Intersection: connecting digital user experience designers and developers

Being a ux designer working since the very beginning of my carrier, in highly technological context, to look for a good way to collaborate with my developers colleagues has always been a crucial part of my job.

It takes seamless integration between design and development to create people-friendly digital products, but that’s not always considered a critical success factor by some organizations.

Engineers get frustrated when designers come up with products or features deemed “impossible” (meaning that they would be hard to build, or won’t play nice with the API, or are likely to cause cross-browser issues) and they hate that it is them, who are on the hook for all the bugs induced by the complexity of the designs they have to implement.

Designers on the other hand, can’t seem to find a reason why their products never make it to the user looking the way they intended them to look: can’t engineers notice the slaughter of choosing the right font, colors and spacing? Why does the result barely resemble the Sketch/Illustrator file? Why do they have to spell everything out for the engineers, why can’t they make the right choices on their own?

It doesn’t have to work that way! Processes are starting to evolve, especially in those organizations who are willing to reconsider their old-school, assembly-line approach: instead of going through compartmentalized design and implement phases, they are shifting towards a more hybrid approach where designers and engineers share context, timeframes, language, and incentives, working together to reach common goals.

As Melvin Conway observed back in 1967:

a system (defined more broadly here than just information systems) will inevitably produce a design whose structure is a copy of the organization’s communication structure.”

Unfortunately, implementing processes that foster open communication and facilitate collaboration between cross-functional teams can prove to be quite challenging.

We feel that our industry still needs to work towards building a culture that solves such problems, which is why together with the ibuildings team, we decided to create Intersection, a European conference, through which we want to encourage discussions around tools, processes and means of collaboration in order to increase productivity and mutual understanding. We believe that will lead to better products and happier users.

The conference will take place on October 1st and 2nd at the 10watt location in Milan, Italy, and will sport Workshops on the first day and Conference talks on the second; it will pack practical sessions on a wide range topics such as: ux, development strategies, digital transformation, development team, management and vui development and design.

Speakers will include:

• Eva-Lotta Lamm — one of the best ux designer and Illustrator in Europe, in-house designer for Google, Skype, and Yahoo!

• Dave King — Visual & Design Thinking Strategist at Xplane

• Mathieu Dutour — Software developer at Sketch and founder of

• Many other amazing presenters from Google, Balsamiq, Thoughtworks, Designit…

We hope that by fostering open communication and promoting integrative work processes between the development and design teams, we will open the stage to interesting UI and UX centric conversations, push to improve our industry’s work processes, and empower the participants to build excellent, world-class digital products.

See you in Milan!

For more information:

Alessandra Petromilli

Written by

Her passion in UX and Psychology has lead her to work in Italy and abroad. You can often find her with a cup of tea, thinking about new UX Workshops ideas.

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