When designers have transformed concepts. And concepts into visualised images. What they still have to do is to find a suitable way to hand off designs to developers. There are numerous designers. Who think that the hand-off process is complicated, frustrating, and destructive.
It’s code. So who’s the culprit. That makes this process difficult. At the same time, if a developer fails to get what they need. No matter how well your design is. That amounts to nothing. Therefore, successful design hand-off is greatly important. In modern days. Hand-off tools are generally used to assist in this purpose.
What is design hand-off?
Design hand-off takes place. When the specifications have been met. And prototypes have been tested. After testing the design get handed off to the developers for coding. Designers & developers are trying to complete two different stages when building a product.
But, they don’t know each other that well. Basically, it means that the designers probably don’t have too much knowledge about coding. But you can say the same about Developers. Also, a lot of developers don’t have that much knowledge about the complete design process.
Hand-off means that the same moment when designs are handled by the developers. It’s essential to point out that there are two different versions of a project: the design and the code.
The design version exists in the same form as prototypes. But, what developers need is the coded version. That they could complete into a functional product or web-page.
What Can Design Hand-off Tools Do?
When designers want to communicate with developers. Usually they have to use team management tools, social media or other forms of communication tools. If a hand-off tool gets uses. This complicated process can be considerably streamlined.
They will be able to collaborate and design. A comprehensive hand-off tool can provide a unified design system.
This could not only help designers interact better with one another. Using a good hand-off tool can bridge the gap. Between designers and developers. It helps designers turn designs into code so that developers can understand and use them.
It also connects developers into their design process at an early stage. Also, hand-off tools help designers convert designs. Into codes that developers want and need. They could investigate and execute the designs perfectly. Lastly, design hand-off tools can help to give feedback. And collaboration between everyone involved.
What does design workflow look like?
So, let us review the design process. Then you’ll get a greater understanding of design hand-off. When a design is created. Designers need to mock up the design in a design tool.
Then, a mock-up is committed to a design hand-off tool. The moment, relevant parties review the design and leave feedback. So if there are any issues, the designers need to fix the design. Until a final version is approved. Then the approved version is then submitted to developers.
Then, the design hand-off tool translates the design specification into code. Layer by layer, then developers can inspect the finished design. And use codes as the base for developing the app or website.
Now, let us check out some design hand-off tools to help bridge the gap!
InVision is an end-to-end design, prototyping, also testing tool. With this tool it lets you prototype from InVision Studio designs. You can also import files from other image-based design tools.
Use, Inspect it’s InVision’s design hand-off tool. Which automatically generates design specs and code snippets. Designers and developers can communicate via comments. So it keeps collaboration and feedback all in one place.
Using the Storybook integration in Inspect will inform developers which components exist in code repositories. You can save time by not searching through libraries and can prevent accidental re-work. Lastly, you can integrate with software like Jira, Confluence, Trello. And also others to sync communication & project management tasks.
Marvel is a well-known end-to-end design, prototyping, and testing tool. It contains similar hand-off features that you can find in Zeplin.
Use Marvel-generated mockups. To build prototypes or import from other design tools. This tool automatically generates starter code and CSS. For your mock-ups and prototypes to save time and bridge the gap between design and development.
Developers can inspect each component. And download assets directly from Marvel, avoiding miscommunication and switching between tools.
Zeplin is a popular design hand-off too that makes it easy for designers, developers, and other team members. To communicate and collaborate successfully. Also, you can integrate Zeplin. With tools like Slack, Jira, Microsoft Teams, VS Code, and Trello for improved collaboration.
Designers can create user flows with annotations to provide developers with context. A style-guide allows designers to save colours, text styles, spacing/layouts, design tokens and components.
If you use this tool it does includes code snippets for web, iOS, and Android applications. With CSS, Less, SASS, and styling so devs can copy and paste to start development quicker.
Sympli is a purpose-built version control and design handoff tool. You could say that Sympli is the designer equivalent of the component directory Storybook.
Designers can use integrations from popular design tools. To sync components, mockups, and even a design system to share with engineers and stakeholders. Teams can review and collaborate on different elements to provide explanation and context.
Engineers can also view a style guide, spec mode, and specs and assets to start the development process. One of Sympli’s biggest benefits is its ability to sync with IDEs through plugins for Xcode and Android Studio for mobile app development.
Sync your design tool with Avocode. Then you can create a hand-off file for the dev team. With Avocode’s “one-click” integrations. It can save designers time by generating downloadable assets, spec mode, and snippets for some code languages such as Sass, Swift and React Native.
One other brilliant feature of Avocode is its design review. Which allows designers to invite other members to critique designs. And provide feedback. Designers can improve on feedback and re-sync the changes making a new version. So, everyone is aware of the updates.
Lastly, use Avocode’s review feature to discuss inconsistencies and fixes during the quality assurance process.
When prototyping, developers can render code directly onto the canvas. Get CSS, HTML and advanced react components with a click.