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The dev is in the details.

Developers. They’re logicians, mathematicians, forecasters and teachers all wrapped up in one kick-ass co-worker. They live, work and play on digital’s frontline, and are pivotal partners in the creative development process; partners that, if included early on, can greatly enhance your chances of creating and executing an idea that will be successful in the digital space.

And to think: until joining Teehan+Lax almost 2 years ago, I’d only worked with one. Once.

Prior to that, at agencies big and small, idea creation rested almost entirely in the hands of a few; usually a copywriter / art director duo, and their creative director. Working from a brief that was most often created for a “traditional” medium, the team would be tasked to crack the “big idea” and, once done, add a few “killer” digital executions that could also be sold to the client. “Go crazy … digital is wide open … everything is possible!” we’d be told. And crazy we would go: crazy trying to sell an idea to a client who has no appetite for “killer”, and even crazier if we actually sold one, as they would more often than not fail.

Why? My recent experience informs me that it was because a developer was not involved (asked or considered) in the upfront ideation, and by the time the idea got to the build phase, it was too late. Now everyone is stuck polishing an ill-conceived turd, and consequently, you have a client who is now even more skeptical of digital’s potential.

The pace of technological change is fierce, and the main players in the digital arena are still growing up. API tweaks, privacy policy changes, and the constant quest for monetization are just a few of the daily happenings from the frontline. So do yourself (your company, your client) a big favour and get a dev involved early, and often, in the ideation process. It will save everyone a ton of time (money) and the output will not only be executable (a must) but also enjoyable to all, including (most importantly) your end user.

We believe that great digital products are made when we bring together the right team to work on a project. This blog post is a part of an ongoing series of process– and discipline–based reflections that demonstrate how we collaborate and build our teams at Teehan+Lax.

Check out the other posts in our series:
Planning isn’t just a phase I’m going through. by Kyra Aylsworth