Design teams often have to collate data, qualitative research, insights, surveys amongst other information. It is crucial to have all that information in a single location. Here we have listed out a number of resources for UX design teams, perfect for adapting to remote work.
Remote work is fun but has its challenging moments even more so for design teams that are highly collaborative and communicative, but a meticulously selected set of tools can alleviate some of your concerns.
Before you make a decision on the tools needed for yourself or your team, consider some of the questions below
- Will the meetings or workshops be synchronous or asynchronous?
- Will there be a steep learning curve for new users?
- Do they allow for engaging and interactive sessions?
- Are they affordable?
- Does it suit the needs, purpose and skill set of your team?
- Do they offer good customer support?
Feel free to amend your list of questions to ensure you make the right selection.
Let’s get into it!
1. Design Collaboration
InVision is a popular prototyping tool that allows design teams to create interactive mock-ups of their designs and share them with either their team or clients for feedback and review.
- Feedback and iteration are central to the design process and InVision has kept this in mind. By sharing the link to the design, you can easily present to your team members or clients. They can pin notes and comments on specific points on the screen. This removes the need for separate communication tools like email to share feedback, it’s a much smoother and easier process.
- Live share is a feature that allows collaboration in real time. It takes place in the browser and by clicking the live share button, you can share your progress with others. You can also talk via voice chat, call or group chat with the team while presenting. Another functionality within this feature, is sketch mode where you can draw on the screen to visually expand on your ideas. This can then be sent to yourself and others.
- Along the same line, with iteration at the focus, Invision keeps a handy record of all past screens so you can access your version history quickly and easily.
- InVision has a great plugin – Craft that allows designers to sync their designs from either Sketch or another platform into InVision. This reduces the time spent uploading individual files into InVision.
Slack is an immensely popular online communication tool. It brings both traditional and remote workers together via instant messages that bypasses the overreliance and oftentimes slow response time of email. Slack fosters both formal and informal communication for teams.
- Channels are the best way to organise work in Slack either by topic, team or project. They help organise the right people in one place, give everyone access to the latest information and generate faster responses. All the messages are saved and easily searchable
- Use mentions to reach your colleagues. Feedback, reviews and approvals are a crucial part of design work, but notifications are easy to ignore especially if they are incessant. When matters are urgent you can quickly reach a specific person by mentioning their name after using the @symbol. This lets them know the message is directed at them and is possibly urgent.
- Notifications can be distracting but Slack helps users stay focused by allowing you to customise your notifications. This can be as small as muting some conversations or setting up keywords you’d love alerts for when they are mentioned.
- Make use of Slack’s integration with cloud-based file management tools like Google Drive, One Drive and Dropbox. You don’t need to open a new tab to share a link – you can search for documents and share them from Slack.
3. Remote Workshops
Remotings is an online whiteboard that is perfect for remote workshops and meetings. This tool helps design teams to collaboratively brainstorm, create customer journey maps and produce interactive mind maps.
Remotings helps to effortlessly navigate all that information without endlessly fiddling with zooming in and out. You can holistically see and categorise your research on multiple boards.
Open a board here to try it out! No card or sign up required
- Design teams often have to collate data, qualitative research, insights, surveys amongst other information and it is crucial to have all that information in a single location. Remotings board canvas helps to effortlessly navigate all that information without endlessly fiddling with zooming in and out. You can holistically see and categorise your research on multiple boards.
- Remotings prioritises the role of the facilitator and it is great for workshops where there is a defined leader. In workshops, the facilitator has special access to view participant boards and also have conversations with them.
- Remotings also have an extensive range of templates to support the range of activities your team will undertake
- You can also collaborate and chat with your team both in real-time and asynchronously.
4. Task Management
Trello is an amazing collaborative tool that organises your tasks into boards. In one visual space, you can see what is being worked on, by who and if it has been completed. Each board can be filled with lists and post-it’s that contain tasks for team members or links to documents or other pertinent information.
- Collaboration, communication and feedback are essential to developing a great product. Trello provides a wide range of sample boards to provide structure, manage tasks and help with both internal and external communication. From sample boards for design sprints to boards for cross-functional design – Trello has got it covered.
- A fun way to track what cards are being worked on is the ‘Card Aging’ Power-Up. This helps you see cards on the board that haven’t touched in a while as they will visibly age. It’s a great way to visually scan the board and see which projects are falling behind and figure out which team member needs support.
- With so many things on your mind, it can become easy to lose track of when things are due. Trello allows users to add customisable due dates to suit their needs.
- You are probably a part of multiple boards, with a large number of cards on all of them. Trello master boards allow users to collate all the boards you are part of one place. You can be so much more productive and be able to see your deadlines, your progress all in one place.
With these cool super tools in hand, you'll be well on your way to productive remote collaboration with your team.