Use this easy checklist to ensure a smooth design handoff

The design handoff is the process of communicating the implementation details of a design cycle to the development team, which includes the exchange of links to digital assets, user actions, specifications for the display, tasks and moving pictures, and prototypes.

When a design cycle is complete, all implementation details must be communicated to the development team. The design handoff describes this procedure.

A standard part of this handoff is the exchange of links to various digital assets. The nature of your business will determine the nature of the deliverables you provide. Typically, you will receive a mix of the following when purchasing a digital product:

  • The user takes action. It depicts a user’s actions with the product to accomplish a goal. Helpful for verifying our edge case handling and determining which elements link to which.
  • Specifications for the display. Everything that has to do with screen pixel art.  Utilised by programmers to ensure the finished output follows your designs.
  • Assets and moving pictures. While the specifics will vary from process to process, this typically includes delivering high-resolution photos or JSON files.
  • Prototypes. They show a developer how you want the final product to behave and are sometimes made for purposes like user testing.

Because of its potential impact, a design document warrants special care. This procedure can be streamlined significantly with the help of current design tools like Zeplin and Figma. But, designers still need to make an effort.

All hail the design doc

Many of the tasks that product managers and developers perform are already well documented. They do this so everyone may work off the same facts. The same holds true for designers.

A design document’s usefulness extends much beyond that of a mere source of information.

  • Exhibit your wares. All the hard work behind the doors, from competitor research to usability reports, may be made public.
  • The evolution of the log format. Including meeting notes from design reviews helps explain the thought process of making specific design choices.
  • Establish a repeatable procedure. The consistent use of a plan of action for all your projects will force you to evaluate your methods. It serves as a benchmark against which your actions can be evaluated.
  • Create a benchmark for good design. A design document is just another design deliverable if everyone on the team uses it. You may confidently onboard a new designer by directing them to all your lovely design documents. Others around you will have a firm grasp on what kind of behaviour to anticipate from you.

Sending an Invison link via Slack differs from writing a short design document by hand. How you present your work to others reflects poorly on you and your design team. It’s always beneficial to put in the extra work.

Tips for improving your design handoffs

Our processes as designers are distinct from those of coders.

Transfers should be mutually beneficial. If you want things to go well, consider the developers and product managers using your design document.

Pay attention to detail

Being thorough when producing final deliverables will help you avoid unnecessary back-and-forth, which can be annoying.

The time spent fixing mistakes after a handoff can add up quickly. Is it normal to inquire about something that seems obvious but may not be to developers?

  • Verify that your connections work. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to access anything online only to discover that the link you tried to access is no longer active. Please don’t be the one to bring this on. Before submitting your paper, ensure all the links are open in separate tabs.
  • Maintain an orderly aesthetic in your designs. Correcting little errors like misspellings can have a considerable impact. Your packaging should be given the same care as your designs. Only tell your team about it if you’d be willing to claim it as your own.
  • Just check everything over! Verify your flows’ reasoning, ensure you have the required resources and account for every possible scenario. Your team will take whatever you say at face value, so make sure it’s accurate.
  • Speak firmly and unambiguously. Without clear and precise documentation, your developers will have questions. Maybe they’ll hazard a guess that turns out to be entirely off base. Time spent correcting mistakes is reduced in proportion to the clarity of your detailing.

Think about their experience

Our processes as designers are distinct from those of coders.

Transfers should be mutually beneficial. If you want things to go well, consider the developers and product managers using your design document.

  • Please be explicit. Make sure the layout of your document is appropriate for their needs.  Everybody who visits your doc searching for a particular thing should be able to locate it without any trouble.
  • Inquire of them. You should coordinate your efforts with them to determine how to speed up your team’s workflow. To a certain extent, every squad has its own identity. Learn who yours is.
  • Observe their efforts. Because of how well we know our equipment, we tend to favour it. Share with your developers any keyboard shortcuts you’ve learned that have streamlined your use of a particular programme.

Keep your finger on the pulse

Immediately diving into the next project after a handover is appealing.

Going AWOL and making a snap decision in this state might be risky. Be there and be encouraging.

  • Show up for review meetings. Observing the final working product lets, you learn how developers interpret your design documents.
  • Don’t close your mind. Developers’ recommendations to alter the design occasionally make it into production. There are several possible explanations for this, and we need to hear them out. We don’t act as filters. It’s OK if others with more knowledge than us alter our designs.
  • Keep your word. Developers will start implementing your plans when you hand off your work to them. The onus is on you to step in and assist them if you need to remember something. A blocked worker with a strict work schedule will cause problems for everyone.

Be an asset to your team

You are needed.

Nothing is more important than having a positive team-player mentality, regardless of how talented a designer you may be.

  • Take on a pleasant demeanour. An offensive designer is universally reviled. Act in a way that makes people feel safe talking to you about anything they think. Even if you disagree, you should try to get along with them.
  • Do what you can to assist. Do what you can to assist the team, even if it’s outside of your job description. Wrapping loose ends is even more important than handing off the design doc.
  • Try to maintain an attitude of hunger and curiosity. The best designers are those who are well-rounded in other areas as well. You will develop empathy and become a more skilled designer if you take the time to learn about other people’s processes.
  • Collaboration is essential in the design and construction phases. As the final gatekeeper before your designs reach the consumer, ensuring that the developers correctly implement them is in your best interest. This is why hangovers play such a crucial role.

Individuals within your product team are the target audience for any internal documentation. Remember their wants and desires, and provide them with a solution that improves their quality of life. If you do a good job, members of your team will go back to your design document time and time again, which will have an impact on how they go about their day-to-day tasks.