6 Tips That Help Designers and Developers Collaborate More Effectively

By Chelsea Babin

It’s a pairing as classic as peanut butter and jelly, it’s a tale as old as time: designers and developers may have different mindsets but they’re often asked to collaborate and work together on a plethora of projects. If you’re a designer or developer and want to collaborate with the other more effectively, try out these 6 tips!

Designers

1. Always Put Together a Style Guide: If you’re collaborating with developers and want to help them eliminate redundant code, decrease the time they need to spend on development, and create consistency then you need to start every project by putting together a style guide. These guides will help keep a brand’s visuals focused and clean while saving the developers you’re collaborating with from wasting their time or spending extra time in areas that don’t need it.

2. Include Them in the Process: When you’re busy sketching, work shopping, and participating in design critiques before the coding process begins, you can include the developers in the process to improve your future collaboration! If you want to provide a screenshot mockup for every technical specification document you receive, you’ll be able to talk through the design before the developers start working. Don’t think of this inclusion as passing down instructions instead, think of it as a way to get on the same page about a project before the development process begins.

3. Pick Your Battles: Not everything can be pixel perfect all of the time. You need to be willing to compromise. As long as the developers create a build that effectively communicates the message you and your clients or bosses wanted without looking broken, stressing over something being slightly off that would require hours of extra work for developers isn’t a good idea. Know when the details are essential to the project’s success and when slight changes from your vision can work just as well.

Developers

1. Refine Source Code to Prioritize Performance: When you make an extra effort to optimize or polish source code, it helps bring a designer’s vision to life and improves user engagement. You need to be willing to refine source code to prioritize performance because this helps improve the overall design and usability of the project you’re collaborating on. Any design can look clunky if paired with messy source code that hasn’t been optimized.

2. Ask for More Feedback: While many developers face peer-coding reviews, they often aren’t as familiar with peer reviews as designers are. Asking for more feedback can help you understand a designer’s needs better, help the two of you relate your visions, and improve your collaboration.

3. Pay Extra Attention to Detail: One quality that most designers have is a keen eye for detail. If you want to relate to them better and collaborate with them more effectively, try paying extra attention to detail during the development process and during collaborative pitch meetings.

Designers and Developers can work together with the greatest of ease when they use these six tips to collaborate more effectively. Try one or more of these tips out on your next project!

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