Authored By: Jessica Kimmet

Here at Copious, we are fortunate to have in-house creative and development teams who work together on a daily basis for our clients. But many agencies are primarily creative-focused and partner with other agencies to execute the development. In these agencies, too often the question of who will build the site isn’t even discussed until design is well underway. The design to development handoff can be challenging even with a fully in-house team, but those challenges are amplified when two different organizations are involved. If you involve the development group in the process earlier, your project will run much more efficiently, saving you both time and money.

A Quicker Start (and Finish)

When a development team begins to review designs, they will need ample time to become familiar with the details. During this review process the design team will need to translate their intentions to the development team; doing so when the work is in-progress means that the final details are still fresh in their minds. The developers also need time to create functional requirements detailing how the site’s pages and components will behave. This is an involved process that can include multiple rounds of review by the client and the design agency. If the development team can begin writing these requirements earlier while design is in process, they will be able to begin development sooner which results in an earlier launch.

Informed Platform Selection

No two platforms have the same features or benefits, and identifying the best platform for your project is a key part of cost savings. Even if you wait until the latter end of the design process to make a final platform selection, the development team can make a more-informed recommendation if they’ve had time to process the functional requirements, business requirements, and site goals early in the design process.

Significant Cost Savings

Beginning functional requirements early and designing in tandem with development onboarding means that costly potential features can be identified as they’re being designed. If the designers plan a feature that is very expensive to build on the chosen platform, you’ll either want to know well ahead in advance of that cost, or you’ll want to rethink the design. For example, every platform handles menu-building and frontend differently, so the design implementation can have a drastic impact on how much work the design is to implement. Identifying these design complexities early on can help reduce costs of duplicative design work later on while keeping the design continually in line with development complexity allowed by the project budget.

Better Teamwork

Finally, design and development agencies (especially those that have not worked together previously) will almost always have different work and communication styles. The earlier the two teams can begin working together, the sooner they can identify shared goals, build relationships, and identify how to better support each other.

Choosing a development partner before design begins (or as early as possible in the design process) is a great way to keep your project on time and on budget. Teams working in tandem can better understand requirements, identify problems early on, and work together with shared goals, resulting in a better end product. Copious has our internal design team as a resource, but we also regularly work with other agencies to build their creative visions for clients. If you’re interested in working with Copious on a project, involve us early and let us know how we can help!