How UX designers, Developers and Product Managers Work Together?: Part 2

We suspect now is time to preach about the importance of communication in a team in general. Most of the problems designers face personally are linked to this giant concept which must be every other team member’s concern as well: Communication is essential. But managing it well is equally important. Designers must not reshape their work according to every coming feedback at any moment. Best way to avoid this pitfall is to define the main goal of the project and the desired outcome. At the beginning of the implementation, each team member should be able to tell it in a simple way. It is equally important to construct a project architecture flexible enough to handle requirement changes on the way. After making sure that everybody on the team is on the same page, they must constantly validate that the team’s focus does not deviate from the main goal of the project. 

Credit: Featured Photo by You X Ventures on Unsplash

How to achieve it?

We say one way to maintain a well-defined implementation process is healthy communication between designers and front-end developers. Designers should be able to feel free to define their way of doing things done. For example, they can decide upon which design tools they utilize. With the rise of numerous high-fidelity prototyping tools, developers tend to expect designers to deliver the design handoff using one of those tools. But designers must remember that they are not obliged to use them if those tools do not sit well with their working habits. It is perfectly OK to go with low-fidelity tools if they express themselves better with those tools, such as pencil and pen. 

Rule the tools

Indeed, knowing when to use low-fidelity and high-fidelity tools can optimize both design and design handoff process. In the early stages of the design, the designer can sketch workflows reflecting what they understand from the UI.  And they can share it with developers and project managers right away. This creates an opportunity to discuss and clearly define the objectives together, at the very beginning of the project. And then, based on those workflows, designers can draw rough prototypes of the screens. And immediately get feedback of front-end developers. This way, the design could be performed as an agile process, which iteratively converges to a concrete, high-fidelity design outcome.  

With the technique we just described, communication becomes a channel through which productivity actually flourishes. Designers do not have to suppress their feelings about the demanded design, for the sake of chasing demands and deadlines. They create time and space to calmly comprehend the situation on their own. All these provide a maneuver area for the designer while preventing misunderstandings early. So actually a little bit of thinking before blindly jumping to the implementation saves a lot of time. Hesitating is not always a bad thing. 

Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

Constraints are friends to creativity

So, there are lot’s of constraints in a project: time, requirements, expectations of other team members. The most important one is whether people feel contented from what they are doing. No need to feel suppressed by all of these constraints. Constraints are not limitations to your creativity! They are there only to set the ideal environment so that your talents can create both beautiful and useful products.

“Creativity is not something that thrives in the absence of boundaries or rules, it actually needs these constraints in order to exist.” –  Tanner Christensen [2]

Fill knowledge gap

Designer and developers should also try to fill the knowledge gap as much as possible. It is best both have a general idea about each other’s side: For designers, a very brief knowledge on what CSS, Javascript is, an understanding of different kinds of web UIs such as responsive, flat; for developers, a very brief knowledge about stages of design processes, about what kind of tools a designer use, helps a lot to build a better team, with empathetic members with more realistic viewpoints.

To conclude…

None of the issues settle by themselves. It takes time full of empathy and determination. But in this way, designers can fully contribute without compromising their favorite working styles. Openness and productivity can go hand in hand at every stage of project implementation, finally leveraging the quality of the project outcomes to a new level. 

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