There are a few things that I really value when it comes to product design and development and generally working together. We spend a lot of time together, let’s have fun and work efficiently!

A Good Process

You can tell when it’s working well and when it’s not. If it’s not, ideally there’s freedom to discuss and change it. Process can be similar in many companies but on a granular level, very different. Granularity makes it or breaks it. I like processes that allow people to be productive and creative. Structure with some personal anonymity and freedom in solution thinking. Communication and collaboration are key traits of a good process.

Communication & Collaboration

If I’m doing deep thinking on a solution of any kind, I definitely like to be in a room, alone to just think and work. When not deep thinking, I share work early and often to suss out technical details and get people familiar with and involved in the design process. Then, when design is ready for development, the development team is already familiar with it. This is also why I prefer design to be 1-2 sprints ahead of development.

Creating With Consistency

When it comes to design and development, 50% of what we do is copy and paste. :) Meaning really, we reuse similar components a lot throughout different pages of an app. Forms, buttons, header styles and so on. A shared component library or design system of some sort, goes a long way in creating efficiencies and consistency in product design. It helps designers and developers work better together as we can share a visual language.

Great Execution

One of the biggest challenges of my career has been getting work implemented as intended. Specifically, seeing the coded output foster the same design integrity of the designs. I wrote a little bit about this but basically, design and development are two sides of the same coin. Experience has taught me that designers working (pairing) with developers to implement designs produces the best outcomes. This is how I prefer to work.

Questions I Ask

When considering work opportunities, here are some questions I ask.

  • What is the design process like?
  • How do designers work with developers?
  • Do people collaborate?
  • How is design and development balanced in Sprints?
  • How are the teams structured? (feature teams, customer teams, etc.)
  • How do you decide which features to build next?
  • Is there freedom in solution thinking?
  • What is the current business strategy and product strategy?
  • Do you talk to customers, if not —would this be allowed?
  • Is there anything unique about your culture?
  • What’s diversity like and do you have any women in senior leadership?

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”