A Look inside a Designer’s Mind and the Importance of Collaboration

Designers and developers each have their own processes. Design-development collaboration is one of the critical issues inside the team.

Let’s look at a few key design processes and as a team, see how we can collaborate for a superior product.

Importance of wire-frames

In my experience, most people disregard wireframes. They want to see colorful, eye catching layouts. While we can do that, it’s important to build a strong base first on which to build the design.

What is meant by wire-framing?

A wire frame is a simple grayscale layout. It’s a way of quickly creating an early version of a product that helps to visualize and materialize your ideas.

What is the importance of wireframes?

  • It speeds up the design process, letting the designer focus on aesthetics and not infrastructure
  • In this stage, it is very easy to change or modify the entire user flow since wireframes take considerably less time to generate than full colored layouts
  • Wireframes push usability to the forefront

If you have a productive wire-framing process, you reduce change requests and unnecessary revisions that are time consuming and can negatively impact team deadlines.

The value of collaboration

Collaboration is critical. There are many ways to solve a problem but we have to find the best and most efficient route. I approach my teammates for their valuable opinions, especially when I’ve hit a creative roadblock. I find that discussing it with my teammates helps me through. Even a novice team member can have amazing ideas. Unfortunately, many designers are elitist, thinking only they can come up with good design ideas. While it’s true, an experienced designer can often discover more effective solutions than a novice, it doesn’t mean others don’t have something to contribute. Make it a habit of discussing ideas with all team members to help build a great product. No matter whether they are a developer, tester or a business analyst, it’s good to solicit others’ perspectives. Check the ego and make rational choices.

Check the ego and make rational choices.

Collaboration helps us to get rid of all the wrong assumptions and we can make sure all the project members are in same page. Some times the team members might not get a clear picture about the design on the first look, and they might move forward with development with their own assumptions, which can go wrong most of the times. Upon on finalizing the designs, its important to involve designers through out the development process to avoid such problems. For eg. there can be a change in requirements in the middle of the dev process, and it should be communicated to all the team members, thus collaboration helps all to have a clear picture about the project and its progress.

Importance of Prototypes

Prototyping allows you to deliver a real product experience without spending valuable time on code that may not deliver the desired result. You can explore all the functions and solve any problems during the planning stage rather than discovering issues during the final development stage. There are many tools for prototyping like Invision app, Marvel app, proto.io etc. By using these kind of tools we can manage feedback and versioning that saves us time and cements the user flow.

Design QA — Do you think designers’ task is completed once the final design is delivered to the development team?

Definitely not. As a designer, we have to make sure that the developed elements function and look the way we designed. Sometimes both the designers and developers get frustrated at this stage. Developers sometimes develop without regard for design elements that may be missing and this is where collaboration really becomes crucial.

As designers, we should always be ready to help developers on design related issues. After all, they give life to the designs!

“We need everyone’s expertise to build amazing things.”