Near the end of my conversation with Natalie, Lauren, and Ben from Expedia, I asked how it's felt for Ben, really for the first time, to have more insight into the design process and to see work in progress. It was actually funny, as at first, he didn't think it had changed things too much, but then quickly backtracked.
Ben shared with me that he has incredibly close relationships with the designers he works with, communicating often and well with them. One of the first things he mentioned, beyond communication, was how much they trust each other, in both their judgments and decisions for how designs ultimately come together. And they believe that the collaborative tool that is Figma plays a large part in that. With Figma, Ben and developers everywhere can view entire files, not just the final screens, making it possible to see how designers on his team arrived at the conclusions they did. Designers are able to easily communicate to developers which iterations worked, and which didn't, giving them more transparency into the process than ever before.
The thought of inviting developers into in-progress design files can sound intimidating, but sharing often and involving developers earlier has helped me, as a designer, in more ways than I can count. Inviting developers into the design process can help promote transparency and better, more productive workflows. With Figma, non-designers are given the chance to provide feedback and ask questions along the way, instead of at the very end.
I hope these recommendations and insights from the teams at Dropbox, Expedia, and Cash App will help you and your team think of new ways to collaborate and hand off designs. Have tips or techniques that you and your team use? Reach out to us on Twitter! We'd love to hear.
Finally, a big thank you to the teams at Dropbox, Expedia, and Cash App for all of their time and input on this post.