Improving UI/UX experience through teamwork
Both developers and UI/UX designers are entrusted to create innovative and effective software proposals in a more than ever competitive environment, it is vital to find ways to support everything related to the design development process and, at the same time, ensure your teams shares with each other their skills and knowledge to be able to develop the best products.
One of the strongest proposals today is that companies use their resources to facilitate collaboration between design and development teams.
Fostering collaboration between the UI/UX design and development teams is one of the best activities to be implemented by a company if they want to have a great improvement in its overall results. By understanding the goals and limitations of each of the pieces that are part of the product development process, development and UXI/UXdesign teams can get to understand each other and work together in much more effective ways.
Developers & UI/UX designers together
Most developers and UI/UX designers do not understand the minutiae of how their counterparts work is, and this can hamper collaboration and progress within the business. Filling this gap through mutual comprehension can make the operational difficulties of both parties lighter; It also helps to overcome problems that may arise as a result of individual differences between members of the same team within the same organization.
For example, there might be a design team that presents a perfect pixel-to-pixel design by employing a precise development method, while others will prefer to take the process to trial and error or through iteration. There are also differences in terms of experience and communication forms between people, however through continuous collaboration you can learn from the other a new vision and a fresh set of skills.
This mutual understanding could work even in a more complex development scenario. There are companies for example that work in places where UI/UX designers give design solutions to a team of developers across the other side of the globe. Such experience improves the ability to document and create product development processes, obtain the approval of everyone involved, maintain communication between the various areas and ensure that all teams have what they need in a reciprocal way.
That that at the beginning always represents a challenge ends up being a great satisfaction when that bond is created, and success is achieved.
Components of a successful collaboration.
For companies that find difficulties when filling gaps between their Development and UI/UX Design teams, it is useful to have some standardized approaches, here 4 tips to improve collaboration and close gaps between collaborators.
1. All welcome to design critiques.
Including developers in design critiques promotes collaboration between different areas within the same company. With the development team in the same space, UI/UX designers can acquire another perspective for implementation, while learning about alternative design options that are relevant to those solutions, and get help determining if a design is fully developed and ready to be coded.
If the development team is too large to implement this recommendation, it is advisable to make a rotation among the developers participating in this activity.
In the time of a design critique session a developer could raise valuable ideas, such as a proposal of a design solution, advise whether it will be possible to implement a specific feature due to limitations in third-party technologies, and, with the beforehand knowledge of such limitations we will save valuable time for the UI/UX design team
2. A mix between developers and UI/UX designers is always good.
Including both development and design teams in the same sprint meetings is a great way to achieve collaboration between them. The design team must know the developers’ schedules to solve issues or create features, based on this, they can plan their work in terms of design and vice versa.
To exemplify, a UI/UX designer could be working on the design of a specific feature, the developer could have some suggestions on how to implement it smoothly or present a code library that could function as a backup, that could prevent the UI/UX designer and the entire product team to spend more time than needed working on a revised (or even from scratch) version of the design.
An expert in a discipline other than your own can offer a different approach and help your teammates to find a fresh way to address a situation when trying to solve a problem.
3. Invite your developers to design sessions (Charrette).
A charrette in the design world is a short design session, in which the key members of a product team collaborate, present possible design solutions, by exploring a wide range of design ideas, the development team can add a great value to this creative activity.
The development team could have ideas on how easily implement a design idea using their knowledge of interfaces or code libraries. The client or the design team would most likely not think of that solution such as easily as the developers and could be more worries about costs.
4. Lunch + learning
A very good way to exchange knowledge between the UI/UX design and development teams is through lunch and learning meetings, that gives the opportunity to eat together whilst listening conversations about technical and design issues.
Designers can learn from new technologies, development best practices and new features available, all of which can lead to generate new ideas that can be applied to their process as designers. Developers get a better understanding regarding issues such as the functionality of design tools, what is a design system or how usability tests can help in product improvement. Sharing knowledge helps developers to work more effectively with UI/UX designers, which ensures higher quality when implementing designs to the product.
Developing skill sets shared among the members of your product team helps to solve the problem of gaps in their skills that most of the talent development specialists find within their organizations, several studies show that more than 80 % of business leaders feel that their efforts in product development do not give the maximum possible return.
As all team members are together to solve a problem, the possibility of obtaining favorable results is greatly increased by maximizing the use of the talent of each group member. Several UI/UX designers who have been in this type of practice testify that they give the design team fresh and very useful approaches to how design decisions can lead to a significant increase in the scope of the developers.
In conclusion, the practice of encouraging design and development teams to work separately should be left behind, the exchange of skills and knowledge between teams is not only good for the team, but they are also key to obtain a good outcome for your customers and the users of your product.
Applying these steps to work as a team and share ideas will create a well-informed culture of collaboration and lead your product to success.