One of the biggest challenges software development firms face today is figuring out how to integrate Design Teams with Development Teams. Often times, these teams exist as separate parties within a single project and only come together periodically. In other instances, external Digital Marketing Firms go away for months at a time and create UI designs in an environment that is completely disconnected from development. Both of these scenarios tend to create issues because they’re absent of a very important link that harmonizes design and development.
This missing link, simply put, is in the delivery. How many times have you been part of a project where the delivered UI designs were far from technically feasible? Maybe they were technically feasible but completely killed the scope of a project? Perhaps development is underway and you found out that the UI design is riddled with usability issues? All these issues cost time and money to resolve and it’s easily remedied with a little thought and strategy.
Here’s a list of ways you can bring design and development teams together:
People: The Right Designers
Strange first point, right? Here’s why – At AgileThought, we found that great designs come from great well-rounded designers, period. When a designer has an expert understanding of UX, Graphic Art and Front-end Development simultaneously, they create rewarding user experiences, beautiful designs and facilitate pragmatic front-end implementations. Implementing these multi-faceted designers into a development team helps eliminate a lot of ‘handing off’ of digital assets from one person to another.
Process: Design Methodology
Design iterations take significantly less time than development and for that reason Lean UX should be considered for use within an Agile sprint. At its core, Lean UX embraces team collaboration and utilizes the concept of rapidly iterating through ideas in order to refine a product’s user experience. This will help eliminate a lot of design ‘fluff’ and bring designs of value to the front – while also bringing the team together.
Communication: Validate Early and Often
This is largely part of the Lean UX methodology but deserves its own mention. Whether it is a quick sketch or an interactive prototype – design ideas should be validated by team members as early and often as possible. If a designer disappears for a week or two to knock out ’site maps’ and ‘design briefs’ – they’re spending less time on the overall experience. Get your designers and developers together and spend more time on refining the experience versus fixing usability issues down the road.
Most software developers approach feature implementation in a very pragmatic manner. When they’re proposed with a design their thought process usually focuses on how something can be implemented instead of why it should be implemented. By starting off with a simple design idea it becomes easier to get past the how and allows everyone on the team to gain a base understanding. Once that base understanding is achieved you can iterate to more creative solutions that build upon the initial and simple solution. In the end the design and development process moves forward in a smoother manner.
Bringing software Design Teams and Development Teams together is a challenge. Every team is different and every company is different, but the best results come from those who are willing to work together.
If you have questions on User Interface and Experience Design or are interested in ways that AgileThought can help you with IT issues you’re currently facing, please contact us. We’re here to help you find the best solution for your business opportunities!