Bookmark: "No Handoff: close the gap between product and engineering"

Sebastian Greger


Always curious about improving design processes to put user needs over a rigid process – and even more so if the alternatives are prototype-centred – the “No Handoff” method presented by Shamsi Brinn is an interesting amalgamation of a broken-up double diamond and agile processes:

Collaboration is the biggest challenge for any project. We have deeply entrenched ideas about disciplines, roles, and hierarchies to overcome. No Handoff is simple… but not easy.

No Handoff closes the space between product and engineering teams by iterating as a team. The grounding principles are:

  • Foreground user needs as our northstar
  • Iterate together, and
  • Prototyping is key

Rather than pouring energy and resources into documentation, Figma mockups and the like (the author also has written about reasons to drop Figma), the whole team iterates together on a prototype that enables exchange, evaluation and iteration:

Software development has long matured far beyond bringing flat visuals to life, and discovery and design need to share the process of iteration. Prototyping is the catalyst for product and engineering to truly become one team, and move beyond project handoff. Eliminating handoff and iterating together is more efficient, enjoyable, and user focused… and much less risky.

All this stunningly resembles a recent project of mine, so reading about this formalized approach to such process afterwards is fascinating.