Collaboration makes a world of difference in design. With a clear understanding of collaboration and its benefits, you can help design team members work in lockstep to become more efficient than ever before and drive unprecedented productivity. Here’s how and why you should work to Increasing Collaboration Within Your Design Team.
Benefits of Collaborative Design
Key reasons to promote collaboration within your design team include:
1. You Can Unify Your Design Team
Design team members who share the same vision can avoid roadblocks at every stage of a project. They can provide feedback and insights without having to worry about a project going off the rails. The result: all design team members are unified in their efforts to complete a project to the best of their ability.
2. You Can Instill Confidence in Your Designers
In a collaborative project, each designer plays an integral part in its completion. Designers can share their project ideas and hear others provide feedback about them. Then, they can support and instill confidence in one another as project tasks are completed.
3. You Can Help Your Design Take Its Creativity and Innovation to New Heights
A design team that recognises the value of collaboration is unafraid to try new things. Team members can let their creative juices flow to the fullest extent. This increases the likelihood that a design team can drive creativity and innovation like never before.
There is a lot to like about design team collaboration. It won’t take long to develop and maintain a collaborative design team, either.
How to Foster Design Team Collaboration
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to foster collaboration among design team members. However, there are many tried-and-true techniques you can use to drive design team collaboration.
Here are five tips to drive collaboration among your design team.
1. Invest in Design Collaboration Tools
Pick up collaboration tools and implement them across your design team. Some of the most-popular design collaboration tools include:
- Mural: Provides a real-time digital whiteboard.
- ai: Enables team members to create, manage, and store digital media assets in a single location.
- Filestage: Streamlines content reviews and approvals.
Consider your design team’s requirements before you invest in collaboration tools. Identify tools that make it simple for team members to connect with one another from any location, at any time.
Furthermore, choose collaboration tools that support your design team. This can help you keep your employees happy.
2. Host Brainstorming Sessions
Encourage design team members to come forward with any ideas. One of the best ways to do so: conduct regular design team brainstorming sessions.
Ensure design team members know what to expect out of a brainstorming session. Establish an agenda prior to each session. That way, design team members can prepare for a brainstorming session accordingly.
Moreover, take advantage of any of the following brainstorming session techniques:
- Brainwriting: Involves anonymously writing down ideas on notes or index cards.
- Starbursting: Requires participants to consider the five W’s (who, what, when, where, and why) behind an idea, along with how to transform an idea into a reality.
- Gap Analysis: Focuses on a participant’s goal and current state and the steps required to bridge the gap between them.
Keep brainstorming sessions brief. A typical brainstorming session should last anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes. Upon completion, your design team can review the session results and learn from them.
3. Educate Your Design Team About the Value of Collaboration
- Interactive: Involves the use of simulations, games, and other interactive learning modules.
- Social: Requires participants to observe others and imitate and model their behaviors.
- Online: Gives participants the flexibility to complete training courses and exercises via their smartphone, tablet, or computer.
Along with a training program that showcases the value of collaboration, educate your design team about workplace microaggressions. This is exceedingly important, since microaggressions can make it difficult for design team members to feel comfortable working with their peers.
In this instance, design team members will feel great about where they work and what they do. And they can collaborate with each other to help your business thrive.
4. Keep the Lines of Communication Open
Promote open and honest communication among your design team. Let team members know you are available to support them in any way possible. In addition, ask team members to share any concerns or questions with you.
Utilise an online communication platform. Common communication platforms used by design teams include:
- Slack: Allows design team members to send and receive real-time messages.
- Confluence: Offers a workspace for knowledge- and information-sharing.
- Basecamp: Provides a project management and team communication tool.
Integrate your online communication platform into all aspects of your design team operations. By using the platform, team members can minimise the risk of miscommunications.
5. Request Feedback (and Learn from It)
Get feedback on how design team members feel about their ability to collaborate with their colleagues and superiors. From here, you can discover ways to improve collaboration, so your team can increase its efficiency and take on bigger projects.
There are several ways to collect design team feedback. These include:
- Use Surveys: Provide open- and closed-ended questions relating to design team collaboration.
- Conduct Group Meetings: Host group meetings to get collaboration insights from design team members.
- Perform One-on-Ones: Meet individually with design team members to find out how they feel about team-wide collaboration.
Take design team feedback regarding collaboration seriously. Review team members’ feedback to uncover patterns and trends hidden within it. Next, you can take steps to further drive design team collaboration.
The Bottom Line on How to Increase Design Team Collaboration
Do not expect design team members to embrace collaboration right away. Conversely, take a gradual approach to get design team members on the same page. Be persistent in your efforts to promote design team collaboration, too.
As designers become more comfortable with one another and more confident in working with their peers and superiors, you can build a collaborative design team — and over time, your design team can become a high-performing unit within your business.
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