Does your agency have a design handoff process yet?
What is a Design Handoff anyway
When a design is handed over to the developer, there’s multiple layers of information that needs to be conveyed. (1) In addition to the Mockups and Specs+Assets, one must also share the Interactions, Copy, and a Checklist. All these cover different aspects of the design handoff solution and need to be collated in one, simple, accessible document that lives in the cloud. You can call it the Design Handoff Document.
Why should you care?
If you can’t empathize and communicate the design to developers and QA engineers, the pixels won’t come to life like you want. This will result in disappointment from key project shareholders at different phases of the project. The time loss due to miscommunication or an abundance of double work in which the designers and developers are creating more than one version of the design spec causes back and forth between the design and engineering teams. Designers create prototypes for developers who would have to either recreate them by hand in multiple languages (once for Android and once for iOS), or choose to embed large non-scaling GIFs or image sprites.
If you invest once in a design system (say, 3 months of overhauling it) but neglect to keep it up, you’ll find that the impact will fade as it gets out of sync with new designs and you’ll end up with strange, floating bits of code that nobody is using. Engineers will stop using it as the patterns become outdated, and then you’ll find yourself in for another round of large investments in time and resource costs (while dreading going through the process since its fallen so far out of shape). I plan to give you a technical insight into the tools and available design patterns for creating machine based design Handoff platform.
The effectiveness of your design handoff process will continue be low. If left neglected, progression in this space will depend on the frustration level of capable employees.
Creativity can be a differentiator.
If there’s one thing all small businesses have in common, it’s that they all face competition. And to set themselves apart, they generally have a handful of differentiators, whether those include pricing, quality, customer service, or something else entirely. Improving Design Handoff processes can help a small business stand out immensely. Improving the communication between design and engineering can produce significant savings in time and cost to each project while sustaining a respectable level of quality.