To Get Things Done You Need Both Sides of the Brain

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On the surface, design agency teams might appear to corner the market on creative thinking; leaving the developers the task of transforming their creative ideas into code.

Projects should go more smoothly when the two groups work closely together, but a wall often separates them. Designers toss requirements over the wall from one side, and the developers toss results back from the other side. There is no common ground.

It doesn't have to be this way. There can be common ground. It's called creativity, and it is sharable. The brain works in much the same way. The left and right sides of the brain share creative "sparks", and share the overall workload.

Creativity breaks down walls and enables developers and creative agencies to work together to their mutual benefit. Later, we will see how one dev agency puts this common ground concept into practice.

We Need Both Sides of the Brain to Get Things Done

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Creative agencies work with ideas and concepts. They rely heavily on processes embedded in the right side of the brain. Developers or programmers rely more on logic, and therefore on left-side brain processes. At first glance it would seem that programmers merely follow orders; using logic to transform requirements into code.

Such a neat division of brainpower and processes is seldom the case. In fact, it is really never be the case. Programmers who practice creative coding are needed. Creative coders don't simply follow programming rules. They can take an awesome layout and create code that will be compatible across all browsers, platforms, and devices. They create good code that exceeds a designer's UI and UX requirements.

Creative agencies don't always realize or understand this. They don't always understand what developers can do to add value to a product. This lack of understanding is one of the "walls" that can separate two high-performance teams.

"A good developer should be proactive, should help the client when facing hard decisions on the project, should never limit its development, but find smarter & better technical solutions. You can call it "creativity", we prefer to call it "care". – Milosz Bazela, Xfive.

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Restrictions and Limitations Spur Creativity

Designer's requirements often appear to place restrictions on programmers. Conversely, coding efforts can at times place limits on what a given design can actually accomplish. That is what conventional wisdom tells us. As it turns out, the exact opposite is often true.

Creativity flows from restrictions and limitations. Problem solving is all about overcoming limits and obstacles, and it is the challenges associated with overcoming them that sparks creativity and innovation.

It's called structured imagination. Ideas that pop up in our minds are almost always based on something tangible. Those who have an uncanny ability to think outside the box generally base their thinking on what is happening inside the box. Give a developer a particularly difficult problem, and you can often expect a brilliant solution in return.

Creativity Comes in Different Flavors

Creativity is not all vanilla. Arne Dietrich (2004) defined 4 different types or flavors of creativity: Deliberative and Cognitive, Spontaneous and Cognitive, Deliberative and Emotional, and Spontaneous and Emotional. Most of us experience each of these types, Spontaneous and Cognitive creativity – the "Aha" moment, for example.

Both designers and developers employ deliberative and cognitive creativity in their work. Performing steady work, in a specific discipline, over a long time, nurtures this form of creativity. Designers become good at recognizing and manipulating patterns. Developers acquire a knack for combining and manipulating coding rules to produce astonishing results.

Deliberate and Emotional Creativity Has Its Place

Developers who are deliberatively and emotionally creative are developers who care. These are people who are great team members and who excel at team building. They are capable of putting forth their best efforts at both human and technical levels.

Developers who care extend this creativity to their customers and clients. This makes them developers you can place your confidence in. They have technical expertise and people skills – a powerful one-two combination. Developers who care will, at a minimum, give you what you want, and more often than not they over perform.

"When meeting a new client, the ideal situation is that they should provide strict requirements and well written scope of tasks, so that we could rapidly understand their perspective, optimize its cost and deliver the project smoothly. However, there are situations when your client (partner) does not have a lot of experience, and that's where our Project Managers come in and help. Thanks to that, our client will feel extremely safe while working with us – like driving a Volvo"Milosz Bazela, Xfive.

Xfive's team is like that. They are motivated, they care about one another, and they care about you, their customer. The Xfive brand carries a special meaning, as you are about to discover.

Case study

BrightOutcome develops healthcare apps that improve patient lives and help them monitor their health. Their IT solutions combine web portals, WS integration with EHR/EMR and legacy Health IT systems. And they also offer tailor made implementation solutions.

They were looking for a development partner that could carry out the technical component of their project faultlessly.  It all began with a narrow deadline:

"The team at Xfive truly went above and beyond the call of duty. I was certain there was no way I could complete my website redesign project in time for a big trade show that my company was exhibiting at, however the team at Xfive did the impossible! They worked around the clock for 7 days a week in advance of the show to ensure that my project was completed on time, within budget, and to a very high level of quality. I was a bit nervous working with a remote team on a web project, but after my experience with Xfive, I will continue working with them on every web project I have in the future. A++ they are wonderful" - Adam Wilbur BrightOutcome Inc.

"After the first meeting with the BrightOutcome team, we analyzed the character of the business and came up with the specific solutions for the project. We put a focus on quality work, and also managed to deliver in optimal time." – Milosz Bazela, Xfive.

Xfive – A Respected Development Company Has a New Brand

Xfive has been developing software products for 10 years, but up until the end of 2015 this company, which has helped thousands of clients large and small, was known as XTHMLized. The new brand name, Xfive, is less of a tongue-twister, but there were other reasons for the change.

"X" has been in the brand for several years, XWP, XHTML and X-team being two examples. "X" also stands for eXperienced, eXclusive, and eXtraordinary.

"five" represents the high fives team members give one another whenever they accomplish great things or to celebrate one of their many small victories.

X + five = Happy Clients, a formula which fits this developer to perfection, because this team works well together and with it clients.

Xfive will perform as an extension to your own team, whether you are an established enterprise or a struggling startup. If you are looking to expand your capacity for front-end, Ruby on Rails, PHP, or WordPress development, this Australian-based team is there for you.

Xfive is based in Australia and has teams scattered throughout the world, and no matter where your development requirements will be done, expect outstanding quality and quick turnaround.