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For instance, I have two designs

Design A like miller columns: Better experience, clear view, no training needed, can play however users want.

Design B like stacked layer or tree view: Best performance, a bit complex design, need to train the users to follow the steps but they can complete the task eventually.

All my team members liked design A, only due to performance issues (as data is collected from different data points) we had to choose the design B.

My questions are:

  1. How to understand the technical abilities/issues of a design before presenting it to the engineering team/users?

  2. I learned performance is also a primary design principle. Which comes first- complex design with the best performance vs simple design with average performance?

21

Avoid designing in isolation without PM and Engineering as partners. You'll never have the full perspective on your own.

  • Ask questions early
  • Self study to understand your tech stack (and web foundational technologies)
  • Don't be afraid to say 'I don't understand'

All software design and development involves tradeoffs and constraints. Some of these are technical, some are business.

Unless you are a developer (and even then there are uncertainties), you often won't know about technical constraints or performance concerns without asking questions early in the process.

From Defining Product Design: A Dispatch from Airbnb's Design Chief

At some tech companies — Airbnb included — the engineering, product and design teams are hitched and commonly referred to as EPD. By design, each function is involved and aligned from a product’s inception to its launch. For example, a working group for a new feature, product marketing or user feedback will involve at least one member from each of the three teams. This coalition not only assembles the key builders of the product, but, as a byproduct, it also formalizes the professional pathways that a person who wants to create a product can consider.

Performance considerations

This is yet another area where there are tradeoffs. For example, if you have a high value feature, where users will get a ton of value by querying or editing an object, they might be willing to sacrifice a slower load or submit time if the system gives them feedback in an orderly manner.

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2

Hope you are safe!

The first half of my to-be answer is answered by Mike M previously.

Answering your question without much of the literature involved.

  1. How to understand the technical abilities/issues of a design before presenting it to the engineering team/users?
  • Try checking out blogs on limitations of UI components that you want to use in the design.
  • Do go through the usage guidelines of the components. These two tasks are primary unless you have experience on usage of UI components to cater a requirement.

Once you do this, asses your design with requirements with engineering/technical team by side.

For eg: One of the product I worked on had nested accordions that served purpose of Client very well and design sign off was completed. When the project went down on to imlementation it was a tedious task for the Dev team to implement with the stringent timeline agreed upon.

  1. I learned performance is also a primary design principle. Which comes first- complex design with the best performance vs simple design with average performance?

This is subjective and a decision to be taken with various factors involved such as

  • Timeline available
  • Resources available
  • Proficiency of the implementation team
  • Budget of the Project

So make of projection of taking decision on complex design with Best Performance vs simple design with average performance.

In my experience, when we collaborate with the process I penned down we end up having best product performance with a Customer/Requirement centric good design.

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2

I believe having design and engineering degrees at the same time, helps not wasting time and building an idea for both sides. Like it's not impossible to have a vision and draw a direction among these framed areas, it's something multidisciplinary to be learned over time and preferably under the supervision of a multidisciplinary person which you may probably not have that while you're trying your first attempt in this sector.

Even basically it's not very common for designers to learn coding or vice versa, actually that's the thing it makes you go further with your background and skills, other than having had to ask some others if it's ok to move on with your existing idea/sketch/prototype (Even it's good to ask anything you suffer or to be able to collaborate with people having other specialties).

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