Know the Design Roles and Best Practices

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Describe the typical design team for small, medium, and large companies.
  • Explain design best practices for testing and deeper collaboration.

The responsibilities of design can fall to several people, depending on the project. It can also vary based on the company size. Depending on where you are in this mix, there are some additional things to think about.

Get to Know the Designer at Your Company

Maybe it’s you. Maybe it’s someone on your team. Below is an overview of the typical division of responsibilities in a design project based on the size of the company and project. The actual division may vary.

Core Design Team for a Small Company or Project

User Count: 1 to 300 users

Core Design Team: Salesforce Administrator

Salesforce administrator

Small companies are typically lean and have to get creative with who fills the designer role, which can fall squarely on the Salesforce administrator’s shoulder. 

Small companies can contract out to a design firm if the project and budget warrant it. That said, even in situations where there is a contracted designer, the Salesforce administrator may still bear significant responsibility during the design process, being the resident platform expert and key advocate for users.

Core Design Team for a Mid-Size Company or Project

User Count: 300 to 500 users

Core Design Team: Salesforce Administrator, Salesforce Developer

Salesforce administrator and developer

Bigger company, bigger project, and bigger team most likely. However, the design responsibilities will still be shared among a select few. The Salesforce administrator or developer may serve as the design lead, or they can both share the responsibility. 

The Salesforce developer in particular can also serve as a source of knowledge when it comes to the technical limitations of the platform, best practices for implementation, and a source for grounded feedback.

Alternatively, the company may contract out for a researcher and designer. In this case, the Salesforce administrator and designer will take more of the role of advocate for their users.

Core Design Team for a Large Company or Project

User Count: 500 to 1,000+ users

Core Design Team: Salesforce Administrator, Salesforce Developer, Salesforce Designer

Salesforce administrator, developer, and designer

A lot of what is mentioned above still stands—the Salesforce administrator and developer are critical subject matter experts on the platform and advocates for their users. However, when there’s a resident designer, a lot of what has been discussed in this module may align with the designer role.

When it comes to bigger budgets, complex designs, and projects outside of the Salesforce platform, the roles and people involved may be different.

For Linda Rosenberg and the relatively small Cloud Kicks, the design responsibilities fell squarely on her shoulders as the Salesforce administrator. But she made it largely a collaborative effort. And that’s one of the critical things to understand in the design process—not everyone is a designer, but everyone can contribute to sound design.

Learn More Design Best Practices

Throughout this module, you learned about the key design activities, from research to sketching to rapid prototyping, and plenty in between. You know the value in keeping things simple throughout the process, and the importance of frequent iteration and feedback. Here are additional best practices to follow as you move toward the end of the design process.

Test on Device. For example, if you’re designing an app for a tablet, get the prototype onto the tablet, especially when you’re in the high-fidelity phase. This gives stakeholders a better sense of what the entire experience will be like in real life. That means there’s a better chance for quality feedback.

Share Your Design Even More. There’s ample opportunity to present your prototypes to key stakeholders throughout the process. Take it even further by showing your designs to non-stakeholders when you have a chance. Impromptu design sharing can surface good feedback, or at least confirm trends in the research and feedback you’ve already gotten. Just be respectful of people’s time when sharing outside of the process.

Present and Share Remotely. For bigger projects and teams, there may be people critical to the process in different parts of the country, or even the world. Being able to share your design and test with them remotely is essential. If you know you’ll be working on a project that requires feedback from remote people (or if you’re working remotely yourself), take the time to research what tools support remote design work, collaboration, and testing.

Focus on the Essentials. You’re not building the app itself. You can save time by designing only the areas of the app that your audience wants to see and the areas you have the most questions about. This also helps give you more capacity to iterate quickly.

The Final Presentation

Linda presents the prototype

Now, back to Linda. The prototyping is done. All that’s left is to present to her stakeholders. 

Linda calls one more meeting to review the mockup. She goes through everything.

  • The key findings from her preliminary research
  • The story
  • The results from the design sessions
  • The high-fidelity prototype

Her manager and the sales team feel like Linda has led them with confidence every step of the way, because she has. The entire design feels good and ready for production. Alignment and buy-in have been achieved.

Linda now proceeds to pull her design into Salesforce and the app-building process has now begun.

Continue Your Design Journey

This module is designed to give you an overview of the design process and a way to help you build core design skills. As with any valuable skillset, there are many more topics to explore within app design and prototyping, and nuanced skills you can learn to continuously get better. 

So get out there and have fun on your journey into the finer points of app design. It’s well worth it.

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