“Hey Siri, how do I foster a culture of collaboration?”
Design and development are two essential pillars that must work together in order to create a successful product. However, these two roles often seem to speak entirely different languages, leading to miscommunication, misunderstandings, and, ultimately, a gap between design and development. This gap can cause projects to fall apart, timelines to slip, and frustration on both sides of the aisle. Here are five steps that we do to provide Ample excellency every time!
Communication is key
The first step to bridging the gap between design and development is communication. It’s essential to establish clear lines of communication between designers and developers so that everyone is on the same page from the beginning. This can involve setting up regular meetings, creating an Asana board (or other project tracking tool), and setting up a Slack channel where team members can ask questions or get feedback in real time. At Ample we have also implemented tools, like Zeplin, to communicate on pieces of the design. The designer is able to clearly communicate the pixels, font size, hexadecimal, spacing, and some css to the developers to communicate their vision.
Involve both parties from the beginning
Designers and developers should be involved in the project from the beginning to make sure that everyone has an understanding of the project requirements and scope. We like to hold “jam sessions,” or what we like to call the design and development collabs, where the designers can provide a high-level view of what the product should look like, letting us rock out an awesome solution in real time. At the same time, developers can offer input on what is technically feasible and provide guidance on how the product should be built.
Establish design standards and guidelines
Designers should establish a set of design standards and guidelines that developers can follow. This ensures that the design is consistent across the product and that developers have a clear understanding of what they need to build. Additionally, developers should provide feedback to designers if certain elements are difficult or time-consuming to implement so that the two parties can work together to find a middle ground. Like I mentioned earlier, this is where a tool like Zeplin really shines. We can establish pixels, font size, hexadecimal, spacing and establish reusable components early.
Test and iterate
It is very easy to assume how the user will interact with the page, but sometimes you can be completely wrong. Testing and iteration are essential to the success of any project. Once a design has been implemented, it’s important to test it with real users and make adjustments based on their feedback. Both designers and developers should be involved in the testing process to ensure that the product meets both the design and technical requirements.
Foster a culture of collaboration
Finally, bridging the gap between design and development requires a culture of collaboration. Both teams should be encouraged to share ideas and insights and to work together to find solutions to problems. When designers and developers work together as a team, rather than in silos, they have the space to run fast and effectively. Our collaborative jam sessions help foster a culture where we can have fun and collaborate more naturally.
And…them’s the facts. Bridging the gap between design and development requires a combination of communication, involvement, standardization, testing, and collaboration. By working together and establishing a shared vision for the project, designers and developers can build better products that meet the needs of users and our clients.
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