7 Design Collaboration Hacks
Design teams are growing, and freelance designs are busier than ever. What does this mean? It means designers are in demand like never before, but teams and freelancers are facing challenges like never before too.
Today, teams have become distributed, and this has, to a large extent, complicated the design collaboration process. Consequently, designers are now spending more time on making their work accessible to one another than actually working together to create new and innovative products.
If you're looking for ways to improve your company's design collaboration, here are some hacks that will make the process a lot easier.
1. Use one (or fewer) tools to save all your work
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to save your work in multiple tools. Pick one tool that will be the place where all of your work is stored. Do your homework well and choose a reliable and popular tool that supports all your design software. Having one tool is important because it makes the design process more efficient. Additionally, it makes it easy for collaborators to access your work.
2. Pick a tool that makes it easy for collaborators to access, i.e. no registrations or payments
It's useless if you're using the right tools, but other team members can't find them because they don't know where to look or how to register an account. When choosing the right design collaboration platform, there are some key features you should pay attention to simplicity, security, and scalability. The registration process should be as simple as possible, meaning every user shouldn't spend important time signing up or registering.
The platform should also be secure and scalable, able to handle projects of any size without errors or blockers and cause minimal disruption from downtime.
When sharing your designs, your goal should be to make it easy and natural for collaborators to contribute their work. That means using a platform that doesn't require you (or them) to download additional software.
3. Share Your Designs On A Platform That Makes It Easy For Non-Designers To Collaborate.
One of the reasons why non-designers may have difficulty understanding your design is because you're using a platform that they find complicated to use. Therefore, remember to share your designs on a platform that is not too complicated for non-designers. In addition, ensure the platform you choose has a simple and intuitive interface. This will enable collaborators who are not designers themselves to easily interact with your work without any confusion.
Do not share your work on Figma or Sketch since these tools are made for veterans and professionals. Instead, look for a design collaboration platform that can be used by both designers and non-designers alike. A design sharing tool like Collato, for instance, has a simple interface that makes it easy to upload files from any software found in the market today without having to spend hours trying to figure out how to share design files.
4. Stop Using Slack to Share Designs and Manage Tasks
Even though Slack is a useful tool for sharing files, updating colleagues on progress, and everyday work communication, we should not use it to share designs This is because Slack was not made to handle this function. Instead, use tools that can be used for design collaboration by both designers and non-designers so that you can achieve better collaboration and clear communication. Find out why below.
5. Use a Collaboration Tool That Allows Collaborators to Add Comments/Idea on Precise Elements of a Design to Remove Misunderstandings
When working with multiple people on a design, it is important to allow them to comment and add ideas. The best tools for this are those that allow you to pick a precise element of the design, so there's no need for guessing. This will save time and remove misunderstandings.
Remember, if you are creating designs for clients, it's not just designers who need permission to comment and add ideas, but anyone working on the project – this includes marketing managers, salespeople, clients and managers. When you allow all team members to add comments and ideas, you are also shaping and guiding their thoughts to achieve better results for your project.
6. Use a Tool That Enables Clear Task Tracking and Assigning For All Collaborators
Before choosing a design collaboration tool, make sure you check whether it allows assigning tasks and task tracking. Once you distribute tasks, the best tool should make it a lot easier for you to track its progress. This will save you time in the long run because when the project is complete, it's easier to know what needs to be done next and jump right into it. The right tool will keep all your projects and tasks in one place and help you keep track of all the different aspects involved.
While there are tons of project management tools on the market, ask yourself if these tools give any possible stakeholder of your project easy and visual access to tasks and progress? Collato was made with in-team and external collaboration in mind. So it is now simple to share visual updates to your creative project and control who sees what and who can access what.
7. Create a Clear Approval Process for All Design Work to Keep Visibility of Progress
The best way to keep a clear overview of progress within your design collaboration is by creating an approval process for all the work done. As work becomes more remote and more difficult to quickly chat about with colleagues at the office, the need for clear workflows has never been so important.
This will ensure that everything moves smoothly and there are no surprises at project completion. It will also help you know who is responsible for what, which in turn means less time spent on unnecessary discussions later.
The approval process starts with the brief. This is where you define what needs to be done and who's responsible for it. When everyone has signed off on this document, it becomes part of your contract so that all parties involved understand their commitment to completing the project successfully.
Next, the design phase, which is where you create all the work. This could be visuals, copywriting, or anything else. Then comes implementation at this stage; it would also make sense to have a final review with your team members before publishing and sending the design out.
Lastly, the post-launch phase. This is where you analyse how the project has performed and what could be done better next time. You should also have a plan for social media handling because it will help you create buzz about your new design across different channels so that more people are aware of it and appreciate it.
For seamless design collaboration that drives creators to spend more time focusing on creative collaboration rather than file management, try out Collato today!