At The Future of Web Design in New York, the final session of the day was a panel discussion on the frictions and misunderstandings that often arise between designers and developers working together. The panel was chaired by Liz Danzico, while putting across the the developers’ point of view we had Joe Stump and Chris Lea, while on the design side of things we had Ryan Sims, and Daniel Burka.
The audience provided lots of great questions to ask the panel, but, unfortunately, there wasn’t enough time to answer them all (I have a stack of about 60 here on my desk). I thought I’d publish a collection of ten of the best unasked questions and see if the Vitamin audience, which is comprised of both designers and developers, can’t come up with some answers.
Here is the list of questions:
- Would I be a better designer to work with if I knew coding myself? Do developers appreciate knowledgeable designers?
- Designers: Developers don’t like you because you represent Work and don’t see why said work is wholly necessary. Developers: Designers are scared of you because you are the gatekeeper. This is the dynamic. Discuss.
- How can stronger communication be developed not only between designers and developers, but also between designers, developers, and creative teams (art director, copywriter)? How can a team bring them into the fold more effectively?
- To developers: if there was one thing ― an ability, a bit of knowledge, an understanding ― that you could instill in all designers with the wave of a magic wand, what would it be?
- How do you keep the goal of the project front and center so that design and development can keep a “common good” as their primary function?
- What’s the most helpful thing a designer can do before handing over design files?
- How soon should a developer be engaged to sense-check a design? At design brief? Before it goes to the client?
- Is it a mistake to make the lead developer the project manager?
- How can I get the developer to give me an absolute answer on whether something is doable?
- It seems that designers are under pressure to design an exceptional and unique experience and developers are under presssure to produce sites with high performance and little/no errors. Designer’s goals add pressure to developers and vice versa. How can our goals work together intead of causing pressure on each other?
Please provide your thoughts in the comments: it would be great to get comments from both designers and developers (no trolling, please!)