The Vital Integration of Design and Development

Post by Matt Bjornson

Is this the only place design and development should be integrated?We’re self-managing, multi-disciplinary teams. We’re designers and developers working together to deliver software.

This isn’t the way all companies approach software development. In large companies, interface and interaction design is often in a completely separate organization, marketing – or maybe it’s done by that big “branding” agency.

Different is good.

Many companies proudly proclaim they are “Agile”. If your design team is absent from your daily meeting, how quickly can you really respond to changing requirements. Early agile advocates broke down the wall between development and testing functions. But walls still exist between developers and designers and marketers in many organizations.

This barrier is especially detrimental since the marketing function tends to have the greatest access to the customer – something agile ostensibly requires.

Success or failure of your application or product is increasingly determined by the experience of the user (or user experience). Technology specs can impress but those impressions turn negative if the interface fails to provide ease of use and elegance.

At Refactr we never allowed that wall to go up between development and design. Ben, the designer, has had years of experience working with developers, Scott and Jesse. This founding team is imprinting their lessons and experience on new teams as Refactr grows. We purposely choose to do things differently with integrated design and development. Our clients get better software, and we have more fun in the process.

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