The Rare Yet Necessary Close Collaboration between Designers and Developers

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The Rare Yet Necessary Close Collaboration between Designers and Developers

Co-op entry by Mjølner Informatics & Draupner Graphics

Earlier this year, Intercom published the blogpost “There’s no hand off in product design”. The article describes the cooperation between designers and developers and encourages a work method where designers and developers communicate during the design process when creating a new product.

A general problem in product development teams is that the design process separates from the implementation process. Nevertheless, the design has to enable the technical breakthrough to come forward. Engineering usually influences design decisions; or so they should.

Embrace the opportunity to design alongside [developers] as they build,

– Brendan Fagan states in the article.

This way, the product development, including the design, can reach new heights and prevent trouble-shooting at late stages.

At Mjølner Informatics and Draupner Graphics, the idea of product design teams consisting of designers, UX’ers, and developers is a cornerstone in our work procedures.

Our consultancy of designers, UX consultants, and software developers is accustomed to teamwork from idea to digital product.

Our most common work process starts with a workshop between the client and our team, consisting of a designer, a UX consultant, and a software developer. Our UX consultant and designer brainstorm and collect ideas, visions, and wishes in close collaboration with the client, while our developer continuously makes sure that the ideas and sketches are implementable.

The greatest gain from working in these mixed skill teams is that our UX consultants do not design something that is infeasible. Furthermore, the process is much quicker because there is continuous adaptation. Design and development go hand in hand. We anticipate potential issues and save our client time and money.

By working in teams and run workshops, we are able to eliminate misunderstandings at an early stage. There is great value in verifying not only the design perspective, but also the development implementation early on and continue to do so in a mutual dialogue.

Let us give a specific example. We helped Scottish cash management solutions manufacturer Cashmasterdeliver a more engaging user experience on their cash-counting product. At the same time, the software behind it, TouchGFX, is also our invention, created by our developers.

In order to complete our Proof of Concept package, Cashmaster combined their TouchGFX license with our User Interface Prototype-package. The content of the package is a two-week workshop, feedback, and iteration by our design experts.

In this case, one of our designers and one of our UX Consultants sat down with the Cashmaster team for a start-up, status, and delivery meeting. The design work itself was done at our own headquarter, in close coalition with the developers of the TouchGFX software tool – to make sure user interface and software could easily go hand in hand.

This is just one example out of many. It is a cornerstone for us that our various talents work together to create the best products. Our headquarter is a physical building where designers, UX’ers and developers sit in offices next to each other, enabling them to discuss, meet, and co-create.

Although this collaboration is natural for us, it is a rare scene on a global scale. Oftentimes, you talk to either a house of designers or a house of developers. With Mjølner and Draupner, all the different roles gather in one place, making it much easier and feasible for you as a client.

At Mjølner and Draupner, we work in teams of designers and developers, as described by Fagan in his article. We have very close collaboration across skills and education. It is obvious that a company like ours, with designers, UX consultants, and developers under one roof, can provide the most thorough, timely, and issue-anticipating service for your digital challenges and ideas.

Do you want to take advantage of our unique combination of skills? Contact us and learn more on how we can bring value to your business.