How to Communicate with Developers and Get Your Project Done Faster
Clients may succeed in communicating with business clients and partners, but when it comes to developing websites or software, they lack the background to explain the details of what they want. If a client allows the developers to take the reins, in most cases the final result may disappoint and not be exactly what the client wants.
To minimize misunderstanding and save time and money, clients need to understand the basics of the coding process and the estimated time for tasks. They need to respect their team of developers and learn how to explain their ideas properly. This guide is oriented on clients however it would also be useful for developers because communication is two-sided.
Sketch boards and storyboards
There is an old expression that says, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. It means that it’s better to see something than to hear about it. So, when you come to your team of developers explaining your idea for your future project, it’s better to sketch.
Sketch board is a simple technique that requires only a pen and a piece of paper. Think of the parts of your user interface and sketch them down. You can draw a lot of sketches (don’t worry about what they look like) and discuss your ideas with the team, showing them the sketches.
The next step is what developers call ‘user flow’. It shows how users are going to navigate through your website or app, and interact with pages and buttons. These kinds of sketches can also be called storyboards. They help to find the best and optimal way for users to complete the interaction. Sketching also allows you to explore many different ideas.
Use Agile Methodology
Agile methodology is a project management process which anticipates change and is much more flexible than traditional methods. The process involves breaking down every project into small tasks and delivering each within an interactive circle.
This way, each interaction is reviewed by the team of developers and the client. The aim is to keep the client involved in every step of the development process, so clients can have a product they are happy with in the end.
Here are a few more reasons to use the agile method:
- Clients are happier with the final product, as they’re able to make changes and improvements during the development process;
- Agile enables the team of developers and clients to communicate with each other;
- Developers are able to determine defects and make changes during the process, but not in the end;
- Risk control: as a client communicates with the developers constantly, they can identify any issues early and fix them;
- It speeds up the time spent on evaluation, as it’s made on each step of the development process;
- With agile each project becomes transparent through regular meetings with clients and all team members are allowed to access the project data.
As you can see, agile methods are truly great to save you time and money and it gives you the flexibility to make changes during the process. And as a result, you will get a product you’re completely satisfied with.
While developing a website or software of any kind, there are some things that may seem easy for non-technical people, but in fact, these things can be quite difficult to implement. And vice versa, some things that seem hard can be simple. This implies that when you describe a project, you need to understand that certain tiny features may require a huge amount of time for a developer to build.
Of course, in a perfect scenario, when developers have unlimited time, this is not a problem. However, in real life developers are forced to work on deadlines. And wasting a lot of time on unnecessary features can turn into delays or bugs caused by rushed coding.
Respect Your Team of Developers
When interacting with developers, it is important to try to show them how much you value their work. While assigning tasks to them, take into account their current workflow. Try not to bother developers on weekends or during their off-time, respect their rest, especially if business hours in your country and your vendor’s country do not match.
If developers feel like you don’t respect them, it will influence their work and your relationship with them. However, if they feel you value their contribution, they will more likely put extra effort into your project and get the work done on time.
Learn the Basics
This piece of advice is quite time-consuming, but if you are going to work with developers in the future, it could be worth it. Try to learn the key concepts of the technical things developers do. It’s not necessary to learn how to code. Your goal is to obtain general knowledge that will give you a better understanding of the whole process.
There are a lot of both free and paid courses online along with numerous articles on developing topics. This kind of knowledge will help you to create clear tasks, calculate estimated time properly and work through challenges together with your team of developers.
Tips for Better Communication
Also, here are a few short tips for you before describing your new projects to your team of developers:
- Ask questions: if you don’t understand something, feel free to ask your developers about it. Ask them to explain the issues using easy language, which could be understandable even for non-technical people. Communicate, don’t guess.
- Respond to the Questions. The faster - the better. Sometimes it’s critically important to answer a question as soon as possible, as a developer’s whole workflow may be stuck if he/she has to wait for an answer from you.
- Listen to your developers properly: it’s critically important to listen what your developers said about features, deadlines and costs. To avoid further misunderstanding, listen.
- Define situational use cases: for example, if the user cancels within 30 days, refund 100% of the registration fee. There are a lot of these kind of situations, connected with sign up forms, contact forms, buttons and so on. Developers may not be familiar with the inner workings of your business.
- Know what you want: “I want a website like Amazon, similar to Spotify and with buttons like on Instagram”. Sometimes it’s quite difficult to describe what you want to see on your new website or app, so stop and think of every part of it. What do you want it to look like and what functionality would it cover? The more details you describe - the more chances a finished website would meet your expectations.
If you ever need a great development team, feel free to get in touch with UKAD! We’re a client-oriented developers’ company that is able to bring your ideas to life.
Over to You
I hope these tips will help you to better understand your team of developers, improve your relationship and get the project done faster (or at least on time). Share your own tips on communication with developers in the comment section below.