As a professional, we most likely strive for perfection. To deliver on time and deliver really well. The delivery for most designers is the Developer Handover. The moment you give your design to the developer and say, “here you go, have a good time”.
And some designers will then just sit back, hope for the best and wait with their fingers crossed.
In Don’t be a tool, I suggested that the deliverable should be a team effort in the first place. With the goal of making the Developer Handover a mere formality. No surprises and no reasons to keep your fingers crossed. Because there are no ‘unknowns’ left and the deliverable has the best input of every team member.
But what if that isn’t the case.
What if you try your best to include your team members, and they stay quiet. No input. No questions. Nothing… just tumbleweeds in your meetings or chat box.
Let’s also realize that preparing to do the work, like giving input on concepts or designs, is not the same as actually doing the work. While doing the work, the development, new insights might arise and with that, more questions and perhaps overlooked issues. This cannot be avoided, but if that comes from a lack of input during the preparation stage, that is harmful and downright unprofessional.
Different people, different temperaments
While respecting each individual’s temperament, designers can help foster a culture where team members actively participate and take ownership by welcoming feedback and actively inviting participation during the preparation phase and being available during development.
To developers struggling to participate, I say this:
- Be prepared! Carefully read the Jira ticket and review the design, the answer might be readily available, if not just ask.
- Speak up! As soon as you see it, speak up. It’ll end up being your problem if you don’t. If you see an issue or something that is unclear, ask for clarification. Don’t assume. You know what that word means, right? You’ll make an ASS of U and ME.
- Don’t worry about hurting some designers’ feelings. We are professionals that can (or should) take care of our gentle souls. Be professional. And maybe kind. But remember: it is cruel to say nothing and let your designer deliver something that is incorrect.
- Prove your designer wrong. It might frustrate us, but that’s how we learn. Point out the flaws and the overlooked use cases. You’ll make us better designers that deliver more fun stories for you to work on. Leverage your influence!
- Always be asking. I cannot stress enough. If you stop asking, you stop caring. Also, don’t assume. And don’t worry about disturbing us. Sure, we might be busy with yet another deadline, but that will never change. Just know that designers prefer to prevent disaster at any cost. If we need to take a few minutes to point you to the Figma file (again?) – we will do it. Perhaps write it down somewhere, though; it might even be in your Jira ticket.
Thanks for reading. You are amazing, you know that, right?!