The lack of collaboration and communication between designer and developer usually leads to frustration from both parties. It can be worse in case the designs do not match the abilities of the platform, which is a huge waste of money and energy. In contrast, there are a lot of advantages of collaboration between designers and developers. Let’s shed lights on this matter.
What collaboration is about
You can find the exact, academic definition of “collaboration” everywhere on the internet, or you simply understand it instinctively. However, it’s still worth denoting some bullet points so that you have a clear, easier way to dig into the core of “collaboration”.
In short, collaboration is about (1) sharing understanding of the goals and (2) coming up with effective solutions to achieve the goals. The goals identified should be transparent and consistent. Regarding collaboration between designer and developer, the goals shall drift along 2 specific streams:
- Designer’s side: To create more complete designs that meet both users needs and business goals, as well as can be implemented effectively.
- Developer’s side: To implement designs in a way that users needs and business goals reflected in the design are still reflected in the implemented parts.
Why collaboration is important?
In most of the clients’ view, a great app is the one which expresses the good compromise between aesthetics and functionality. While functionality offers an enjoyable user experience, aesthetics – in which the outline, colour, typography harmonized with each other – will help to bridge the gap between the user’s emotions and the end product. Unquestionably, designer and developer can bring the end user a beautiful, intuitive, reliable and performative product via their well-organized collaboration. That is to say, the roles of developer and designer in creating a great app are two sides of the same coin.
While the designer concentrates on creating the most possibly beautiful product and achieves the end users’ goals, the aim of a developer is quite different. The developer wants the product to be useful, efficient with good functionality and infrastructure. In projects which designer and developer collaborate, they have to learn the way to respect and understand the correct team members’ strengths and knowledge. Consequently, the mutual understanding between them will increase significantly, which facilitates better communication and collaboration in later projects.
Close collaboration between developer and designer is the key to a successful agile team. They will have chances to support each other, react better to changes in the app-building process. An agile team requires its members to work collectively, aim for creative and innovative solutions to the problem. The agile team may function better as the developer is reassured by the designer that any output won’t necessarily be framed entirely by implementation limitations.
Collaboration is an irreplaceable figure in any company’s culture. Collaboration not only promotes better mutual understanding at work but also be the touch-point for closer relationships among coworkers. Its many benefits from collaboration between designer and developer just aren’t limited within the company door!
By collaborating, ideas are shared, aspects of characteristics are exposed, and they tell us more than just someone’s IQ and work capacity. From an employee’s point of view, collaboration can be a good way to broaden one’s network, get a friend-for-life, or find out the significant other. On the flip side, from a managerial point of view, building deeper and more personal bonds among partners create a more comfortable atmosphere, therefore, reduce work pressure and increase HR retention rate.
How to collab effectively?
Engage from the very first phase
To make sure the output satisfies not only clients and the business but also designers and developers, efforts must be exerted into forming a tight synergy right from the starting point.
In Savvycom, we let developers take part in the preparation phase, such as stakeholder interviews, kick-off meetings, etc alongside with Product Manager/Project Manager so that they’re able to extract deep and precise insight/expectation from both business and clients themselves. Hence, they are more likely to share their findings to conclude a common objective upon the product afterwards. We also encourage them to draw a shared picture of the product together, discuss technical constraints (data, system, security, etc) and solutions for the possible risks beforehand. It would help the whole process run smoothly, mitigating major conflicts on the direction later on.
Create a fun, collaborative team environment
The team environment is also a crucial factor in boosting quality collaborations. That being said, designers should involve in developers’ process and vice versa. Sharing space should be focused so that developers and designers can both raise voices, therefore, promote better understanding and efficient performance. Meaningful conversations shall be suggested, good and relevant questions are encouraged to be raised for more inputs. Learning about the other’s work scope is also an effective way to improve sympathy and appreciation among developers and designers. Some methods and tactics can also be applied for synthesising purposes, such as empathy mapping, storyboarding design sprint, etc as we’ve successfully implemented in Savvycom. A good working environment works wonders, we believe.
Choose the right methodology for the team
You can’t just say: “Hey, let’s collaborate!” without proposing a clear, transparent process. The blazing spirit is important, yes, but without the protocol that the team should follow, your gut makes no voice.
Therefore, the top-of-mind before any collaboration effort should be making a plan, finding a framework that allows you to see the big picture of the whole team while keeping track of each member’s process easily. It should be a methodology that makes everyone works with another as well.
Based on 10 years of experience in developing various applications for global customers, Mr Tue Nguyen, Savvycom’s CTO suggests the Agile methodology as the most efficient one for any software development project. This methodology divides the development process into many iterations, each heads towards one distinctive objective and will be reviewed by clients at the end of each iteration. Therefore, it allows developers and designers to identify errors and adapt to clients’ requirements in no time and make in-time actions – which will eventually minimize the cost while increasing productivity.
Also, in Agile, veryone is encouraged to raise their voices and communicate, so it will also be easier for you and everyone to take a grasp of what is happening and compact it into smarter next-steps.
For any cooperation opportunity, please contact us for further information. We would be happy to convert the power of concentrated collaboration between designer and developer into great, mind-boggling products that totally fit your expectation.