What it takes for designers and developers to collaborate

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Here are some tips for assisting in the teamwork of designers and developers:

1. Let big needs inform small tasks
The focus shifts to practical details when the team transitions from design to build. There are features that the team acknowledges which are broken down into smaller tasks which are done in short sprints. Making communication better amongst team members and the goals more visible is how you can prevent this from happening. It is important to prioritize work as requests creep in.

2. Make digital work physical
When your team is moving through sprints at a fast pace, there can be a risk of building one group of features and moving quickly onto the next without making a connection. Tangible reminders can be helpful when trying to make your digital work physical and allowing the team to recognize what needs to be done and to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

3. Create one team
Combining methods and rituals between designers and developers can be tough but coming to an agreement on the same methods and rituals will be beneficial to the effective functioning of the team. Creating a shared culture and team identity can help to create a unified team which reduces the occurrences of arguments amongst the team.


Kim Cullen
Senior Design Director, IDEO San Francisco

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