The case for integrating dev with design.
Getting developers involved in the design process is an important step in efficient web development. It helps get projects delivered on time, to high standards, and to the client’s specifications.
What’s the problem with excluding developers from the design process?
Commonly, development on a project starts soon after the design has been signed off by the client. However, presenting the development team with the design for the first time at this late stage can lead to confusion and a lot of questions, risking a longer production cycle.
For example, a developer might find that some of the design features are not feasible or too complex to implement properly, sometimes resulting in buggy features or parts getting dropped entirely.
Why involve developers in the design process?
There are some good reasons to involve developers early in the design process. Firstly, developers who are introduced to the design process at an earlier stage can highlight potential issues and suggest ways to overcome them.
Secondly, developers can plan ahead and perform research on tricky features. By planning ahead, they can structure more efficient, higher quality, and easier to navigate code; reducing technical debt down the line.
Lastly, integrating the teams can reduce stress for both the developers and designers. When both teams are more aware of each other’s processes, there is less likelihood of confusion. This helps for a more collaborative environment.
All-in-all, this helps get a quality product delivered in good time that meets the client’s expectations.
How to involve developers in the design process?
It’s not a problem if designers and developers generally work in silos; developers don’t need to be in every email chain or listening in on every meeting. A short update on the progress of the design is enough. Although having a developer in the initial client meeting is helpful to set fair expectations.
Moreover, the entire development team shouldn’t be dragged away where a single developer advocate or team lead will do. They can help bridge the gap and liaise between teams and provide guidance where necessary.
Speaking from experience, I know it can sometimes be difficult to engage developers in the creative process; after all I much prefer to be stuck into code than in meetings. But by encouraging discussion across team lines, we can make it a bit easier to deliver high quality projects on time and maybe reduce stress. This is why you should consider involving your developers in the design process.