Improving Workflow in Product Design and Development Software

July 12, 2023

Improving Workflow in Product Design and Development Software

Research is done by Jade

The software development process is fulfilling and enjoyable activity! But it’s also incredibly complex and time-consuming. That’s why businesses in Australia are inclined to outsource in the Philippines.

One simple application software can have over 5 million lines of code! But hey, don’t worry if your project isn’t that big. Even if it’s just a couple hundred lines of code, taking the time to really understand the problem you’re tackling and planning your solution can make a huge difference.

So, take it easy and let’s dive deep into it!

4 Challenges Found in the Product Development Workflow

The following problems were found after experiencing the workflow first-hand from jumping to various projects:

1. Creating everything from scratch

If your workflow involves creating the UI/UX design and product development from scratch, this can be time-consuming and may not be necessary for every project. Using existing design patterns, templates, and components can help reduce design time and improve consistency across projects.

2. Lack of collaboration

There is no collaboration when you only hand over the design to the developer to develop the product. There may be limited collaboration between the designer and developer, which can lead to misunderstandings and errors in the final product. Encouraging collaboration between the design and development teams can help ensure that the final product meets the client’s needs and expectations.

lack of automation tools quote

3. Limited user feedback

A workflow model that only involves feedback sessions with key individuals such as the Project Manager, Project Director, and Client won’t be effective. While their feedback is valuable, it may not capture the needs and preferences of the end-users. Gathering feedback directly from end users can help improve the user experience and ensure that the final product meets their needs.

4. Lack of automation

Lack of automation tools, such as automated testing or code generation, slows down your workflow. Implementing these tools can help reduce the time and effort required for manual tasks while improving the quality and consistency of the final product.

In general, there might have some chances to make the workflow smoother and enhance collaboration, feedback, and automation. This way, you can deliver top-notch products more efficiently.

The Solutions and Tools to Improve Workflow

After requirements gathering and analysis, the next step is to identify and implement solutions that will improve workflow efficiency and quality.

For UI/UX designers, here are some of the tools businesses can use:

Use design systems

A design system is a set of guidelines and reusable components that ensure consistent design across projects, saving time and effort for designers. It improves design quality and collaboration between team members. Using a design system, a UI/UX designer can provide consistent and optimized design elements that help developers implement the design more efficiently.

Here are some trusted design systems:

Conduct developer collaboration/consultation sessions

There are several advantages of involving the developer during the design process:

  • Feasibility – Developers can provide valuable insight into the feasibility of certain design ideas, helping to identify potential technical limitations or challenges early in the design process.
  • Collaboration – Involving developers in the design process can help promote collaboration between designers and developers, improving communication and reducing the risk of misinterpretation or miscommunication between teams.
  • Efficiency – By involving developers early in the design process, designers can identify potential technical issues and work to address them before development begins, which can help to reduce the time and effort required for development and testing.
  • Better UX – Developers can provide feedback on how certain design decisions may impact the user experience, helping to ensure that designs are not only visually appealing but also functional and user-friendly.
  • Innovation – ┬áInvolving developers in the design process can promote innovation and creativity, as developers can provide input on new technologies or approaches that could enhance the design or development process.

Utilize design tools that generate boilerplate code for developers

There are several UI/UX design tools to speed up the software design and development phase. These can generate code boilerplates for websites, web, and mobile apps:

Startechup UI UX Design Service

Workflow enhancements and design software alternatives

If you want to improve the workflow and design process even further, there are also software alternatives. Below are what we recommend:

Lunacy

  • AI-powered features such as smart layers and colors
  • Built-in design systems
  • Built-in asset finder for images and icons
  • Full review here

Uizard

  • Select design templates to change the color scheme of the entire design 
  • Scan sketch wireframes to convert them into a design mockup
  • Upload screenshots of applications to convert into an editable mockup
  • Input an idea, and an AI will generate a mock-up template
  • Heatmap, where AI analyzes parts of the design where users would most likely have their attention on

Zeplin

  • Collaboration between different team members
  • Documentation within design
  • Create user journey flow with visuals of mockup
  • Design version control
  • Integrate with 3rd-party tools (Slack, Jira, Teams, Trello)

Avocode: Ceros Inspect

  • Hand off actual design files (e.g. XD, PSD) for developers to inspect and extract styles and graphic assets

Mockitt

  • Real-time collaboration with team members
  • Create user journey flow with visuals of mockup
  • Easy access to components and assets
  • Create mind maps for information architecture

UXpin

  • Prototyping for complex applications
  • Can add conditions to prototype
  • Use real data from APIs
  • Documentation within design
  • Built-in design systems
  • Interactive components and design attributes (e.g., can type on input fields)
  • Most functionalities 3rd-party plugins provide are available within the software
  • Extract styling code
  • Can preview on external devices (download UXpin Mirror mobile app)
  • Variable (can show in design what data is expected in a particular design attribute)

Protopie

  • Can add conditions to prototype
  • Powerful interaction and animations in prototyping
  • Export designs from XD, Figma, or Sketch
  • Create interactive prototypes for web, automotive, games, mobile and tablets, smartwatch

Below are solutions for software developers:

Designer collaboration/consultation sessions

Involving UI/UX designers in developing a software design process can bring several advantages, including:

  • Ensuring design intent – The UI/UX designer is intimately familiar with the design, so they can ensure that the final product matches the intended design. They can catch any discrepancies or inconsistencies in the development process that may compromise the quality of the design.
  • Faster problem-solving – UI/UX designers can identify issues early in the development process, which allows for faster problem-solving. This results in a more efficient development process that saves time and reduces costs.
  • Improved user experience – By having the UI/UX designer involved in the development process, the team can ensure that the user experience is consistent with the design vision. This leads to a better overall user experience and a higher level of user satisfaction.
  • Greater collaboration – Collaboration between the UI/UX designer and developers can result in a better product. Developers can provide valuable input on technical feasibility, while the designer can provide insights into the user experience. This leads to a more holistic approach to product development that considers both technical feasibility and user needs.

Overall, involving UI/UX designers in the development process can result in a better product, faster problem-solving, and greater collaboration between team members.

Workflow enhancements

Using a combination of the above tools and workflow enhancements can further streamline the development processes, leading to faster iteration and test cycles and more efficient collaboration between designers and developers.

Here are some tools and their features to use for your workflow:

Tabnine

  • AI code assistant
  • Whole-line and full-function code completions
  • Learn and matches coding standards and best practices to your work

GitHub Co-pilot

  • AI code assistant
  • Code suggestion and completion
  • Suggests coding standards and best practices for your work

Snyk

  • AI that continuously scans code, dependencies, containers, and infrastructure for vulnerabilities.
  • Provides solutions to vulnerabilities found

Amazon CodeGuru

  • Automate code reviews and optimizes app performance based on AI-powered recommendations
  • It also detects security vulnerabilities
arranging shapes

Keeping up-to-date with trends

There are several solutions that you can try to keep your developers up-to-date with current tech trends in software development:

  • Encourage continuous learning – Encourage your developers to continue learning and experimenting with new technologies. This can be done through online courses, workshops, or internal training programs.
  • Attend conferences and meetups – Encourage your developers to attend conferences and meetups to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in software development. These events provide opportunities to network with other developers, learn from experts in the field, and share knowledge and experiences.
  • Allow time for research and experimentation – Set aside time for your developers to research and experiment with new technologies. This can be done through hackathons, internal projects, or dedicated research time.
  • Foster a culture of innovation – Encourage your developers to think outside the box and experiment with new approaches to problem-solving. Foster a culture of innovation by encouraging experimentation and rewarding creativity and risk-taking.
  • Provide access to relevant resources – Make sure your developers have access to relevant resources, such as books, articles, podcasts, and online courses, to help them stay up-to-date with current trends and best practices in software development.

In the big picture, fostering and developing an environment that encourages ongoing learning and experimentation is crucial. This way, your developers can stay in the loop with the latest trends in software development.

Conclusion

To improve an organization’s workflow, it is important to foster collaboration between developers and designers, incorporating AI-powered tools for code generation, testing automation, and documentation management.

Staying up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies through continuous learning and attending industry events is crucial. Regular communication and feedback sessions with team members and clients help identify and address issues early on. By implementing these strategies, your company can enhance workflow and maintain a competitive edge in the dynamic software development and design field.

wireframe software design

Need Software Development and Design Services?

No matter which business industry you belong in, having higher quality software against your competitors will give you the edge to succeed! But you have to find the right development team that is as dedicated to your success as you are.

Whether you need software design or development, our team of experienced professionals at StarTechUP can help you create high-quality software!

We specialize in UI/UX design, web and mobile development, full-stack development, and more.

Send us a message to begin your project!

About the author: Andrea Jacinto - Content Writer

A content writer with a strong SEO background, Andrea has been working with digital marketers from different fields to create optimized articles which are informative, digestible, and fun to read. Now, she's writing for StarTechUP to deliver the latest developments in tech to readers around the world. View on Linkedin

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