Rubber, Meet Road: Getting Designers Running with Rails

Amy Hoy, Lead Interaction Designer, Lime Wire, LLC

Date: Sunday, May 20
Time: 11:45am - 12:35pm
Location: Oregon Ballroom 201

The programmer-designer disconnect has a long and sordid history. Much like the so-called Battle of the Sexes, both sides benefit from perfect cooperation, but each side in this conundrum complains about the other, saying "They just don't understand." This results in projects that suffer from design input either too early or too late, and generally everyone feeling under pressure or like a second-class citizen.

But if you're working with Rails, you're sitting on a golden opportunity to help solve this problem for once and for all (at least in your own projects). This session will equip you---developer or designer---to integrate designers of all skill levels into your application development process, and at a point which is most beneficial to everyone, and the project itself.

The session will start out by describing the myriad ways that designers are poorly "integrated" into Rails web app projects, and why these approaches just won't do in the long run. From there, we will cover the differing points of view of developers and designers, and how to meet in the middle without deadly territorial wars breaking out.

Talking points will include:

  • how to improve communication between the two factions
  • what designers need from developers and vice versa
  • "need to know" about Rails for designers
  • how to structure the project flow to include designers at an earlier stage
  • coping techniques for designers with varying technical skill levels
  • tools that can help, and tools to avoid

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