We embrace the creative tension between designers and developers, pushing and pulling but always in unison, to create amazing products.

When clients think Design, they usually think “making it pretty.”  When they think Development, they usually think “build the thing.” To us, design and development are so much more than that.  They’re two equally important parts of creating an amazing product, and we believe they should always be like doubles partners in tennis, always tied by an imaginary rope, never straying too far from the other.

During the design phase, we implement heavy feedback from developers.  This was done after seeing what lettings designers design did to budgets – too much time was spent implementing overdesigned products that didn’t leverage available native components or UI templates.

Now, we make sure design is always done with technical implementation and limitations in mind. Even as designers take the wheel, we embrace having developers serve as backseat drivers. Here are a few examples of how this helped:

  1. When we were designing a user role and billing management tool, our developers suggested using Spark as a scaffolding tool and template, which meant we really didn’t need any UI design to produce a fantastic MVP.
  2. When we were designing a marketing site with abundant animations, our developers estimated an overly high level of effort to write those in javascript and jquery, and instead suggested that the header animation be inserted as an animated GIF.  This allowed us to deploy an animation-heavy website within a week’s time.

During the development phase, our developers take the lead and begin coding to spec.  However, they don’t get to do so within their own chamber of 1’s and 0’s.  They switch seats with the designers, and the designers now become backseat drivers.  By testing the product as it comes to life, our designers can begin pushing for design compliance, and also suggest areas where the UX can be improved, often by reducing clicks or screens.

By embracing the designer-developer rope and the healthy pushback that comes with it, we’ve been able to find the perfect balance between pushing boundaries and the pragmatics of cost and time to market.  Both sides end up thinking more like the other and taking more ownership of the whole product cycle.  This is the “magic” we use to extend a client’s runway and still produce an MVP that wows the audience.