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Design Driven Development is a thing, and it's terrible. We need Development Driven Design.

@oppen this sounds wrong from my experience. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this...

@salamander my experience in mobile is designers have no idea about Android design concepts, even now in a mature market. Google and Apple have done the research, spent the money, and created patterns that work well for their devices - a good designer should know these patterns inside out - that literally has never been the case in my own career.

@salamander devs however live and breathe their platforms, they intuitively know how a ui should fit together to create minimum friction for the user. In a functioning company a designer would be embedded in the dev team and they'd iterate closely together - that very rarely happens. What usually happens is the design team sign off on a design with minimum dev input, they place themselves above the dev team who are treated as coder/programmers - not developers.

@salamander So we usually have a process that is waterfall in nature, a big-design-up-front. It's difficult to iterate in a process like this and it's why there's so many bloody awful mobile UIs around. The design teams work with the senior stakeholders, BAs etc - they should be working with developers at least equally.

@salamander it doesn't help that every designer think they're
Dieter Rams... One little quip that I've come up with recently where fixing the process is a long game, so a short-term nudge is: design scope should reflect the available developer resource. We're getting designs that may be sane in a massive company, but are extremely risky for a small team. Again, a 'good' designer should already be taking that into account, but they rarely do.

@oppen I'm going to be honest. It sounds like you are working with mediocre designers and a spineless product team. The disciplines of product and design are the things you are describing as "intuitive" to a developer (which is certainly not true in general , but may be true for you). E.g. how much ~good~ code have you read? Is it not more likely that in a field that has no where near enough talent to service the industry that you are just working with mediocre people?

@oppen I'll write you back with how I see Product / Design / Engineering working together a little later today when I've got some cycles. Maybe it'll help tease apart a better process.

@salamander I know what the effective processes are supposed to be, I've been in the business 20+ years and have worked for a lot of companies. What I'm saying is I _rarely_ see anything other than dysfunction. I see healthy practices maybe in 5% of the workplaces I've been in.

@salamander you know, thinking about this, it may just be that all this pain is because I'm in the UK... the places I've seen work well were all european. Dysfunction is in our nature here.

@salamander that's the difference, the scope for a developer is constrained, they have to write functioning products or they lose their job. Designers are often not that constrained, they can get away with thinking they're Dieter Rams. If you take architecture as a parallel: every student wants to be Eero Saarinen or whoerver, but when they're on the job they work within the confines they have, that's what being professional is.

@salamander in terms of mediocre/spineless - these are negative words, a good process should insulate against that somewhat (I realise I'm rallying against designers here so am guilty of the same). Not every person should need to be a superstar in their field (bad code is par for the course and reflects much more than develop talent, time pressures being the main one), people should should just be able to turn up, do their job and get paid.

@oppen @salamander What you are missing in your team is a design engineer. Someone that knows both design and dev constraints and work with both sides to find a middle ground. That’s basically my role in the web and it’s something not yet known or valued. I’ve seen enough « design by devs » projects to know it’s not a solution too.

@thomasorus @salamander we're looking for a project owner at the moment but I think the bigger issue is process rather than roles; we need a designer embedded with the mobile team, feature squads rather than separate silos.

@thomasorus well there's devs and devs, we're not talking about letting juniors loose, more a Developer Anarchy approach.

@thomasorus sounds like you've got an ace role thats working for you, I can't see it working universally though.

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