The importance of effective communication between design and development
At AlphaQuad we believe the key to any successful online project is effective communication between the project, design and development teams.
Good communications between you, your team, and your client, are essential, preventing lack of understanding, and promoting certainty and clarity. Any uncertainty from the start gives rise to issues that can be detrimental to the website’s final look, feel and functionality. By working as a team you can ensure that a project not only achieves but also excites.
This is why effective communication between the two visual teams is especially important from an early stage.
At AlphaQuad, the typical process starts with a gathering with the client so they can determine the key goals of the project.
Together we create a clear project brief that addresses the purpose of the site.
It is at this point that we focus on aspects such as target audience, site features, budget and direction in which the website can progress. This is a great place to nail down the site structure.
In the beginning, we produce a detailed website wireframe with the key project members and website consultants in place (project manager, designer and developer) to lay down a map of how the end user will be presented with a site.
Once everybody is happy with the wireframes, the creative design stage is started based on these initial discussions. This is where the project slots into the individual workflow of the collaboration and can be where the major project challenges begin.
We believe it is key to have a show and tell meeting with our developers and project managers to ensure the project is on the right lines – both goal wise and if it’s development-friendly. What works as a printed brochure doesn’t always work in a browser.
Web fonts, image sizing and brand adherence can be discussed at this point before multiple hi-res mockups are released to the client.
Once we are all happy it’s time for the developers to join in the realisation and make a creative mockup work.
A style guide of fonts, font size and colours can be worked on by both the developer and the designer in the browser and the project comes to life. This gives a true representation of how the site will work on the screen across multiple browsers.
Regular sessions involving all collaborators are housed on the development site, maintaining the quality and functional development before its ready to be populated and tested.
Once we have all necessary approval the website is released into the world wide web to fight it out amongst millions of other sites.
In summary, although the two factions are separate disciplines it’s very important to:
Keep to the project’s big picture
Pre-established project goals that are discussed by the project teams, designers and developers should lead decisions (and compromises) throughout the process.
Seek inspiration from a wide range of sources
Look to a variety of sources for an understanding of the brief and root out material by quality, not subject matter. Share and discuss, as what looks nice on a desktop may not work well on a device.
Check in early and often
Avoid making too many decisions without discussing with all the key team members. Never decide in isolation.
Be constructive and don’t be reactive opinion led
If you have any criticism, make it constructive, creativity comes in many forms and understandings.
Share ideas and explain the reasoning
This works for designers and developers as points of view can be very different. Revealing the inner thought process means sharing, and sharing is a way to develop a project and build a mutual understanding of a project.