It’s important to keep a tab on how design is performing post-handover.
Design manager, Design lead, Product manager, Developer
In general, designs are tracked after they are delivered.
To understand how a design is processed after handing over for development, you should know the software development lifecycle.
The UX Design process is a part of the overall SDLC. Classic process for developing software products is as follows:
‘Product Development Lifecycle’ is an incremental approach to building products. Here, the creators first build a basic version of the product called Minimum Viable Product (MVP). The product is incrementally improved based on the feedback received from the market.
After completing the design and handing it over to the development team, they code different parts of the product. Each part could be a module, a specific functionality, or feature of the product.
Any issues in the modules or individual functionality of the product are corrected first. These parts are tested separately and then put together as a whole product. Finally, it is tested as a complete product.
When an expected product quality is achieved, the product is released into the market sometimes as beta versions. A beta release is a sample of the final product released for a limited period of time, to understand users’ responses. Learning from the beta version, the product is refined and a final product is released later.
During the development process, designers need to sync up with the developers for a few reasons:
Feasibility issues: When design cannot be implemented as defined due to tech feasibility problems, the designer needs to modify the design.
It is best to understand the tech limitation or issue and make a design suggestion accordingly.
Designers often get caught up in defending the design, this is not a useful approach. Finding a workable solution in sync with tech is important here.
Performance issues: After developing the functionality, there may be some performance issues, which call for design updates.
Usability issues: Usability issues might be identified in the actual build at this stage. This should be avoided by doing usability testing much earlier with the design prototype. However, testing actual interactions and product performance can be done only with a coded build. Such issues should be fixed right away either through design or code, as required.
Details missing or incorrect: Developers might need more details, which might be missing in the design specifications.
Automated Specifications: This situation can be easily avoided by using tools like Zeplin for generating specification.
Having Design System: It’s best to share the Design system with the team with a tool like Zero Height.
Reviews: During development, designers need to participate as reviewers in order to ensure that the design is implemented as per the design. Design reviews can be done periodically.
E.g. If a team follows sprints, designers need to review the user stories that were developed during that sprint.
With a regular review, any issue or deviation in design can be course corrected immediately.
Developers might not understand the design completely or sometimes tend to deviate due to tech limitations.
Taking a confrontational approach does not help in this case. Finding the cause of deviation is needed in order to course correct.
During development feedback is received through:
testing and stakeholder review
usage data from a beta release
The feedback is reviewed with the team and incorporated as required. Since development is already in progress, design is updated for the scoped feedback.
Handover is only the first step in the process of bringing the design to life as a real product. Good products are built when design and development teams work in sync. So, designers should have a good rapport with developers.
To build a rapport with developers follow the below principles:
Understand and appreciate respective roles
Set clear expectations
Raise a flag as soon as any issue is identified
Share constructive feedback
Focus on making things happen together rather than pointing out mistakes
Don't take feedback personally
Build design system together rather than creating individual UIs
Use tools in design and development process as much as possible
Respect different point of views
During Product Development
To ensure the design is implemented as expected, follow the below steps:
Review: Review build for compliance with design and identify gaps, if any.
Gather: Receive feedback from users, stakeholders, and team members.
Discuss: Discuss the gathered feedback with team members and scope in pointers to be incorporated.
Update: Recommend changes in the design.
After the product release
After the product release, data is gathered from actual product usage and team goes over this data periodically or at certain milestones and reviews it.
Tracking design after execution could be done in following steps:
Gather data on product usage with different research methods.
Organize chunk the data in logical groups
Analyze: Make sense of the data and find patterns
Identify: Identify problems, gaps, issues by gathering data
Prioritize: Sort the list of problems in order of items having most impact on users
Share: Share the list with all stakeholders and create a plan to fix the identified issues
Update: Modify the design to rectify the prioritised problems
1. Stay informed on how the design is progressing.
2. Keep checking if a design change is required.
3. Understand why design might need a change.
4. Discuss design feedback with developers and other team members.
1. Don’t forget your design after the handover.
2. Don’t defend any feedback given on your designs.
3. Don’t dismiss feedback by yourself without discussing it with the team.
Product Life Cycle & Product Development Cycle: Revisited from UX Planet.
Product Development Cycle by ProductPlan.