To have an approximate idea of how crazy this is, Let’s try to quantify the time it takes to re-create the design.
Let’s say that it took one designer 3 hours to layout a simple design. Nothing really fancy. No animations, no backend connections, just layout, I’m not accounting for the design time, since it’s really hard to measure. Layout time is way easier to quantify.
Let’s also asume that the design needed another 1–2 hours to include client’s feedback.
Create something from scratch like the coded version of your product, needs time. Let’s say the developer will need at least four times what was needed to design it (I think I’m being conservative here, it’s probably more).
Now applying the rule of 4 times the layout time, let’s say that implementation will need somewhere between 16 to 20 hours. Between 2 and 3 days.
Now Take into consideration the rounds of feedback you’ll need to fine tune the coded version to be faithful to the final approved design. Let’s be naive and think that we it will only take 3 – 4 more hours to do the fine tuning.
Implementation time so far: 20–24 hours.
Probably somewhere in the middle of the journey your team has setup something like Jira or Asana or Redmine to keep track of the issues. Also your team has prepared staging and production servers, right?
Let’s add another 2 hours.
Total implementation time: 22–26 hours
After painfully finishing the implementation and when everything is almost ready, someone (client, designer, project manager …) has changed her/his mind and now something needs to be adjusted in the design. You know, something really, really super critical, like , I don’t know … the text color of the footer.
So the designer fills an issue on Jira, or marks the issue on Zeplin or just send an email (or all of them combined, believe me, it happens) [1 to 5 minutes]. Some time after that, the developer opens the issue and starts working on it [5–10 minutes]. When finished, s/he will update Jira and will push the changes to the staging server [2 minutes].
Now it’s the time for the issuer to review the changes [2 minutes]… and start the cycle again.
So, a really simple issue iteration cycle will take only about 10–20 minutes to be solved.
A really complex issue or a full component redesign can take from several hours to even days. Let’s imagine full redesign of complete sections. And that, in my humble opinion, is the Achilles heel of the development: the after issues.
But for the sake of argument. Let’s say that the project goes really smooth and only has a total of 5 minor issues.
Issues time: between 1–2 hours
Total implementation time: 24–28 hours
Push to the production server:
It should be less than 1 hour. Just in case let’s count 1 hour.
- Layout Time: 5 hours
- Implementation Time: 26 hours (just the middle)
- Publishing Time: 1 hour
Total project’s measurable time : 32 hours.
Now the important number: Amount of project’s time dedicated to implementation:
I’ve presented the easiest scenario posible and I’ve considered everything going smooth as silk. And yet we are using an average of 80% of project’s time to re-create the design.
Now, just remember: The design was already created and fully detailed. Isn’t crazy?