Designers and Developers: Bridge the Gap

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Designers and developers are often at odds with one another. Designers want to make beautiful, aesthetically pleasing websites that don’t work well on different browsers or mobile devices. Developers want to create code that is clean and easy for other developers to understand. 

This blog post will teach you some strategies for bridging the gap between design and development so your website can be visually appealing and functional on any device!

Use correct tools

For instance, a developer can’t pick up design skills from using Photoshop or Sketch every day. They’re tools for designers and should be used by them! Likewise, a designer can’t sit down at their computer with front end development in mind and think they’ll come out on top because of all the coding experience they have picked up from designing.

They’re different.


Designers and developers should work together to solve problems. They each have their own strengths, which can be combined when working on a project as they bring something different to the table! 

However, we’ve all been there: designers who think that fixing some code is easy; or front end devs who don’t know how to design.


Let's break down the problem really quickly:

Designers should be using tools that suit their needs and know how to use them well, like Sketch or Figma, for example, not Photoshop. Also, they can take a look at other designers’ work and see what they’re doing to get inspired! 

Developers should be able to work with a design and understand the difference. They can do this by using tools like InVision or Marvel to put their front-end skills into practice! 

They should also take inspiration from other developers who reinvent well-known designs in creative ways. For example, examples include iOS 11’s new re-designed App Store and Slack’s new strategy. 

By working together (like they should be!), designers can create better user experiences by having developers implement their designs with the latest technology available, like ARKit or React Native. Developers will also understand what is feasible when designing – which elements are necessary to make the design function.

Pixel Perfect Culture

“Pixel Perfect” culture is all about creating pixel-perfect mockups, comps and fully baked visual designs.

That's not entirely wrong.
  • The problem is that it often leads to the actual product looking like a pixel-perfect comp, which makes users wonder what they could have done if given a chance to design their own UI elements and layouts from scratch. 
  • This happens because there aren’t enough resources available for user research while designing software.
  • To bridge the gap between designers and developers, we need a lot more user research. 
  • This means understanding who our users are, what pains they’re trying to solve with our product and how they go about doing so. In essence – empathy for their needs.
  • Designers – start asking your developer colleagues a lot more questions about their problems before you start sketching out your concepts. 
  • The mobile world is changing fast, and if we don’t have a proper dialogue between teams – things can go disastrously wrong. You’ll still need to do some visual designs but be careful not to create pixel-perfect comps that will never see the light of day.
  • Developers – understand that there’s a massive difference between what looks good and what works well. And you need to know the difference if you want your product to be successful in today’s world where users have high expectations from mobile apps because they’re so easy to use, fast and convenient. So don’t get sucked into the pixel-perfect culture because it won’t lead you anywhere good.
  • Take care of your users, and they’ll reward you with loyal customers who will keep coming back to your product for years on end. It’s not about how stylish or “pixel-perfect” things look; it’s more about creating a great user experience.

When development meets design

The first thing usually thought is that there needs to be communication between them. Of course, this can cause problems if not handled properly, but this does not mean freelancers working on their own should avoid having other designers and developers look at each project they work on.

 

There are many benefits to having multiple eyes on a design or web development project, including an opportunity for new ideas. It also allows you to see what works and what does not work for the people who are working with your designs or code. Having another set of eyes look at something is always beneficial somehow. Still, there are some things to keep in mind when working with designers and developers.

 

When development meets design, the result is a beautiful product. But, sometimes, there are communication gaps between designers and developers during this process.

 

Here are a few challenges they face and some tips on how to work through them. 

  • Developers want designs as fast as possible
  • Designers want feedback on their work
  • Designers want a chance to make decisions on the final product, while developers don’t plan for those changes
designers and developers
Tips
  • Find out what your specific development process is like and know how you can accommodate design requests. This could mean adding some extra time in between sprints or at the end of an iteration cycle. – Work to understand each other’s work style. Designers want as much feedback as possible, and developers want as little as possible. Still, there is a happy medium here that can be found with patience and understanding of the process. 
 
  • Respect your timeframes! It’s vital for designers and developers alike to respect their own timelines to avoid stress and more communication problems.
 
  • People learn differently, but open communication is vital to get the best understanding of how each other works – Use tools like Zeplin or Invision that help designers work with developers, especially when multiple people are working on a project together
  • Try to have a daily standup where you ask questions about what each person is working on, especially when multiple people are involved. This makes sure everyone is up to date with the latest changes and updates.
 
  • Make sure designers understand how design files need to be structured to work with developers – For example, designers might not realize that they need to identify different elements of the design with tags, like footer or header. This helps developers know where specific things are on a page and what needs to be moved around when changes come up.
 
  • Make sure you have all your tools in order! Whether it’s Zeplin, Invision, Sketch or something else, be sure to have what you need to communicate effectively and work well together.

Conclusion

Designers and developers often have different ways of thinking about design. They will need to bridge the gap to work together effectively, but it’s not always easy or intuitive. We hope this article has given you some insights into how each side thinks so that you can better understand their perspective when working with them on projects.


Also, if there are any topics we didn’t cover that you’re still curious about, please reach out!

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