Look Mom, No Hand(off)s [12-31-2020]

Look Mom, No Hand(off)s [12-31-2020]

Dustin McCaffree

Why Handoffs Suck

A handoff is when a designer makes a cool new mockup, then gives it to a developer to code it all up.

If you’re a designer, you’ve felt the dread of giving your design to a developer that will completely and tastelessly ruin everything. They forget to change fonts, the spacing is all off, and did they not look at the design in prototype mode? Geez.

If you’re a developer, you’ve gotten designs from knit-picky designers over and over again. They want to watch over your shoulder with their beady, little color swatch eyes as your fingers tickle Doritos-stained keys. Back off.

If you are a project manager, just... Well, good luck dealing with both sides. 😇

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Unicorns Or Bust

The solution is simple, but it’ll take really time and effort. You need to either be a designer that can build stuff or a developer that can design. Or a project manager that can hire a unicorn. It’ll save you a whole lot of time and anguish in the end.

But assuming you need to become one and not just hire one, where do you start? 🦄

For Designers

You should focus first on Webflow, Super, Bubble, etc. These are the types of tools that get you in. They are known as No Code tools. You can build all kinds of crazy things without code. Just get started!!!

In fact, here’s a community that is focused only on No Code, and it’s pretty incredible what can be done:

There's a lot to get into, you can one hundred percent build full-stack products in 2021 without ever learning how to code. Dive into the No Code craze. You won't regret it.

For Developers

This one is a little bit trickier if you ask me. There still aren’t really great replacements for design like there are for certain parts of code.

That being said, I recommend the following things that have pushed me from developer to unicorn 🦄:

  1. Go read Refactoring UI. This is a digital book that was created by a couple geniuses specifically to teach developers some design principles.
  2. Use good templates as a base for your designs. Tweak them to make them your own from there. You can find these both paid and free with a quick Google Search.
  3. Spend some time on Dribbble. This is a place where designers post their work. You can search for UI here, and you’ll find some truly amazing stuff. Keep in mind that it’s much more UI focused than UX. But always compare the beautiful things here to your own work to check progress.
  4. Make designer friends.
  5. Share your designs publicly for feedback and take it well. Iterate from there.
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The benefits

Being able to bypass the dreaded handoff is incredibly liberating. It lets you go from designing to building and back to designing without missing a beat.

It’s actually so beneficial that we ONLY hire unicorns 🦄 at Terrible now. We can trust every team member to touch any piece of the puzzle without breaking it.

No more designers over developers’ shoulders. No more developers ruining pixel perfect designs. We ruin our own designs now and look over our own scrawny shoulders. What a dream.

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