Five benefits of design-driven development

In traditional development approaches, user needs are often ignored or considered last. In this case, you get a disastrous result: when you release a product you invested in heavily, you may get negative feedback on the user journey, usability, and UX and invest even more in trying to fix it.

All this can be avoided if you think through these details initially. This is what the design-driven development approach is all about.

In this article, you will learn what design-driven development (DDD) is, how this approach can improve results and equip your team with a new teamwork tool, and how it can drive value for your business.

What is design-driven development?

The design addresses user problems: it takes into account convenient navigation and efficient communication of the primary and auxiliary features so that a user can easily leverage all the functionality and make the most out of the product. Introducing this method into the development process gives you an intuitive, beautiful, and performant solution.

The DDD (design-driven development) methodology is where the designers and developers work together, considering the specifics of the user experience and usability from the get-go to release a performant and easy-to-navigate solution.

By transforming previously familiar factors, such as user experience and usability, and focusing on customer problems, you immediately release a user-centric product that will require fewer improvements in the future.

Key benefits of design-driven development

Here are five design-driven development benefits that you should be aware of:

1. Early problem identification

Quickly identifying errors and inconsistencies in a product is a decisive factor when it comes to time and resources. If stakeholders know what users want and what should be removed, it becomes easier for them to make changes.

Prototyping, thinking through screens, windows, actions, and their further development, helps identify inconsistencies and future possible user discomfort at an early stage.

2. More accurate project cost estimation

With the traditional approach, you might end up with costly code changes due to misunderstandings. When you are ready for deliverables such as prototypes, mockups, and user flows at a very early stage, you can more accurately estimate the final cost.

It is much easier to present a future cost map for all stakeholders when most of the elements of the project are ready and tested, and the price is less likely to be affected by force majeure.

3. Ready marketing instruments

In a short period of time, the client will have a pool of results, such as interactive prototypes, design artifacts, clickable layouts, and all the basic design elements that can be easily integrated into the marketing process. This means the product can already be tested or demonstrated to potential investors with a future marketing strategy.

4. Fewer errors thanks to thorough project idea evaluation and aligned development

One of the significant design-driven development advantages is that designers and developers work closely together, so they align their work and easily spot errors or UI/UX bugs during development.

Early wireframing and prototyping allow developers to deliver the final version of the product more quickly. Also, this allows a client and the entire team, including developers, to understand the requirements and minimize errors.

6. Enhanced user experience

Establishing a more intuitive user journey map of a site or app improves the user experience and increases overall user satisfaction with your solution. For example, if you simplify the checkout process, your products are more likely to be bought thanks to the straightforward process, and so you can see the reduced churn rates. You can only understand how to establish this by working through the design and its functionality in practice.

Traditional design processes vs. design-driven development: how to choose?

Both functionality development and design are essential when building an app. However, having the right combination of both can become a critical factor in the success of a project. 

Traditional workflow often involves developers and designers working on the same project separately: software engineers write performant code, leaving user needs and the main pain points aside. When it comes to combining a code and design, inconsistencies and discrepancies undermine the performance and usability of the future solution. As a result, you either release technology solutions that will require many updates or merely fail to become a market fit.  

The design-driven development scenario implies the collaboration between developers and designers from the very beginning. The approach implies close cooperation with a client and business analysts at the early stages to determine the project's vision.  

In this approach, the team can identify the main pain points early and solve them at the very beginning of the development journey rather than reworking the finished project after the launch. This saves clients' money and speeds up time-to-market. These are considered the main advantages of design-driven development.

Consider Dworkz as your trusted partner

If you're new to DDD (design-driven development) but want to get a product built exactly this way, consider delegating the task to Dworkz, a San Francisco-based UI/UX design and development company for data-driven B2B SaaS companies.

We help companies develop optimized, user-friendly software that makes them stand out.

What will you get by working with Dworkz?

  • Digital strategy and product management

  • Outstanding user experience

  • User-friendly interface design and a performant code

  • Application with the use of innovative technologies

Are you working on something great? We'd love to help you make it happen! Let's work together!


What is design-driven development?

Design-driven development is a method in which designers and developers work together to create a productive and easy-to-navigate solution, considering the details of the user experience (UX) and user interface (UI).

Why is design-driven development a good choice?

Design-driven development is a good choice because you can understand how to build your product's practical functionality and user-friendliness very early and fix any shortcomings immediately.

Who is the design-driven development approach for?

Industries with frequent software changes and constant improvements and organizations looking to cut costs, save time, and deliver the right and useful products to their users are those who definitely benefit from this approach.

What is an example of design-driven development?

The team accepts the client's task and starts developing several ideas. After that, the designer creates a design artifact or clickable prototype, and the developer quickly creates a model with "dirty code." Then there are 2–3 stages of testing with a client focus group, fixing problems, and starting a thorough development of the product's functionality.

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