5 Steps to Bridge the Gap Between Design and Development

Rodrigo Marques


5 Steps to Bridge the Gap Between Design and Development
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One of the main issues concerning digital projects is the lack of a unifying workflow because of the gap between designers and developers. This article will present five tips that will help bridge the gap between designers and developers in your team. But first, let’s take a quick time-travel into the past before digital made an integral part of our lives.

Before digital came into the world, the means of communication used to promote products and services and communicate were static, like posters, books, and magazines. The concern with development was nonexistent, and user experience was in its early stages. In the ’90s, we watched the availability of mass Internet access, but the concern with website design was still subtle. Then, the key to personal computers and tablets came in the new millennium, followed by the entry of smartphones into people's daily lives. This fast digital evolution built a cultural revolution that came to change the way communication occurs today. 

Currently, the predominant means of communication are those that involve interactivity. But it needs to be interface-systems-based. And that brings challenges to any digital project. Challenges like the production time of digital products. And perhaps the most critical one, the relationship between designers and developers that work on them.

Designers and developers interactions

Whether you're a designer, product manager or developer, designing software, we all play a significant role in what the end-user gets their hands on. And digital projects like the ones you have in your company need to have a multi-skilled team. A team with designers and developers working together to achieve a better and enjoyable App. It’s necessary to have both because they focus on different, still complementary, points of work.

We all know that developers and designers have very different roles in the creation of a digital product. Designers typically focused on structure and visual design. Their main concerns are with graphics and interface features like the placement of menus, color schemes, and user flows. On the other hand, developers deal with the behind-the-scenes part. They are entirely involved in many things that need code, which makes the product work.

They have different mindsets, but that doesn’t mean they need to be disconnected from each other, only exchanging information occasionally with file sharings. Having distinctive points of view is a good thing! That's what makes a good product; well done, it’s easy, intuitive, and a joy to use. Still, it’s not unusual to have a disconnection between designers and developers. So, how to bypass the issue of the gap between designers and developers.

The issue of the gap between designers and developers

Designers and developers need each other to make a shippable digital product. Designers can create beautiful designs but they don’t know how to implement them. Developers can write executable code for particular devices and purposes. Yet they don’t understand what’s behind a design thinking and user flows. So if they complement each other, why the gap?

The issue is related to communication between them. Designers and developers need to have time to interact throughout the digital project. Countless interactions will bridge the gap between designers and developers. That will result in faster time-to-market and higher quality products, which work perfectly, look, and feel great.

To help you and your team overcome the gap between designers and developers, we came across five tips to help you bridge their work relationship.

1. Involve developers early in the process

Designers and developers need to work together to bridge the gap between them. They need to start interacting when the project starts instead of just being together at the end-design presentation. That is because if they work collaboratively from the start, they can create a better product. Therefore, if designers have developers' insights in earlier stages of the design creation, that will help designers having in mind developers' code needs ahead. That way, designers will know how the design will translate on the Web and how they structure pages. The initial share of those points of view might lead to the evolution of a different design that is more practical and efficient.

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2. Communication is key

Another way to bridge the gap between designers and developers is to help them understand the effort required in the project, whether in design or development. Also, it’s essential to validate the design with the development team before showing it to the client. You need to prevent unrealistic ideas about a product and lower implementation possibilities before sharing them with the client. Many collaborative tools help designers share work with the development team, such as Invision, Figma, or Zeplin. Putting designers showing their results to the developers can help clarify things that may be difficult to implement and require extra effort. Another approach can lead to the same path and simplify the lives of both professionals.


3. Learn the Bases

Of course, you don’t expect a designer to learn how to code or a developer to manage all the designing software. However, to bridge the gap between designers and developers, they need to discuss the basic concepts and skills openly. That is a great way to make everyone's job easier. 

Designers will be able to analyze if anything will be complex for a developer to implement, and developers will also be able to see the designers' perspective on the product. Doing this will build a stronger and more efficient team that can preview future issues and understand the thinking process behind each decision.

4. The handoff

At this point, the developer is already familiarized with the project and the design. Still, a gap can emerge again between designers and developers. Thus, it would be best if you put into work a new bridge. It’s imperative that when the design team is handcuffing the design to the development team, everything is as organized, grouped, and comprehensive as possible. So, developers don’t have to do much work to comprehend and organize everything before implementing. Also, developers should do a quick analysis of the files to clarify any doubts they might have.

5. We’re All In This Together

By bridging the gap between designers and developers, you will certify that you get the best and functional digital product at the end of the project. Above all, you need to combine the powers of the different team members, by making them start working as a team from day one. They are all part of the same team, and our goal is to deliver an excellent product to the client that makes a difference.

The five tips pointed here are the ones we daily apply in our workflow. It’s constructive throughout the time and gets more natural for each new digital project. The thing is, if you don’t implement the tips today, you may never bridge the gap between your designers and developers. So take our advice into account on your projects and grow!

At Hi Interactive, we can produce the best digital solutions for our clients, which exceed clients' expectations. Send us a message if you need a product to communicate with your customers or your employees that is well built and visually appealing.


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