Bridging The Gap Between Developers And Designers

Illustration by Teddy Tri

Digital products have become more recognizable these days. Gadget-oriented habitual has brought more businesses to step their foot on digitalized platforms to reach their audience easier. Decades ago, only a few knew about digital products, moreover the designers or developers who work on it.

With the increase of internet consumption, people are spent their time longer on gadget screens. Online solutions almost filled every person’s needs. That’s why digital products such as websites, applications, etc. increasingly become more popular. More digital giants such as Google, Amazon, Alibaba, and Apple grow bigger and already show their teeth. They influenced other small digital companies and agencies to compete in the market. This also lifted the name of designers and developers to be more recognized at the surface. Their presence in creating digital products attract more businesses and companies in a tight competition. Many designers and developer vacancies are now open to fulfill the need for digital consumption nowadays.

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Designer VS Developer

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In the making of digital products, designers and developers cant be separated. They both unified the work of two different disciplines until becoming a product. Both of them had a specialty that completed each other. Designers create a design concept by arranging the visual aspect and flow of the product. They used to create a design that can be satisfied and fulfill the need of the end-user. Then the developer utilizes the design framework to be implemented with the system by using language programs like HTML, CSS, java, etc. Shortly, developers create the product alive. But along the progress, designers and programmers usually clashed and contradict to each other. It’s mainly because they were two different types of jobs with different thoughts and personalities.

When designers create a product design by concerning the look and visual aspect, the developer may unfit with the design because it wouldn’t work with the system they build. This kind of problem will be even bigger if both of them wouldn’t understand each other.

Meet the designers

  • Right brain

Many people are presumed that the right brain is the human creative part. Whether it was a myth or not, right-brain mainly focused on the creative thinking process. Designers are defined to right brain people because of their job to make creative ideas for the design they created. They commonly work with graphics and visual related field.

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  • Creative Thinking

The way designers thinking is more about the creative field, how they manage and arrange the design that could give interest to the user. It could be adopting the current trends or create a new one. Concepting a product may take a lot of time. But, it will come up with better results if the designer implemented their creative thinking along the design process.

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  • Strong visual and imagination intuitive

Many designers come from communication or art school while the others didn’t. People with more artistic background could easily understand which kind of design that visually attract people. In creating a product design, designers should break the boundaries of their imagination. They should maximize their imagination to create fascinating designs. The designer must able to transform ideas into creative visuals.

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  • Works more on the look and feel

Back in the day, designers are commonly called by web designers. But with the increase of digital product trends, there are many forms of designers that work in digital products. There are product designers, UI/UX designers, etc. They may have different design specialties, but they mainly focused on how to create a design that can attract and pleased users. Designers are also used to gain user’s feedback so they can re-create the design as users’ suggestions. This all about the bonding between users and the design they created. How they feel and care about user experience.

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Meet the developers

  • Left brain

Being the opposite of designers, developers are categorized as left-brained people. They were mostly more methodical and analytical thinking. Developers work with codes and numbers, which makes them more dominant in logic and mathematics.

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  • Logical Thinking

Developers have their own language to work. They are using language codes like HTML, CSS, and java, which contains hundreds of numerical and alphabetical contexts to be remembered. Being a developer needs to have good analytical and logical thinking. Because their job is to write codes so the system can read what kind of instruction need to be done, they are a digital product builder.

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  • Works more on functionality and usability

It is the job of the developer to create a functional product. When a designer concept product design, the developer makes the product comes to life yet can be used properly as designed before. Developers are commonly preceded product usability over design at first. Because the codes and systems they use have limits. So, when designers consisted of an unusual or new design concept, it usually is unfitted with developers because they can’t implement them on the product.

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What makes a good digital product?

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A good digital product is functional yet attractive. Users wouldn’t interested to use your product if it can be utilized properly but unattractive for them. That’s why the designer needed to create a stunning presentation of the product. Whilst a visually attractive product that functionally incompetent would make users disappointed. This made developers role matter to create a functional product. Therefore, designers and developer's role can’t be separated to create good and demanded digital products. But, they’re often disagreed and contradict each other over the different perspectives of how the product should be made. This underlying problem will cause product result can’t be optimal enough as it is expected before. So, you need to know how to bridge between developer and designer works.

How Designers and Developers can work together?

  • Respect!
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Many people may assume that designers are from pluto, while developers are from Mars. They may unfit for each other because of the practical field difference between them. When talking about a project, they will preferably insist on their thinking about a product. To avoid this problem, we need to reflect on our root itself.

Basically, both designers and developers are working under the same roof. It can be corporations, governments, agencies, etc. They were equally the same workers who need to do a job to fulfill their needs. So, if both of them lower their egos and start to respect each other, there will be a much better working environment around them. By respecting other workers, every teamwork progress will be more efficient and executed as planned before.

  • Build a Good Communication
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Both designers and developers need to build good communication. Whether at work or not. They can start it by listening to each other along with the work progress. Take an example of the designer giving a brief to the developer. They should listen to what the designer needs. After understanding the brief given, developers can ask what they don’t know and capable of it. Then, designers must be able to take the suggestions or advice given by developers. So, there will be a discussion between both parties.

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The most common misunderstanding between developers and designers is because they were usually using text-based communication like chat or e-mail. Try to avoid this kind of communication. We can’t know about how the person actually thinks and feel in chats or e-mails. A wrong interpretation will occur to someone who reads it and becomes a misunderstanding between both of them. They should meet face to face when talking about a project together if they can. If it isn’t possible to do, at least try to get a video call. This kind of appearance matter in the communication process. It will make them read the gesture and feel about how the other perspective about something. It can also decrease the tension between both parties and give a better communication vibe.

  • Be collaborative
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Building a digital product isn’t a job for just one individual. It needs many resources and different kinds of skills to be unified in teamwork. In this case, teamwork between designers and developers. To produce a good digital product design need a solid collaboration between them. Both of them should know each other before executing the project together. Designers must know the developer’s capabilities of realizing their design concept into codes. In comparison, the developers should know what kind of design style their designers mean and their vision.

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To reach this solid teamwork, both designers and developers need to work openly. It means they need to be transparent to each other. No closed discussion, moreover, a single-sided decision. For designers, they can use platforms like Zeplin, Invision, or Figma. These platforms allow developers to look at their design concepts to keep along with the designer’s work progress. For developers, they can report to the designers if there are any technical problems. By giving feedback to each other parties, there will be a good collaboration in the working progress.

  • Scope significances while working on a project
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While working on a project together, designers and developers can set a timeline for their works. As teamwork projects need their own portion to do, the timeline will help them organize their work more precisely. Both of them can control which task to be executed first and reduce the confusion on working progress.

They also need to set the scope of significances in their collaborative work. If there are any changes in the project they were working on, they should prioritize the most matters. It can make their work become more in line with the concept before. Prioritized things not only occur on the project they handled. But also on their responsibilities on the teamwork.

  • Learn another field
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It is necessary to learn another kind of job specialty for better communication between designers and developers. It can be learning language programs like HTML, CSS, and JAVA for designers, so they know what are developers actually do with their codes. No need to mastery the field they learn; at least they can understand hows it is going with that knowledge. It works on developers too. By knowing which kind of design style of the product can be implemented by their codes, they could easily understand how designers going with their concepts and vision of the products.

It may be hard for some people to do a teamwork collaboration. But designers and developers held the key of a digital product to be produced as its finest and properly utilized by the users.

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Contributor: Abdul Hamid

We are a comprehensive digital product agency specializing in UI/UX design & development of websites and mobile applications, IoT, AI, and custom software dev.