Creative Agencies: Understanding the Communication Style of Developers

Communication is everything in the creative industry. Anyone that works at a creative agency knows that productivity and ideas come as a result from collaboration and communication. The more you mull over ideas with coworkers, more ideas come to light and your clients’ projects begin to “piece themselves together”.

This type of community-oriented collaboration and communication is responsible for most of the progress in ideation within creative agencies. It’s part of the DNA of how creative agencies operate. However, while it is entirely natural and intuitive to creatives, developers think and communicate in a completely different manner.

Communicating with Developers: A Guide for Creative Agencies

Developers are kind of like their own entire species. If you’ve ever worked with one, you know what we’re talking about. The level of detail and structure surrounding their work, as well as their style and type of communication can almost feel entirely foreign to creative agencies. All of this is for good reason of course – their communication style coincides with the way their industry functions, which is primarily ‘linear’.

If you’ve struggled in the past with communicating to developers during projects, or are trying to prepare yourself for the next outsourced development project, here is a guide on what to expect regarding the communication practices of developers:


Understanding Right Brained from Left Brained People

We all have the capacity to be both creative and logical – but most of us lean toward one direction or the other.  Let’s take some examples of the right-brain dominant and left-brain dominant persons to describe what this looks like:

The right-brained person loves ideation. Their brain’s roots are always tied to “The Big Picture”. It’s where every idea comes from and goes back to. They toss around vague ideas for functionality and design with hopes that other like-minded individuals will contribute to the conversation and “de-vague-inize” the idea (yeah, we know that’s not actually a real word.) Discussions are very creatively-focused and “details” are rarely brought up.

The left-brained person loves execution (as in, finishing tasks – not the medieval kind of execution…) Their brain’s roots are always tied to the “how”, “what”, “where”, and “when”. They could care more or less about the “big picture” and overall goals. What they really care for is the details on what their role and responsibility is, and how they can achieve that using the tools at their disposal. They want a task list of items with great clarity surrounding the end objective so they can figure out the best course of action to finish the tasks.


Find the “Bridge” In Your Process

As you may have already inferred, the right-brained example largely refers to the way creative agencies work, while the left-brained examples characterize the way developers think, interact, and work.

The issue with communication here is that the translation between the right-brained and left-brained people isn’t so easy. Creative agencies often struggle with identifying the individual task-list items and key deliverables for developers. They expect developers to just “catch on” and design a solution, but it rarely works out so smoothly.

The key here is to find the “bridge” in your process. How does your team boil down the big picture into a list of actionable items? Developers need communication to be as clear and linear as possible in order to accurately develop a product. Spend time and effort in breaking down the functionality, big ideas, and end goal of your development project to a list of tasks that make sense from the standpoint of minimum presumptions. In other words, get yourself into the headspace of making a list of tasks that would be clear to someone who hasn’t been a part of the discussions between your creative agency and client.


How to Translate Creative Speak to Development

If the above sounds daunting, it’s because it honestly is. Developers communicate and work entirely differently from creative agencies and marketing companies. That gap and need for a “bridge” is the reason KudosCode exists.

Our business model is built around being a translator between creative agencies and development because we understand both sides. We recognize that development isn’t a quick-and-dirty service that can be tacked onto any project with ease. It requires a special style of communication and translation to ensure key data pieces aren’t dropped through the cracks during development. It requires that the developer be in-the-know throughout the entirety of a creative agencies project with a client – not just showing up uninformed to complete their piece of the puzzle.

If your creative agency is in need of a development firm that can translate your ideas and cut down on wasted time, effort, and resources, reach out to us to schedule a free consultation.


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