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A Guide to Successful Design Handoff

November 15, 2021
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A Guide to Successful Design Handoff

Most product development teams face a lot of hardships when it comes to transforming sketches into products. Lack of proper communication and indefinite procedures are considered to be culprits behind such hiccups. This is where design handoff comes into the picture.

Now, if you are new to design, you may ask, “What is design handoff?” A design handoff is a transitional process wherein a team passes its work over to the other team. This transition is carried out to progress the product development process from designs to actual implementation. As the definition suggests, this activity is carried out between design and development teams. Most of the time, either of the teams begins to face issues in understanding or implementing each other’s work. This is when most people in different teams end up spending a lot of time revisiting older projects repeatedly. Thankfully, this issue can be addressed with the help of some effective techniques. With that said, here’s all you need to know for a successful design handoff:

Design handoff checklist

Any design handoff is incomplete without the preparation of a checklist. This checklist typically includes elements like Mockups, Microcopy, Assets, IA, Specifications, and Interactions. The presence of a descriptive and organized checklist ensures that no one misses out on addressing their duties.

Design Handoff checklist

Asset management

Style guides and specifications play an essential role in setting pillars of a design system. For example, if a designer ends up sharing a detailed set of files with the developer, that developer might not need to understand anything from the designer at all. The presence of components like button states, color palettes, etc., along with a description of the design tool, can significantly reduce the dependency of a developer on a designer.

Asset management in design handoff

Eliminate communication gaps

Communication gaps are considered to be one of the most common reasons behind an ineffective design handoff. These communications are considered essential for addressing minute queries amongst teams. This issue can be overcome by organizing communicative activities amongst designer and development teams. This will eventually promote a transparent culture amongst employees and address each other’s problems from a practical perspective.

Eliminate communication gaps with proper design handoff

Stay informed

Staying updated with the latest information is the key to driving an efficient design handoff. Irrespective of their disciplines, each team should know the basics they communicate and work with on projects. This habit itself can bridge a great deal of ineffectiveness amongst groups. Conclusively, keeping track helps teams trim their workloads and achieve all the goals proactively.

Stay informed with proper design handoff

Last-minute problems

Not everything in this world is as seamless as it seems. The same holds for the design handoff process. Sometimes, developers may face hardships turning designs into code. Hence, product development teams must always stay prepared for last-minute hiccups. For example, a developer may have a hard time turning micro-interactions into code. This is where a designer can step in to explain basic concepts of the micro-interaction to get the production back on track.

Avoid last minute problems with design handoff

Following these basics shall ensure that each handoff activity happens seamlessly. Moreover, it can also boost teams' morale and develop a healthy work culture amongst a workspace.

Curious to learn more about design handoff? Check out the Design handoff course on ProApp. This course covers the introduction, assets, tools, and tips essential to carry out the design handoff process as a part of the product development process.

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A Guide to Successful Design Handoff
Sandesh Subedi
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A design enthusiast seeking to figure out the most optimal solution for any design problem. Currently, leading a Digital Design Agency and growing an army of creators.

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