Best Practices and Tools to Embrace the Era of Remote design collaboration
The concept of remote work has become an inevitable and popular trend in today’s digital world. People are enjoying the flexibility of working from the comfort of their homes, and businesses have successfully transitioned to remote work without damaging their productivity.
We’re long-term fans of remote working here at Design Force (we wrote a free e-book all about it), but we know too that remote work can present certain challenges and complexities, particularly when working with remote designers and creatives.
A successful design collaboration requires effective communication, proper time management, and the right tools. But, embracing remote work as a business owner or marketer can lead to more diverse and innovative design ideas, and provide greater flexibility in achieving your business goals.
In this article, we’ll discuss the best practices and tools for collaborating with remote designers so that you can get the most out of any future partnership.
Common challenges of collaborating with remote designers
In order to successfully navigate collaboration with a remote design team, awareness of the common pitfalls can mitigate issues before they arise. Here are some things to consider:
Effective communication is an essential part of any business, but it’s even more important when working with remote design teams.
To avoid confusion, delays or crossed wires, make sure to have a robust communication plan in place. Where should the bulk of your communication take place? Slack, email, video call, or somewhere else?
And set respectful boundaries between your business and the designers. What times are you unreachable? What’s a reasonable response timeframe? Who is the person to contact?
Remote designers often collaborate across different time zones, which can lead to communication gaps and difficulties in managing feedback.
Having a centralized workflow is a mutually beneficial way to overcome this challenge. Project management tools like ClickUp or Asana offer access to tasks at hand no matter the time so that while one person sleeps, another can get on with designing.
Designers, although extremely talented, are not mind readers. Incomplete or vague briefs can cause disruption and delays for both designer and business. The common phrase “I’ll know it when I see it” is a waste of everyone’s time (as well as your budget).
To ensure a smooth process and understanding of the design work required, make sure to provide your remote design team with a clear and specific design brief. We find it beneficial at Design Force to assign one specific person, our design manager, to brief the design team at any given time, for consistency and ease.
This advice counts for feedback during review stages, too. Don’t be afraid to explain in detail what you’d like amended – the clearer you are, the more likely your designer will hit the mark.
Best practices for smooth and successful remote design collaboration
Establishing clear expectations is a critical first step in ensuring a successful remote design collaboration. This includes setting clear project milestones, deadlines, and communication channels.
Plus, creating space for regular check-ins with your remote designers can help you stay on top of the work and ensure that everyone is on the same page. This is where those cloud-based collaboration tools we mentioned come in so handy, as they allow you to share files, manage feedback, and maintain a consistent design language.
Design Force tip:
- Set clear goals, deadlines and deliverables
- Use project management tools to keep track of projects
- Foster positive remote culture with regular check-ins
- Provide constructive and thoughtful feedback
Examples of successful remote design collaboration projects
There are so many benefits to choosing to work with a remote design team.
Whether you’ve got a marketing campaign that needs social media assets, are in need of a brand identity refresh to align your internal teams, or have a funding round that needs a fresh pitch deck, we can guarantee there is a talented design team somewhere in the world that’s perfect for the task. Choosing to work with remote teams gives you access to a wider pool of talent than you might find locally, which can lead to better quality design work and new perspectives on design projects.
Different time zones, although sometimes a challenge, can drastically increase efficiency and output. It can offer greater flexibility as designers with different skills can work together from anywhere.
Not to mention working with remote design teams is cost-effective. Our most popular Pro Force subscription works out at just $65 per hour for a team of designers – a fraction of the cost of hiring full-time talent in-house.
We’re not the only team fully embracing remote collaboration. Integration software Zapier refreshed its entire brand identity using a remote design team, in just 6 months.
Shopify, the business shopping platform, also praises its setup since switching to fully remote in 2020.
And this fun and playful work for Google was created by digital nomad team, Idea and Maker.
Let the collaboration begin
Despite the challenges, remote collaboration has offered unique opportunities for businesses to work with a broader pool of talent and overcome geographical limitations.
In the future, we’re predicting design collaboration to thrive, as businesses continue to embrace the benefits. This trend is likely to lead to more innovative and diverse design outcomes – good news for businesses and designers alike.
By embracing best practices for remote collaboration and leveraging the right tools, you can ensure that your remote collaboration experiences are successful and productive. And if you’re ready to take the plunge to start working with world-class designers, book a free 15 minute demo with our Design Force team to see just how much is at your fingertips…