There’s always been a gap between designers and developers, but how come? This article is mainly about my perspective on how upstream and downstream work together to achieve a better problem-solving.
When I work as a UI/UX designer, my first brief is mostly with the client or whoever asks me to do the job at the first place. When it comes to production and development, I can leave my work where it fits my job description and not think about what will be reaching the next. It is reasonable to take the stand as the users, how are they going to use this product, yet designers blindfolded overlook the needs of the developers’ side. We may have seen amazing design works on Dribbble and Behance; in particular, some interaction design looks stunning. In many of the cases, those work is lack of feasibility, resulting in the gap between design and real-world production. That’s where the trick comes in; some fancy stuff may not come true, they often serve as a form of art, a showcase of delightful experience, the smoothness in the transition, the changes throughout screens and many more.
What the developers are thinking about, however, is more related to functions, lines of codes, and logic behind existence. I have talked to many of my friends, who studied computer science and have been working in the industry for years, my findings are quite surprising. As I tried to explore what’s in common in our communications, I realized that these two professions are thinking in somewhat different ways. The terms we use, the way our ideas constructed, therefore vary a lot.
Ever since those sparks, I have included the developer in my UX design loop. If I were to describe the whole UX design as a linear process, the terminal has always been our end users, who are this product for, and why this is the right solution to some existing problems. In the middle of the line, however, is where programmers sit. Not only should designers think about whether the product is feasible, but we also need to redefine what experience means in the whole process, not theoretically. The program developers make, is no wonder a part of the design, in which we as designers may not understand in depth.
My point is, when we put developers in the UX design loop, it is safe to say that they have everything to do with the experiences our users may have at the end upon delivery. How features are built may not deem to be as important as how fancy they look as for designers, but it truly affects how well the final product works. Thus, I always believe great design should look good, and perform even better. And the performance indeed has everything to do with our downstream programming process.
It is time to rethink and take a stand, look and feel as well as performance, are equally crucial regarding product design, same in experience design.