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Design - Dev Beef 🥩
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Matt NorrisUI/UX Designer at adumo
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As designers we often don’t see eye to eye with the dev team. Often cause we care about aesthetics slightly more than they do as they are more concerned about the technical side of things (which I totally get 👼)

But… Drop some of your craziest stories below, or if you’ve had a frictionless experience (TELL ME HOW!!! 😂😂)

Raphael S and 8 others
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Allan GrinshteinProduct Designer at Netflix
5 mnths ago

I don't have any super crazy stories. The only one that comes to mind is that (early into my time at Facebook) I once got into an intense shouting match with a front-end engineer. I immediately regretted it, though.


I would love to hear the details of this, just to see where it sits on the silly-to-significant spectrum

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Cyrus AhmadiLead Product Designer at Ridwell
5 mnths ago

A massive part of eliminating the friction in my experience is just being open and talking to the dev team early and often. I always make it a point to ask and understand about how and why they do things the way they do, and they responded in kind at everywhere I've worked. This has also allowed me to draft documents with dev in mind from the jump, leading to a net frustration decrease for everyone involved.

The caveat here is that I myself am genuinely interested in the technical aspect of things, so getting in the weeds a bit is something I enjoy. I like having a rudimentary understanding of what's under the hood.

Even just having conceptual knowledge tho of how different things work on the dev side goes a long way to a much more productive relationship. (for example, tying Figma doc styles to be at parity with naming conventions for coded styles, or leaving notes in the Figma document about how a specific container responds.). Once you're both on the same page, things get way easier. :)

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Stefan TrkuljaProduct Designer at corise
5 mnths ago

I actually never had those problems, and I've worked closely with developers throughout my life.

The "recipe" is easy: learn about their process and educate them about yours. Include them early in the design exploration stage, you'd be surprised at how much they can contribute.

One thing I will say though, some engineers have a habit of not thinking about the end user and how users communicate with the system they engineered. That's where personas and user stories come in handy.


👆🏻totally this. communication is key.

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Brian LinAsc Director of Design at HelloFresh
5 mnths ago

Don't have any crazy stories either. Involving FE & BE early on projects nips a lot of the challenges in the bud. Disagreements happen, compromises are made on both sides; make sure to document those decisions.

For ongoing initiatives, like Design System upkeep, our team runs weekly syncs on Fridays with an agenda of any changes to discuss, the FE team does the same.

I'll also add most FE team members I've worked with in my career care a great deal for the details of aesthetics. Oftentimes when it seems like they don't it's because they have their own constraints to operate in or they're having some difficulties they're having trouble expressing. Pairing design and FE often is a great way to build trust and learn about how the other person works best. Goes a long way.

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Nathalia KasmanProduct Designer at User Interviews
5 mnths ago

I really enjoy design-dev pairing. I bring them in very early on to brainstorm and pick their brains for ideas, have them sit in on customer interviews, and taking them through the current experience so they see what the problem this (I think this can concretize the "why" of the work for them). I personally think that categorizing designers & developers into the aesthetic vs. technical bucket isn't helpful; at the end of the day, I believe both devs and designers have the same goal — create good experiences for people.

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Joel CalifaVP Design at Heap
5 mnths ago

Maybe I've just been lucky or I've picked good places, but even in the most technical cos (DigitalOcean, GitHub) I've only ever had good relationships w/ engineers. It's sort of your job to bring them into the design process and make them understand its value and feel like they co-own the final experience. You'll find that most of them start caring about polish. Also, if you care about their things (technical constraints, implementation, etc), they're more likely to care about your things.

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Logan LiffickSr Designer at DigitalOcean
5 mnths ago

Design -> dev handoffs made me so mad that I literally became a dev 🙃

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