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Does your design team have dedicated dev resources?

over 4 years ago from , UI Designer

Looking for feedback from members of product design teams out there. Does your design team have dedicated dev resources? Meaning to say, is your design team in a position to release updates / features independent of a prioritized business roadmap? If so, I’d love to hear how your team is structured relative to product + engineering team (headcount, ratio of designers to product managers, ratio of designers to engineers).

If you are part of a design team with dedicated devs, how is it working out? What percentage of the design team is working on new initiatives vs. general core / usability? What doesn’t work, or what would you change?

If you are part of a design team that does not have dedicated devs, I’d love to hear from you as well. How does your team prioritize new initiatives vs. core experience?

5 comments

  • Tim Resudek, over 4 years ago

    We have 2 devs for each designer and they stay extremely busy. In the past we've worked without dedicated devs but it so much faster and better to work on the same team at the same time. We're a really tight team and having the complementary disciplines working hand in hand has been wonderful.

    Most are working directly on the product backlog but one or two will be working on exploratory work each sprint.

    I would never consider going to back.

    1 point
  • Matt WalkerMatt Walker, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

    Yes. Team sizes vary but the breakdown is typically:

    • 3 Pairs of engineers (6 engineers practicing paired programming)
    • 1 product owner
    • 1 product manger
    • 1 design lead
    • 1 designer

    We practice test driven development and continuous integration with multiple pushes to production per week. Work for the next iteration is discussed, pointed, and prioritized by the team. There's a lot of self organization.

    So far it's working great.

    0 points
  • Alastair TaylorAlastair Taylor, over 4 years ago

    We have a designer on each team (with usually around 4 devs and a product owner). These teams are developing features on a roadmap as well as improving usability. The key is to get usability prioritised along with your feature backlog. The best way to do this is to prove the value it has vs new features. A/B testing of usability improvements can usually provide some evidence for that - quite often we see usability improvements having a bigger impact than new features.

    0 points
  • Jonathan YapJonathan Yap, over 4 years ago

    I am coming from a large organisation's perspective, so it might differ a little. Our design team has it's own dev team but it's more for showcasing experience and testing. It's the busiest amongst our team because they are always in demand since it's a shared resource within the design team.

    Having said that, they don't build production ready work, it's good but not as robust as the tech guys sitting outside our team. For us, it's easier to run with our team and do testing because most time the tech team outside of our design team are tied down to process and rigorous QA.

    It works to our advantage because our dev team cares about design, so it's easier to talk in the same wavelength. It also makes handing over some animation work easier since we already built them and tech team just have to integrate part of it when we roll out for production.

    0 points
  • Saul SutcherSaul Sutcher, over 4 years ago

    We do have dedicated dev resources. Over the years we've found that design never ends with visual comps. Things inevitably end up needing adjusting once you see them live on the site. It's been important to have someone to quickly work with to make the adjustments necessary.

    We're an agency - so it's a little bit of a different situation.

    I'd say the only challenge we face is managing workflow to dedicated resources given that different projects require different types of developers.

    0 points