Have you ever been around a group of creative types when the conversation turns to what coders don’t do and don’t understand? It happens more often and more casually than I’d like to admit. It’s nonsense, and I don’t stand for such talk in the name of shooting the breeze.
Engineers think and work differently than creatives, so wasting time dismissing them only subverts your role in the product development process. We all share in the success or the failure of our work together.
Great engineers are practiced craftspeople just like designers, researchers, and strategists.
If designers on your team are treating your devs like hired help, chances are you’re setting yourself up for a very bumpy, contentious. and unpleasant product development process. As a designer, engineers are your collaborators, your editors, and your partners. A good relationship with engineering is the key to not only executing on your vision — but often making the end result way better than you are capable of alone.
I’ve found that what engineers want in a UX designer is really very simple:
- Someone who listens
- Someone who really understands what they do
- Someone who is flexible
- Someone who advocates for them
- Someone as focused on results as they are
The best part is that your openness and respect pays dividends. A friendly team of engineers is the best asset a UX designer can have in their workplace.
Here are three simple steps that foster collaboration in Nonfiction’s design process and can help you improve yours: