Top 5 Ways to Make Developer Handoff Painless

For UX designers, developer handoff can be the most critical part of your design process. It’s when your hard work becomes a reality for your users. Ensuring that your handoff documents are clear and comprehensive, can often be a stressful task, but there are steps you can take to make that process go smoothly.


1. Have strong documentation

Like with many collaborative projects, good communication is key. Staying on the same page and making sure your development team is informed and understands each detail of your prototypes and design assets will help to minimize rework. Additionally, informing developers with accurate and detailed information in your handoff documents will greatly help to ensure that the solutions you designed for your product successfully make their way to the end user.


2. Integrate into THEIR workflows

If your development team uses a project tracking tool such as Jira or Confluence, you should too. Making the effort to share your work and handoff materials with developers in the platforms they already work with not only helps them save time, it also helps to ensure that communication doesn’t get lost and that everyone’s on the same page. In addition to working with the tools your developers use, having a baseline familiarity with coding languages such as Javascript, CSS, etc. can help you be able to better speak their language and improve communication.


3. Minimize meetings

While having meetings during the designing and handoff process are expected, scheduling an inordinate amount of meetings due to lack of preparedness or lack of a productive agenda shows a lack of respect to your development team’s time. When scheduling meetings, make sure there is a purpose for the meeting and that it’s not just scheduled purely for the sake of having a meeting. Additionally, make sure the meetings you do schedule have a clear agenda and foster a communicative environment.


4. Stay organized

Keeping track of user stories, mockups, comments, annotations, and much more can certainly be a challenge. However, staying organized is critical to having a good designing and handoff experience. One way to stay organized is to use a template as a foundation for your prototyping projects to maintain consistency. Additionally, try to keep project comments limited to one platform to make it easier to keep feedback organized and readily available.


5. Review your work beforehand

When handoff goes well, both designers and developers save time and effort, and minimize rework. While combing through your prototypes, annotations, and other handoff materials that you’re already very familiar with to look for any errors or forgotten updates may feel redundant or unnecessary, doing one last review before handing off can make a big difference in the long run. Re-reviewing your work shouldn’t be viewed as creating extra work for yourself, but rather, eliminating unnecessary rework later on.


We hope these tips will help improve your developer handoff experiences moving forward. As always, if you need any help or want to submit feedback, you can contact us at Happy Prototyping!