How to Manage Figma to Development Handoff

Your designs are complete and hit on all of the projects needs, now how do you ensure the final development output is what you intended and what your client is expecting?

How to hand off your Figma design to your developers.

When you’re handing off your Figma design to developers, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. First, make sure that things are clear for everyone on the team by providing a link and description of what you’re trying to achieve — including examples of sites with similar transitions. Next, be sure to document everything in your design that might not be immediately apparent — so nothing gets missed or overlooked during development.

Things you need to handoff a great design.

In order to create a smooth handoff, you need to have a clear understanding of what the developer needs to know and how they can use this information.

The following are some things that you should consider including in your design file:

  • What does the core functionality of the product do?
  • What is the core look and feel (style guide) of your product?
  • Is there any special documentation that should be read before getting started on development?

There is no handoff or throwover. There is collaboration and communication all the way through.

Figma is a different kind of design tool, and it can be difficult to understand how to use it. Even though this is a great opportunity for designers and developers to work together more closely than ever before, many teams still find themselves struggling with the same problems they’ve always had. As we’re starting to see in our community, there is no handoff or throwover—there is collaboration and communication all the way through!

We talked to two Figma users who have used our platform for years: Barb Krueger (Designer) and Lucas Garcia (Developer). They shared their best tips on how to successfully collaborate in Figma from start-to-finish with any project type (web app, web site or product).

Conduct a developer focused design review.

It’s important to remember that developers aren’t UX experts. This means that when you hand off a design, it doesn’t need to be perfect. But if you want your designs implemented properly, the developer needs an understanding of what they are building and why it’s being built.

Developers need to know what they are building in order for them to understand how each element will be used in the final product. As much as possible, try not to leave out any details or assume knowledge on the part of your development team.

Document your designs.

In order to manage the handoff of Figma designs, you’ll need to document the various components of your design. This will help both designer and developer understand how the interface is put together and what each component does.

Documenting a design can be as simple as taking screenshots or creating annotated wireframes in Figma itself. Adding comments is also helpful to explain any interactions or animations that are not obvious from just looking at the static screens themselves. If you used some of Figma’s fancy transitions between elements you may need to help your developers find tools or plugins that achieve similar results.

Schedule design reviews to monitor progress and provide feedback on the UX as you go.

It’s important to keep in mind that the developer will have a good idea of what they’re doing, so don’t be afraid to ask questions about how certain parts of the design are being created. If you feel like something is going off course or not working as it should, put your foot down and tell them what needs to happen with respect to your feedback before moving forward with development.

If there isn’t much time between iterations, consider scheduling a weekly meeting (or more frequently if needed) with your developer partner during which both parties can discuss any issues or concerns they may have.

Measure outcomes against goals.

It’s important to measure your Figma work against goals, objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs) throughout. This is how you’ll know if you’re making progress or not.

Let’s break down how this works:

  • Goals are broad objectives that you want to achieve by the end of your project, like “Create a new website for our product launch.”
  • Objectives are specific outcomes required to reach those goals. In this example, one objective might be “Create wireframes for all pages of the website.”
  • KPIs track whether those objectives have been met on time or within budget; they can also be used as a barometer of success in other areas—for example: “Our number of active users has increased by x% since last quarter.”

UX communication is key.

UX communication is a two-way street, not just a one-way flow of information.

UX communication is a two-way street, not just a one-way flow of information. At every stage of the project, good UX communication will help you get what you want: stakeholders who understand your vision and are committed to your success; developers who can build what they need to; designers who can be inspired by what they see and build it accordingly.

Conclusion

I hope you’ve learned something in this post and were able to get some ideas on how to approach cross-functional collaboration. The most important thing to remember is that communication is key when working with developers, especially on high-fidelity projects like Figma!

Ready to get started or have questions?

We’d love to talk about how we can work together or help you to brainstorm your next project and see how we might help.

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