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Designer and developer love: 6 tips for better collaboration [Infographic]

Designer and developer love: 6 tips for better collaboration [Infographic] Blog Feature

Joe Rinaldi

UX Designer, HubSpot Design & GDD Certified, Designer for 70+ Sites for HubSpot and Various CMSs

February 16th, 2020 min read

Finding the right middle ground for collaboration between designers and developers can be a tough challenge.

It’s likely something most companies will struggle with at one point or another.

In fact, earlier in the month, I wrote an article detailing IMPACT’s own struggles with bridging the gap between designers and developers. 

We had issues aligning our team on project goals, poor communication between teams, and worked in a very siloed approach. 

After we completely broke down and analyzed our design process, however, we were able to figure out where our biggest issues were, and start solving them. 

Deciding where to start is one of the biggest hurdles in improving collaboration.

Aside from checking out my other article (shameless plug) to see what we did, you can check out this handy food-themed infographic below. 

Created by the teams over at Invision and KlientBoost, the infographic covers six high-level tips to help smooth out your team's collaboration. 

These tips are not only paired with fun food illustrations, but you can use them as a starting point for making improvements in your design process. 

Some of my favorite tips from the infographic include:

Stay focused on the user

Whether you’re designing a new page for your site or developing a new feature the end goal should always be to improve the overall user experience.

Keeping your team focused on the user’s needs is the common ground that unites designers and developers to work together.

One way to keep your team focused on the user is through usability testing

Whether you do your testing in person or remote, moderated or unmoderated, user testing will highlight the areas you need to focus on and give your design and development teams and roadmap to follow.

You can see things like how easy it is for people to complete specific tasks on your site and how enjoyable people find the overall user experience.

Get development involved early

One of the main collaboration breakdowns we’ve faced at IMPACT  is how we used to treat website projects like an assembly line. 

Our designers would work on a design and then hand it off to development to be coded and move on to the next project. There wasn’t a ton of collaboration happening between the two teams which led to a number of other problems. 

Getting development involved earlier in the design process will help reduce communication issues. The increased collaboration will also lead to more creative solutions and ultimately a better final product.

Create a well-defined system and process

Having a well-defined design system and process to follow are, in my opinion, the two most beneficial things you can create for your team. 

Creating a design system for things like naming conventions, grid sizes, and file organization will get your entire team speaking the same language. 

This helps reduce miscommunications and unnecessary revisions on a project.

In addition to the design system, you also need to create and document your process for design. 

Having a clear order of operations will help keep things moving because there won’t be any logistical questions about who is responsible for what or what’s the next steps of a project are. This helps keep your team members focused on the task at hand.  

Check out the rest of the tips below: 


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