Digital assets, like websites and software, are rarely ever developed by a single person. It takes a team to develop and cover all of the nuances of systems development and to get everything just right. This is especially true on larger projects that can take months or years to develop. It is possible to consistently create high-quality products, but only with designers and developers working together in a way that creates synergy rather than animosity. In this editorial, we discuss why collaboration in a digital development team is critical to each projects’ success.
The Two Halves of the Process
Every development project has two halves to the process: design and development. Designers start the process by creating all of the design documentation. When all of the wireframes, color choices, and mockups are finished, they are passed off to the development team to be built. In the past, this is how the project would flow. These days, companies and project managers advocate for both parts of the development team to work closely together to resolve issues and move forward. Having (User Experience) UX designers working with developers can lead to efficient and effective development if your team knows how to work well together.
The key to designers and developers working together is knowing how to avoid problems. There are simple things that both sides can do to help each other throughout the process. Some of these things include:
Scope Changes and Pacing
Every project will be subject to scope changes and pacing issues. Designers can come up with great ideas and developers can build them, but it will take time. Developers always feel the strain of trying to finish a project on time, which is why it can be frustrating when designers create designs that can take too long to finish, and throw the entire project off. To avoid a problem with pacing, designers must keep in mind how long it will take to build and finish their designs. Taking development time into consideration can prevent serious time issues and resentment across the team.
Scope changes can be another problem. If designers change their minds often or want to add more features to a project, then this can add a lot of time to a project. Not only can it take more time to add new features or make changes, but the development team has to take the time to figure out how to get everything to work and how to make those changes without breaking anything else.
If you want there to be harmony between the designers and the developers, then your project needs a way of handling change requests. Designers may not be aware of the problems that scope changes can cause since they may not understand the development process. By educating your team about the work that the developers do, they should think more critically about the changes that they are asking for. It makes it easier for designers to determine if a change is really important so that they prioritize changes that could affect the outcome of the project.
Learning the Other Skillset
Many of the problems that develop between designers and developers is because one group doesn’t understand what the other group does. This can create a lot of confusion and also lead to animosity between the two sides.
For example, developers are often under a time crunch to produce perfect results. Designers tend to be less stressed about the time constraints because they tend to design things quickly at the beginning of a project. If the designers create something that is elaborate, then the developers have to find a way to build it under strict time limits. In many cases, this leads to failure since the designs were too ambitious for the development team to meet on time.
Likewise, developers cannot constantly push back on developers saying that something cannot be built. This will stifle the creative process and disincentivize the design team from creating better designs. Both sides should learn more about what the other side does. By learning each other’s responsibilities and skillsets, each side can better predict what they can work with and what they should expect. This leads to better collaboration and can save projects.
Working Collaboratively Can Fix It
The methods used to direct projects have changed significantly over the past decade. Rather than having the design team and the development team work separately, it is better to have your entire team work together. This helps the project develop with an understanding of how both sides work, which can stop problems from developing in the first place. Using Agile or Scrum development methods can help with this and give your team that input and structure needed to work well together.
Agencies Are Using This Method
You can avoid many of the possible problems in a project by choosing a digital agency that already solved teamwork issues. At KitelyTech, we work collaboratively to give you the best results. Call us at (312) 254-8248 to discuss how our team can help you with your next project.