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Why Technologists Need to Be on Digital Experience Projects

For many organizations, design and technical implementation exist in separate departments. Apart from handoff of design to the development team, there isn’t always a lot of cross-collaboration especially within large enterprises, on DX projects.

Because of this, often when we’re working with a company, we get a lot of questions on why we include developers in our design-only DX projects. If the development is going to be done in house, why pay for external engineers in the design phase? Here’s how it benefits our projects to have our engineers and even DevOps experts involved in a design-only engagement – and how it might help your projects too.

The Part Developers Play in DX Projects

During a digital experience project, the primary focus of our technical team is to support the Human-centered Design Discovery process. A technical liaison translates the desired into the possible and can provide both constraints and options (unknown or new features that the user may not even know exists). This back-and-forth with the HCD team avoids the classic waterfall blunder: minting a shiny set of requirements only to find out that they are technically infeasible. Technologists ground the human-centered research and design in technical reality.

Technologists ground the human-centered research and design in technical reality.

On top of that, we work to provide assistance to the client’s implementation team as needed. It is critically important that the user research and design be communicated fully to the implementation team, and as a communication medium, requirements documents can sometimes be lacking. Technologists help smooth the transition from design to reality, whether through direct implementation or through assistance. This is an important relationship that is often underused and overlooked.

Technologists help smooth the transition from design to reality.

Our human-centered professionals work ahead of our technologists, accelerating their development efforts. And because our researchers and designers are on the same team with our technologists, we avoid lapses in communication.

The Part Other Technical Roles Play in DX Projects

But what role do DevOps or data engineering resources play on DX projects?

For DevOps, there may be many constraints around things like VPN connections, peering, subnet overlaps, and other network-related concerns.

Along with networking and security, DevOps and data engineers have the expertise to determine operational constraints around data flows. They can help figure out challenges producing or consuming data from back-end systems and APIs.

DevOps and data engineers have the expertise to determine operational constraints.

Taken together, these technical constraints may translate into limitations or, even worse, setbacks for deliverables if discovered too late. So for example, if the networking constraints require compliance reporting to be done a certain way, that may have downstream impacts on the end user. In any project, it is always best to get ahead of roadblocks, so you can be proactive instead of reactive.

More Perspectives, Minimized Roadblocks

You can’t anticipate where you’ll encounter roadblocks. The technical constraints that may impact users can come from domains across full stack development, DevOps, or data engineering. This is why it’s our best practice to include these perspectives even in the design phase of a project.

Learn more about how we work with clients to deliver the right solution the right way.

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