When you’re working on a new ad campaign, creating marketing assets or laying out printed documents, managing a team can be a headache. It takes a lot to manage multiple versions and juggle different team members’ contributions. Using a tool that allows collaborative design can make the whole process much more straightforward — so you can spend more time creating and less time coordinating.
But how should you get started?
The Concept of Collaborative Design
How Design Collaboration Works
The Benefits of Design Collaboration
Before design was done on computers, you might have had a whole design team huddled around a table working together to make advertisements or layouts (think Mad Men). But these days, a design project generally includes many different designers each working on their own parts of the project, often in remote locations.
Collaborative design is a system that ensures everyone involved in a project stays in sync. You’ll save yourself lots of headaches by having a collaborative design process set up, especially on projects where:
A good collaborative design process ensures that every different design ops team with a stake in the creative process, from the designers to the project manager to the developers, has a framework for offering feedback and ideas. It cuts back on delays, disagreements, and rework, too. Read on to see how it works.
So, how do you create that awesome design process that gives everyone a chance to contribute, letting you stay organized from start to finish without delays or hiccups?
First off, it helps to use a design service that’s collaboration-friendly — like Superside. Many other services aren’t built for working together, so it’s hard to really get the project flowing smoothly from start to finish. Superside, on the other hand, lets you embrace collaboration across different teams, whether it’s your design and animation teams or your team and your client’s team.
Below, we’ll dive in to the steps you should follow to run a successful design collaboration.
Before you put pencil to paper, you’ll need to figure out what your goals, requirements, and parameters are. During this stage, you’ll want to:
Keep an up-to-date schedule in a spreadsheet, calendar, or Gantt chart to help everyone stay on the same page.
Once you have a brief, a team and a platform, you’re ready to start thinking about how you’ll achieve your goals. Here’s how:
Now that you’ve brainstormed lots of great ideas, you can start to narrow them down. Follow these steps to hone your plan:
Learn how to build a world-class collaborative design team with our free Guide on how elevate your business' design.
Once you’ve chosen the big idea for your project, it’s time to get creative. You’ll need to adjust this step based on the complexity of your project. For example, if you’re creating a new logo for a client, you might only need a few mock-ups, while making an animated landing page could involve several storyboard iterations and sketches.
Once your mock-ups are ready, it’s time for another round of feedback.
Incorporate the input you received in Step 5, and tweak or complete the design as necessary.
Just because you’ve delivered a project doesn’t mean the time for collaboration has ended.
Once the project is finalized and delivered, there’s still some work left to do!
If you’re not already sold on taking a collaborative design approach to your next design project, here are the main benefits you can look forward to when you design collaboratively:
· Fewer emails, calls, meetings, and messages: By using the collaborative tools we mentioned above — like Google Docs, Sharepoint, or MarkUp, you’ll get everyone’s feedback in one place Instead of having to keep track of endless emails with each stakeholder’s opinion on the design.
· Less rework: If your team doesn’t communicate well, you might find yourself having to rework some elements of a design to incorporate edits. This can cost you lots of time — and money! If there’s something about your design that could be better, you want to know about it as soon as possible so you can get it sorted out.
· More creative designs: When you get more people involved in your project, you have more brainpower overall. That can lead to innovative and creative ideas you might not have heard otherwise. You’ll also hear ideas and impressions from many different perspectives on your team and the client’s team, giving you an early sounding board for how your design will be received when it’s released to the public.
· A more engaged and confident team: According to Zippia, collaboration improves product quality by 34% — being open to feedback and ideas makes everyone more engaged and helps draw out their best work. Getting constructive feedback (like we explained in Step 1) can also make your team more confident in their abilities — helping your design ops team produce even better designs down the road!
Ready to get started on your next collaborative design? See how Superside’s design services can help your organization.
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Sofie is a Senior SEO & Content expert who specializes in Operational Management. From being a journalist at your daily news television broadcast, to producing videos and writing travel blogs; she has ended up at the more technical side of content and has a nose for sniffing out the creative pieces that will make your competitors look like digital noobs.
When not answering all SEO questions with ‘that depends…’, she is happily cooking up a storm, tasting wine and cheese samples or searching for the best flight tickets to her next travel destination. She is happy to connect with you on LinkedIn.
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