Many projects require designers and developers to work together. However, it is not easy for professionals with different backgrounds to come together without problems creeping in. The designers have their own ways of doing things that sometimes might complicate issues for the developer. Developers, on the other hand, can also make things difficult for designers.

Previously we’ve discussed the topic about improving the designer-developer relationships. We believe it is vital for any startup; that’s why we wanted to extend this by adding new tips. Yeah, we know that some of them are repeating, but we filled them with additional meanings.

Both should have the basic understanding of the each others work

Have you seen someone that doubles as both a designer and a developer? Someone you would call a full-stack? If you have, you will agree with us that working with such a person as either a developer or a designer won’t be difficult. This is because they understand and think in both ways. If they are in a design team, they understand what is obtainable in the development and what is not. If such a person is in a development team, they can communicate effectively with the design team and understand what is required.

As a developer, you should have basic design knowledge — designers, on the other hand, should have development knowledge. This is to ensure a better communication and collaboration between them when working on a project.

Developers should be involved from the start

Some project managers have the habit of getting designers and developers to work independently. In organizations with such managers, the designers are made to produce a design, and then the design is handed over to the developers to replicate using their own tools. However, what these team leads do not understand is that designers can produce unrealistic designs, and expecting developers to work on such designs will only lead to a failed project. Instead of keeping developers out of the initial planning phase, get them to work with the designers. Let them agree with each other on what is realistic for the time frame and budget.

Designers need to know that development takes time

As a designer, one thing you ought to know is that development takes time. Many designers do not know that designing a project and the actual development do not take equal time. There’s a lot of variables involved that make development a lot more difficult than designing:

  • Technical Complexity
  • Requirement Complexity
  • Structural Complexity

Designers should make files developer friendly

You might be wondering why we’re discussing this. This should be pretty obvious to any designer. However, we have seen designers hand over files in the format that is only friendly to designers. As a designer, make sure that you handover to developers as part the requirement. Make sure you name the files in a logical manner so that developers won’t find it difficult. If possible, you can create a mini-guide or documentation of the files you submit to developers.

Also, you can use some software which can perform automated routine tasks such as Zeplin, Plant or InVision.

Learn from each other

Both designers and developers should be willing to learn from each other. One thing we have come to realize with human relationships is that when you try to learn from someone, you tend to build a better relationship, especially when the person perceives you to be genuine and not to try to be manipulative. Show genuine interest in what the others are doing by asking them questions. When they also show interest in your field, be ready to help. With a spirit like this, it becomes easier to collaborate and work on the same projects.

Designers and developers speak different languages and see things differently. However, on many projects, they are expected to work together. If you find yourself in such a situation as a designer or a developer, you can try to use the tips discussed above to help you collaborate better with the other professionals.