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Maximizing productivity between Designers & Developers

Updated: Jan 25

When it comes to creating or designing a project, designers and developers have different roles but they must work together in order to bring the best results of such product to the end users. However, this is not always the case. In fact, not so many stories start or end well between developers and designers when it comes to communicate and work together in a given project.

This divide may happen because the two sides are working in departments at opposite ends of a building and starting a project, or even in different cities/countries if work is being done remotely. No matter what’s causing the separation between designers and developers, bridging a better communication can result in a better end product.

But what is the problem between both roles? Is more than just skills and knowledge

The conflicts run from small to unique factors. Designers think the developers may not fully understand or fail to capture basic specs of web design and user experience (color proportions) given the layout. Developers tend to discover that designers perfect or artistic design may not leave room for functional tasks, such as dynamic content, for the functionality of the end product. Nonetheless, designers love to give "delivery dates" while developers rather love to rely on hours and timelines. This is just the tip of the iceberg!

Of course, having an optimal relationship between both professionals brings benefits and an amazing end product, in addition to numerous benefits. With clear communication, time is saved and more productivity is earned. It is important to understand that even if both parties do not like each other for whatever reason, they must work together since they both cannot exist without each other's skills and work.

Thankfully, we are not in the stone ages anymore and we can live in a world where designers and developers love each other ONLY IF they follow rules or, best to say, steps to maintain the relationship stable. The truth is, that is not as complicated as it sounds—all it takes for designers and developers to work perfectly is communication, collaboration, and last but not least, team coordination.

Why Communication?

To put it in simple words, as humans, we need to communicate, to do things—is that simple!

Designers are visual artists, while developers are logical individuals who may not fully understand the reason behind a cascading effect in a specific portion of the website requested by the developer. So what is the solution? Patience and dialogue.

Learning from each other will help the relationship grow and even a faster pace for productivity. Communicating anything during the design and development process will help not only build a stronger product, but it will uplift both teams and happy lunch breaks!


Yes!! Although you may think this is very similar to communicating, it is entirely different.

Ultimately, designers and developers are partners, and they best get along following the relationship in those terms. Often this issue comes down to originality and ownership.

The designer envisions and designs the brand or vision, and this can be very much personal for designers, even more if the team is small. But in most cases, designers have very little knowledge of programming and they rather stay away from it. This is where developers come into play. Both need to collaborate, understand and respect each others feedback.

Remember, collaboration in simple terms is just listening and helping to understand each others vision of the product.

Coordination within teams

This is mainly the start of the relationship. Before anything, a plan must be present, respected, in order for the teams to start working on it. This plan will differ from meetings, online calls, prototypes and much more. Failing to bring one side of the team to late into the process ( happens very regularly ) can bring backwards a whole week of work.

All roads lead here. Designers and developers are crucial for the design/development progress of a website, mobile app or even a simple 30 sec commercial. Agencies need both brains to complete and deliver a high-end quality product.

Every project is different and every project has its own demands, just as different teams and agencies work and collaborate in their own unique ways. Always keep in mind communication, collaboration and coordination for the delivery of an amazing end product to a client.


Zaida M. Velazco

Design Lead, UX/UI / Web Management


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