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Flashfoward Boston: Designers vs. Developers: How To Avoid Fights on the Playground

Rough Draft Notes

Marc Leuchner, Almighty
Matt Wright, ROKKAN

Everyone is working together to make projects happen. Most common sense but people aren't really calling it out.

Industry overview: Best area related to Internet. Unique people, extremely creative, lots of technologies continually expanding. FWA tracking latest and greatest. newstoday.com, Communication Arts Magazine.

Subcultures: code fiends, design junkies, framework freaks, application addicts, game gurus, usability nuts.

In larger companies: role strictly defined, objective, performance, but hard to communicate. While in a small company: roles loosely defined, absorb responsibilities, easier communication.

Can people work together? Yes if we talk and compromise.

Look at current workflow. If it is working, maybe you don't need to change anything. Some areas could be improved, need to really pinpoint weaknesses and admit your faults. Focus on opportunities to collaborate.

Education is key to working together. Need to educate each other about what you do and why it matters.

Some people don't want to change (don't force it), start with something fun. You will probably fail a few times but learn from your mistakes.

Designers: should ask for help with programming tasks to get into it more.
Developers need help with: UI design, typography, color theory, photoshop.

Brainstorming: invite everyone, technology can drive ideas, PM as moderators, open mind (no egos).

Creative Development: narrow ideas, define technologies. Need to be as clear as possible and justify. Talk about why a technology is good/bad, don't throw around buzzwords, stay open minded. Last time to argue.

Information Architecture: Don't work in a vacuum, avoid nonobjective views, run ideas by developers, keep yourself in check.

Art Direction & Design: Need prototypes, solicit developer feedback, might need to sell your idea, may require longer design.

Production and Development: After hand-off check in frequently, nit-picking is okay, way to get back to idea since translation to code may have lost something. Pixel perfect isn't always possible. Motion comps are helpful and remember that some compromise maybe needed.

Testing & QA: Not just for developers, learning experience, help prevent future issues

Project Review: discuss positives and what went wrong.

Workflow: Layer comps, motion samples, functional specs, Flex skins, separate style information, consistent folder structure.

Ted Patrick has some good articles on skinning Flex components.

Breaking communication barrier: active early communication helps build trust, respect and learn about everyone's role, don't be afraid to ask questions. Keep an open mind. Don't build barriers creates clicks and makes it hard to cross the bridge.

Middle Man: Hard to find but good for bridging the gap.

Deadlines = stress = fights. It is unavoidable but strive to work together.


Tags: flash flashforward2007boston flex