Creating a Collaborative Environment — Designer vs. Developer #1


[MUSIC PLAYING] [CLACK] MUSTAFA: How do you feel
we can solve some of those back and forth and, like,
treating the designer as just someone who
just paints on lipstick or treating the developer
as just someone who is, like, a very robotic
make this exactly, without having any kind
of heart or emotion? JAKE: Well, I guess
the ultimate thing is to feel included, right? MUSTAFA: Yeah. JAKE: And the times that
that’s worked for me is when I’ve been
brought in early. But even if it’s at
an agency if it’s being part of the product
pitch, even if I’m just sort of hiding in
the back of the room or whatever, I’m there
for the very start where the ideas are being
talked about that might, after some negotiation,
actually come down to something I will end up developing. MUSTAFA: Yeah. JAKE: The agency I worked
at did it very well, where you would have– all the designs
would be on the wall. So I would be able
to walk up to them and see what would
become my job very soon. MUSTAFA: How did you
find that worked? I mean, did that change
the way you developed or approached design stuff– JAKE: So– MUSTAFA: –or your
relationships? I mean– JAKE: When I first
worked at the agency, I kind of, when I walked in and
saw all of these printouts on the wall, it
felt very low tech. I was like, what? We work digitally. Why have we got
printout sort of things? But just being able to have
an overview of everything like that– MUSTAFA: Seeing the project or,
like, the map of the project almost. JAKE: Yeah, yeah. And to be able to just glance
over it as I was walking past and go, ooh, hang on. Like, either that bit is going
to be particularly difficult, and I know a very
similar thing that’s going to be so much easier,
or see something and go, ooh, that looks exciting. I’ve got ideas about we could
animate that or do something. MUSTAFA: Absolutely. JAKE: And I could go straight
to the designer and say– and I felt like I was
in part of the project, even if I was saying like, oh,
let’s move these things around; let’s animate them. And the designer would be like,
Jake, that’s a terrible idea. [CHUCKLING] Don’t ever talk to me or
my children ever again. But then sometimes
they’d be like, oh, yeah there’s a hint
of a good idea in there. Let me work on that. MUSTAFA: We advocate
a process called design sprints, which is all
about getting everybody working together. So you come up with an idea, or
everyone shares the challenges. And you come up
with ideas together. It’s like developers,
engineers– JAKE: But is that designers
working together– MUSTAFA: No. JAKE: Like, or is that the
product working together? MUSTAFA: It’s everybody
involved in the product itself. So typically, you have a
stakeholder from finance, from marketing, from
developer, from design, from research– everyone
and the big boss. And everyone’s sharing
and going through this, like, typically four-
to five-day process where they learning
about the challenge, coming up with ideas, voting
on it, creating a prototype, and testing it. And we find that this kind of
doing things collaboratively– and also, part of
the process is you’re in a room where you’re
writing everything on the wall and your lots of
sticky-note paper. And it allows everyone to
empathize [INAUDIBLE] position and also respect the
authority of the knowledge that everyone else
has in the room. Otherwise, what happens is you
just have this conveyor belt that marketing will
come in and say, no, you don’t know what you’re– you’re just a painter. You’re just a
whatever– a builder. Just do these things that I– where they may not
necessarily have the expertise to know how UX or behavior or
performance or accessibility works. JAKE: Well, I think in the same
way that we’re talking about, there’s a benefit to
a designer knowing some of the development tools. And I think it cuts both ways. I think a developer
should know their way around Photoshop Sketch or
especially whichever tool that the designer uses. The product manager needs
to know both, right? They need to have an
appreciation for both to understand that it’s not
just off you go in a room and come back with– here’s
a blank piece of paper. MUSTAFA: Yeah, absolutely. JAKE: You go away, and
you come back with gold. MUSTAFA: Like, since
joining Google and listening to, say, you and, say,
Paul [? Lewis, ?] like, performers, it’s like really
been horrified of, like, my god, all these things
I’ve been creating, which is really badly performed. But it’s like, how
would you know? Or how would I know, rather? JAKE: Well, I guess it’s
more down to the developer, isn’t it, in that
case, I think, to– because it’s not like
things don’t get slower the more colors you
use or necessarily the more complex the shapes are. I think it is down to the
developer to identify maybe that for some reason
there’s some parts of this design
altogether is resulting in something slow and safe. We remove that bit
there, we got 90– we’re, like, twice
as fast or something. MUSTAFA: Absolutely. JAKE: Can we do that? And then it’s a negotiation
from that point. MUSTAFA: So I suppose how we
can solve this appreciation or sort of lack of appreciation
is working closely together, I guess ultimately
is what we’re saying. JAKE: Yeah. MUSTAFA: Which sounds,
like, very obvious. But we need to talk more. JAKE: Well, yeah. Yeah, and being
together from the start. So then with seeing
a design, I can see how the designer got there. I saw that sort of process. And I was able to catch
things early on because I know that the ideal is for
everything to be iterative of development. But in so many, like,
especially agency life, I’m busy working on the
other projects that’s finishing while the designer’s
working on this one. MUSTAFA: But still having some
sort of input or conversation beforehand. JAKE: Yeah, so by the time I
actually come to work on it, it’s like, oh, I– MUSTAFA: You feel a part of it. JAKE: I’ve seen it. Yeah. And I’ve seen that develop,
and I’ve influenced that bit. And I’m comfortable with it. SPEAKER: Well, maybe it’s
kind of a spectrum, you know? Like, on one side you have
no processes and no data to validate your ideas. And on the other side,
you have too much of it. And maybe now the whole UX
world is steering slightly more towards this too much.

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