How do web developers work with UX Designers?

Ironhack UX Designer

Collaboration is key in bringing a successful tech product to the market so specialisms such as Coding or UX (User Experience) Design often go hand in hand. A UX designer creates a product that users want. This involves researching, branding, designing, and then testing its usability and functionality. Successful UX designers are highly in demand and can command top salaries. They would, however, find it hard to do their job without the support and expertise of an experienced web developer. The designer provides the research and the design while the web developer provides a visual realization of the design as well as a development timeline. This means that web developers and UX designers have interdependent roles and have to work closely together as a team. We've put together six ways in which taking an Ironhack Web Development bootcamp or a UX/UI Design course can lead to a productive and collaborative career.

1. Communicating clearly

When a new product is being proposed, the UX designer needs to communicate with the web developer. They discuss the proposed product, throwing out initial thoughts on how to approach the design and development process. As well as creating a design, the UX designer is involved in researching, testing, and team management while constantly keeping the needs of the final user in mind. By collaborating with the web developer at an early stage, the product's technical feasibility can be assessed while clear communication ensures the setting of realistic project goals and how to approach them.

Communication is key. Desired outcomes, technical issues, and successes need to be constantly shared between the web developer and the UX designer.

2. Sharing initial and ongoing research findings

The UX Designer uses their knowledge of human behavior and psychology to plan and carry out user research, seeing if there is a potential market for the proposed product. The findings of this research then feed into the product's features. The web developer needs to understand this research so that they know how a user is likely to behave when using a specific feature, what their expectations of different features are likely to be, and how they may interact with them. By sharing the research at this early stage, the web developer and UX designer can collaborate on the product's design specifications and technical requirements. This ensures that the final product fully meets the user's needs. The web developer may even be able to offer the design team some alternative design solutions.

By having access to research at every stage of the product's development, the web developer helps ensure the successful functioning of the final product.

3. Working together on a prototype

Continual technical feedback from the web developer helps the product to be refined as and when necessary. At regular meetings, the web developer will have an opportunity to input on technical feasibility while the UX designer continually develops and refines prototypes. Each new prototype will be more detailed and effective and give an interactive idea of what the website or app's final UI (user interface) will look like and how it will behave.

Close collaboration ensures each prototype is a step nearer to a final product.

4. Testing and tweaking

This is when the project starts to feel real and the fun starts. The UX designer once again interacts with proposed users – real people – to see how they react and listen to their feedback. It is at this point that any faults or glitches become all too obvious. The results are then shared with the web developer who helps tweak the design so that it can realistically be brought to the market.

The web developer will work with the UX designer on ironing out any issues revealed when the product was tested on real users.

5. Coding is key

Once prototypes are made, tested, and revised, coding can begin in earnest with the web developer taking more of a central role in creating the final user interface. The developer now takes control of the designs, ready to build and implement them. Collaboration and communication among the team, however, are still vital. The web developer needs full access to all of the files and software that the UX designer has been using. They will also need a standardized guide to the font, color and button style, etc. that has been decided on. Once, happy that all the information is clearly set out, the web developer is ready to make the final product coding.

When the project is fully researched and its final appearance decided upon, the web developer can complete the coding.

6. From design to use

It's inevitable that once the web developer starts coding, issues with design elements or functions will arise. The web developer still needs to work with the UX designer to find solutions to these issues while still maintaining the original concept and a good user experience. Meetings will also be required to ensure that the coders are correctly interpreting the design. It's usual for a finished product to be initially tested on a small sample market. Any problems revealed then need to be addressed by the web developer and UX designer before final release to the open market. Even when a product is finished, its initial use may bring the web developer and UX designer back together to iron out any problems that arise.

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