Brad and I hosted our first public designer + developer collaboration workshop yesterday. After sleeping on it, I declare it a resounding success!

We’ve done this type of workshop before with our clients, but this was the first time we’ve hosted it publicly. Many thanks to our friends at InVision for producing it so flawlessly.

We covered:

  • Reducing reliance on handoff tools
  • Front-end design
  • Shia LeBouf
  • Principles like “minimum viable artifacts,” “death to approvals,” “anticipation,” and more
  • Atomic design
  • Spot comping

At the end of the day, we did a recap exercise to see what the attendees got from the day. Here’s what they said:

From what I learned at this workshop, I’m going to stop…

  • Trying to make perfect comps
  • Hoarding designs and keeping them to myself until they’re “ready”
  • Over-engineering
  • Writing handoff documentation
  • Designing for approvals
  • Wasting time on design details that don’t matter right now

From what I learned at this workshop, I’m going to start…

  • Relying more on a front-end workshop environment
  • Doing more cross-team collaboration sessions
  • Involving developers earlier in the process
  • Getting into the browser earlier
  • Prototyping more
  • Being a more inclusive design partner
  • Using Storybook
  • Working with more placeholders
  • Carving out time for collaboration
  • Complaining more about closed-door design reviews
  • Working at lower fidelity
  • Sharing ideas earlier
  • Letting developers prototype and wireframe
  • Changing the physical space to allow for better collaboration
  • Iterating faster on design
  • Making design a team sport
  • Working at a component level instead of a page level

From what I learned at this workshop, I’m going to continue…

  • Involving developers in the design process
  • Sending devs screenshots frequently
  • Being present throughout the entire process
  • Asking questions of the dev team
  • Focusing on shipping to production as fast as possible

Special thanks to Ian Frost for being an excellent teaching assistant, troubleshooter, and all-around good guy.

If you want us to bring this workshop to your company or your city, let us know!

Up Next

Starting a Design System