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To get the best results from a project, an effective hand-off from a user experience (UX) designer to a developer is one of the most crucial steps. When a hand-off is done properly, it saves considerable amounts of time and effort for both the designer and the developer. Consequently, it improves the end product's quality and provides the user with a great experience.
If either team misses something during the hand-off, the process can become stressful for both parties, especially if you consider the number of back-and-forth messages that will be needed just to solve a misunderstanding. It could even lead to delays and product defects–this is when a checklist comes in handy.
What is a design hand-off?
A design hand-off can be defined as the developmental stage where developers accept the finished design. For a smooth UX design implementation, there has to be continuous collaboration between developers and designers. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen, which can have a detrimental effect on the final result.
What is a UX design hand-off checklist?
A UX design hand-off checklist is a list of items that a UX designer or UX design services company must complete and review. This checklist determines if a UX design process is complete and can be sent to another team or developer to continue with the next phase of the project.
Importance of having a smooth design hand-off
The technology world is advancing every day and most designers have to work under strict project deadlines. Sometimes, teams might have to work with other departments or report to them after they’re done with a task or project.
Ensuring the hand-off of all the required information is a major reason why it is so important to have a well-planned design hand-off and checklist to go along with it. The checklist will vary depending on the needs of the team and the project.
Still, here are some items that are typically included in a UX design hand-off checklist:
Create and share a detailed design specification with the development team. Include information on iconography, layout, color palette, typography, and other visual design elements in the specification.
All design deliverables, such as style guides, wireframes, prototypes, and mockups, must be finished and ready for sharing with the development team.
Document and share the interaction design with the team, including information about animations, transitions, and other interactive elements.
Have you reviewed the design to see if it is accessible? If it is not accessible, you can make adjustments until you are sure it is good to go.
Review the design to see if it is responsive and make any necessary adjustments.
Did you carry out any user testing or user research? If you did, document and share this information with the team.
The design should be tested for usability on multiple resolutions so you can make any necessary tweaks. Feedback for UX design can help fine-tune the final work.
Sometimes elements move out of place during a design. Make sure they are in the right location and consistent throughout. Double-check the layer styles for each layer. Every layer/text must have a proper layer/text style.
Delete all unused layers in the design and all unused guides. Hiding them will not suffice as it may confuse developers. Name all layers accordingly based on their UX modules (e.g., navigation, footer, etc.).
Quality assurance and final approval
Make sure you review the quality of the design. If you are working with a team, everyone should review the entire design before handing it over to the development team. You can also check out this article about the difference between web design and UX design.
A design hand-off is not easy; therefore, a checklist containing all the features that should be included in the design according to their priority is critical. This will prevent anything from being overlooked. A checklist will also help you communicate with other developers, track the design's progress, and highlight obstacles that could affect the progress of a particular feature.
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