[VIDEO] Developers Need Designers

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So, my name is Ben Gourarie. I’m a developer here at UpTop, and while I’ve been here the last few years I’ve worked on a variety of projects. I’ve worked on ColdFusion intranets, other tools in plain HTML forms. I’ve worked on a number of WordPress sites, and real estate brochures, websites. I’m also one of our eCommerce experts. Today I plan to talk about why design is so important to dev, and it’s that last experience, the eCommerce experience where I really learnt the importance of having design involved in the process, not just at the beginning but throughout the entire project lifecycle.

I’m going to start with an example of a project where this is relevant. The project began with us doing some design work and some time later we then went in and did the development work. Once we finished the development we met all the requirements of the designs and handed it off to the client, and the client had new thoughts, new ideas. So, we could go back and do more design, or we could go directly into developing to implement the client’s ideas.

We wound up directly implementing the client’s ideas, and he looked at what we had changed, and they said, “We have some more ideas.” And so, we did some more development. The result of this was that we had a, I wouldn’t say messy, but a code base that we had to go in and clean up a bit, and rearrange to get it back into the same working order that we had it when we first delivered it to the client.

Later on, we had another project, and we started having these conversations with the client, and it’s, “Can we just try, what does it look like if we just quickly move this thing, or change this font?” And there’s a real strong urge for me to go in and change that really quick for them, just so they can see what it looks like, but I remembered the cost of doing things like this, and I brought in a designer.

With the designer we were able to, in the conversation, talk through why they wanted to make these changes, and explain what the benefits might be of doing this color, if it’s that color. Then they say, “Okay, we’ll go away from this conversation. We’ll come back to you with a mock-up of what this will actually look like.” With that, the client was able to see.

When the client didn’t like this color, they realized that they actually preferred it to be a third color, the designer was able to just make that change pretty much instantly and send it back to the client again. It took out all of these small incremental changes that really wound up costing us in the long run. And then, at the end of this process, this design process, I was able to implement a cohesive package of changes.

So that’s why it’s important to have design in the process from start to finish. Coming from a developer it makes the process run more smoothly, it’s more efficient, the client is happier and it just works better all around. Tune in next week for another episode of Turning on the Desk Lamp.


5 Questions To Audit Your User Experience

We can get so caught up in marketing and meeting business goals that often we forget the biggest differentiator from our competitors for our business is our user experience. UX should be a seamless integration into your digital strategy. Whether you’re a UX designer, a marketing manager, or a business executive, this worksheet is a quick way to audit and identify an opportunity for improving your UX.
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