Designers and developers’ job roles are very different, but they do overlap when creating a website, app, or other product. It is, therefore, essential that both communicate well with each other.
Face-to-face Communication Creates a Better Working Relationship
For designers and developers who work from home or in different buildings or departments, communication can become primarily text-based via email and platforms like Slack. Having a mostly text-based rapport means it can be challenging to form meaningful work relationships. For instance, words in an email can come across as angry when that was not your intention. And the quickfire nature of text messaging can mean you agree to something in writing that you would not if you were having a face-to-face conversation.
To build a better relationship, looking someone in the eyes is essential. If you cannot meet up with a colleague in person, make sure you regularly use online platforms to hold frequent virtual meetings. You can make your video call more fun to break the ice at the start of a working relationship, by using virtual backgrounds. At HelloBackgrounds, you can choose from hundreds of high-quality images and video backgrounds that are compatible with Zoom, Skype, and Microsoft Teams.
Clarity Makes Life Easier
Both designers and developers can receive vague descriptions from one another. For instance, a designer may tell a developer that the web page button should be like the ones Twitter uses but function like those on LinkedIn. The more un-precise you are, the more you are setting yourself up to be misunderstood.
Therefore, it is essential that you put down a clear design plan, with visual examples and text descriptions to ensure you both know what is precisely meant for each element. You should both also encourage questions about those elements to ensure any issues are handled as soon as they crop up.
Collaborate at Every Step of the Way
Too often, designers do not include developers in certain meetings. That is a mistake.
For example, if you are holding a designer feedback meeting, you may not think it is important to have developers present. But developers are a fantastic source for gaining design feedback. They have masses of knowledge about websites and products, and they know what is possible from a technical point of view. So, when you hold UX and design meetings, or are simply brainstorming ideas, make sure developers are present.
A Proper Information Flow Channel Helps to Avoid Miscommunication
When the scale of a project is large, and more than one designer and one developer is part of the team, things can get complicated. The more people who are involved with the design and development process, the easier it is for information to be lost or misunderstood along the way.
To avoid such problems, design a proper information flow chart to which everyone has access. Create a list of deliverables too. By having a highly-organized structure in place, in which everyone is clear about the overall project, its specific details, and their particular tasks, things will work seamlessly.
Active Listening Skills Create Better Communication
Listening is a skill that not everyone has. That is because it is not just about hearing words that are being spoken. It is also about understanding where the person is coming from, empathizing with what they are saying, and giving the person time to speak without butting in.
Designers and developers need to spend time actively listening to one another if they want to create seamless and clear communication. Active listening also shows that you respect the speaker. You need to ensure you are listened to, and you listen to others.