Paul Hill by Paul Hill

Collaborative Design; Power Strategies for Success

  • Design Process

The concept of the solitary creative genius is a myth.

As designers, we often feel like we need to think through every element of our designs before we can present them to others. This can lead to a tendency to withdraw and assume that the problems we’re facing are uniquely our own. However, collaborating with others can make us better designers.

Why is collaborative design important?

When we collaborate, we put our egos aside and work together to create something that transcends the sum of its creators. Collaboration also allows us to get out of our own heads and incorporate different perspectives and experiences into our design process.

Collaborative Design Process

There are several ways to incorporate collaboration into your design process. One effective method is to start a conversation with your team. Share your designs and get quick initial reactions, advice on how to elevate the work, and general tips on what’s working and what’s not. It’s also helpful to step away from your computer and talk through the work with another person to ensure that your design intention is coming through and the system is intuitive enough for others to use.

Internal reviews are also a valuable tool for collaborating on designs. These reviews give other designers on your team the opportunity to comment on the work and offer suggestions for improvement. It’s important to get multiple opinions on your designs to make sure the system works and is helpful for everyone. Additionally, practicing your presentations internally before presenting to a client can help you refine your language and ensure that your designs are intuitive and self-explanatory.

Prototype testing is another effective way to utilise collaborative design. A prototype can be anything from a piece of paper to an interactive InVision board. Testing with members of your team can help you think through basic user experience patterns and improve usability. You can also conduct formal user testing with target audience members to get a better understanding of how they interact with your product.

Finally, don’t be afraid to seek feedback from your team and others in the design community. This can be especially helpful when you’re facing a particularly challenging design problem. Other designers have likely dealt with similar challenges and can offer valuable insights and suggestions.

In conclusion, collaborating with others is essential for improving your designs and becoming a better designer. Embrace internal reviews, prototype testing, and seek feedback from your team and the design community to create designs that are intuitive and effective.