- The teams always skipped a chance to make use of the latest tools for integration.
With every closed door, another one opens to lead us forward. Especially in the world of tech, there is no problem without a solution. With some easy yet time taking implementations, we can build an ecosystem that includes both the design and development teams, and bring in more effectiveness and productivity in rendering the end results.
Following are 6 effective methods that can bridge the gap between design and development:
1. Early Involvement of Developers
Developers have a creative mind of their own. Their insight on several design aspects can evolve a different outcome to the results. That makes it important to involve them in client meetings and communications even if you are in the phase-one stage of design with tools like Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, etc.
Developers can also be of great help in the beginning as they can easily transit the design to an HTML, thanks to the early stage involvement. Moreover, things will work out perfectly when there is a proper channel of communication between different teams working on the same project.
2. Designer Hand Over
Handing over a project can be vital, especially when a project completes the design process and is transferred to the developers for the rest of the job.
Designs crafted with Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, etc. are transferred and converted into HTML by the developers.
a. Make The Design Files Organized And Legible
It is always recommended to provide legible labels for all layers you create in a design. You can also group the layers based on the sections on the page. These small steps make sure that the developer gets the proper idea of each layer.
The designer can also use smart objects and layers in the design to showcase different sections on the website. The developer can easily use these layer groups by double-clicking on them. That opens a new tab with the layer.
Color codings can also be used to show hover, click, and other interactive elements.
b. An Initial Walk-Through Over The Design
Designs are long and time taking. It is possible that a missing detail can escape the designer’s eye while cross-checking.
That is why it becomes relevant to get the developers to have a primary walk-through over the completed design. It will be of great help to the developer too while moving to the actual phase of development.
c. Go For Out-And-Out Responsive Designs
When a design involving graphics is created, it is important to see how it will work on different devices such as laptops, desktops, tablets, smartphones, etc.
The design should be optimized for all devices considering the load time and visual resolution.
3. Developer Hand Over
Often after converting the designs to HTML, the design and the implementation may have too many differences in the look and feel. The colors being slightly different, images not properly aligned, line and paras not properly spaced, etc. are some examples of the issues.
With just a two-point checklist, you can make sure that the developers have done it right before passing on the project to the test engineers.
a. Take A Top To Bottom Screenshot Of The Page
Use the Nimbus Screenshot extension in Google Chrome to capture a full screenshot of the entire page.
b. Use The Skitch Annotation Tool
This easy annotation tool lets you add comments and information into the designs. You can thus visually refer to the design flaws using the tool.
4. Stick On To Transparent Communication
When it comes to the design and implementation of a project, we can’t predict who in the organization can give a good idea or an inevitable piece of knowledge. Therefore, keeping an open culture in communication gives everyone access to the project.
Firstly, you can keep an effective daily scrum sheet so that you can always be conscious of the end users. Moreover, an active scrum will always help your creative thinking.
Secondly, you can use any official platform like the Slack to stay connected. As it also comes with a smartphone module which lets you connect, share, and be available to clients and office, wherever you are.
5. Acquire Knowledge From Both Entities
Designers and developers have a lot to learn from each other. With such an intensive exchange of knowledge, both the assets can improve and come up with a quick and easy solution to issues.
You can also learn web frameworks and probe into translating design elements into HTML.
In the case of developers, it is always good to know how graphics are effectively used in a website’s design.
You can also build your own vision of the design and graphics by taking part in various design meetups and events. That also helps you to get connected with the popular names in the designer circle around you.
By consistently working on the details of the design, a developer can bring the website to an almost exact prototype as in the design. You can perform an A-B comparison with the original design and your implementation to identify the variations.
6. Separate Product and Functional Teams
If your team consist of around 15-20 developers, designers, UX specialists, and QA’s in separate offices or floors, things can be really hard.
Split teams based on a product rather than those of the same designation. Let these teams work together and eat together. In the case of international offices, connect the team through virtual meetups or channels like Slack.
It may be difficult in the beginning to implement all the above solutions. The others may find it annoying when you stick your head into their work. So, make a circle of friendship with your fellow workers and always keep a polite attitude. That helps! Not only in sharing the work, but also in the form of an impressive outcome from their end.
It is always important to be in the present in terms of work. That means you should follow the present design and development trends rather than sticking on to your comfortable and conventional patterns. You can Google for popular designs and work on by adopting good inspirations from current trends. Hope this read helps you out!