Developers – how to improve communication

Posted on October 18, 2016

In business-developer relations frequent, if not common, issue is the lack of understanding and communication of mutual needs. When business delivers information about a project for developers forget about the fact that they are craftsmen, who need detailed knowledge about even the most prosaic (from the viewpoint of business) parts of software creation. This entry has to indicate what details should be included in the instructions forwarded to developers.

I will use website as an example.

Design

Designers

When graphic designer is designated to create designs for our website, we should describe and give as many details as possible about our needs. If we have any materials like logo or leaflet we should share it with designer as well.

Information that designer should get from us include:

  • logo (or information about that, if it should be created and what should appear on it)
  • information if website should be responsive
  • what colors we want to use
  • single-page or multi-page design
  • what kind of content we want to have on the specific page
  • which elements are to be buttons and where they should link
  • social media integrations

In a case when we do not have a specific idea and we do not know what effect may satisfy us we should at least show examples from the competition indicating specific elements and a description why we should/shouldn’t use them.

Developers

Are people who are working on the transformation of designs prepared by a graphic designer to form that displays in the browser, also they will implement every future modification of the design/functionality. Furthermore, at this stage of work will be added all moving objects and animations. We should provide information about:

  • what animations we want on our website (prepare or find examples)
  • what should happen when we click or hover specific element
  • how specific object should change after action

Action

Developers

Developer needs information how specific functionality should affect a system and whether connections exist with other functionalities. It is necessary to list all options and elements that should be configurable in the administration panel. Information about that, which assumptions may be changed in future versions will be very useful and will help to plan and design of specific functionalities.

Summary

We have to remember that, developers can’t read our minds and we should always clearly, honestly and with the details define our expectations.

The use of the advices contained in this blog post will not only accelerate work and prevent downtime in projects caused by misclarification of expectations but also prevent of “burning out” budget by unnecessary communication, which should result in a reduction of costs.

Tomasz Półtorak

Project Manager, hardware enthusiast & occasional bass singer.