2021/06/02 19:35:43

How To Make Collaborative Web Design Your New Team Culture

Alexander Hoogewijs

Collaborative web design workflows, like great creativity, work best when orchestrated logically and in order. Creative web work is beautiful and complex, and requires fast planning and collaboration to get done: many hands working together in sequenced unison.

Collaboration and smooth work flows are key in web design agencies.
Photographer: Headway | Source: Unsplash

To produce great web work at scale, your team needs an epic level of organized, planned collaboration. They should fully adopt collaborative web design as their new work style.

Here are some basic suggestions to get your team started. They’re designed to help empower and accelerate your creative process, by adopting a fully organized web design process to let you improve, control, and scale your web agency business.

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Boldly Go To The Cloud

If you haven’t already, fully commit yourself to migrate all your agency work to the cloud. The web is the ultimate global frontier. Increases in bandwidth and storage, plus advances in computing and processing power now make online work lighting fast and exciting. Trust in the process and transition all your web design workflows to the cloud.

Collaborative web design systems are linked in the cloud.
Photographer: LinkedIn Sales Solutions | Source: Unsplash

The cloud offers you exponentially more benefits to stay flexible, lean, secure, and lightning-fast in your team’s daily work. With everyone plugged into the work modules around their skills, and efficiently designed process handovers, your efficiency and scalability skyrockets to the moon and back.

A secure cloud setup instantly provides one central work hub to create, communicate, and store all project work. Updates can now be shared in real-time and be accessed anywhere remotely. With your teamwork tech now powered up online, your stage is now set for a truly collaborative web design workflow to begin!

Get Ready To Work Together, Apart

With a fully digital business plan, you can now start implementing a new, collaborative web design structure for your team. Set up lean, appealing, intuitive work modules for each of your web design and development disciplines. Every skilled department gets one: code, design, content, and project management to ensure priorities and goals.

Collaborative web design can take place in or out of the office.
Photographer: Leon | Source: Unsplash

This means every skill set gets a digital work environment tailored to their needs. Coders develop components in backend screens with low-code snippet automation features. Designers set up layouts and modify components with integrated graphic tools like Figma or Sketch. Content writers enjoy the straightforward headline and body copy modules focused on specific parts of the web layout. Project managers can coordinate timelines and project details at every stage to ensure outstanding results.

In your new, working, collaborative web design system model, every single work function and department at your creative web design agency is working in their own separate module, but still interfacing with each other smoothly at key points in the process. Each work module is powerful in its own goal, without any risk of accidental change to other department’s work. Together, yet comfortably separate from each other.

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Put Process Before Design

Yes, really. Great ideas are the result of methodical research and organized documentation. Ironically, flowing creativity involves a lot of logical preparation. Web development is no different. You need a great structure to ensure great designs. People can give their best when the process is clear, smooth, and complete.

Design systems setup a great process for collaborative teams.
Photographer: | Source: Unsplash

For agencies, time savings is the largest opportunity area. Having creative design processes that don’t stand in their own way is the key to this. A collaborative web design process built in your design system ensures that the interactions between different steps in the creation process are free from friction.

The project management team oversees these process changes between the stages of preparation, creation (or execution), and feedback iterations. When project handovers between departments work smoothly and predictably, you reduce confusion and avoid redundant work. It saves you more time to take on additional paid work.

In the end, a great process ensures your teams can focus on their task at hand, creating logical components that support the large creative project idea for the client. Say ‘bye’ to slow, repetitive, redundant work processes. Hello, speed and efficiency!

Embrace A Smart System

Robots can’t top humans when it comes to context, but they sure can help the speed and improve some aspects. The benefit of your digital web design system is that you can now incorporate key automation aspects into many parts of your skilled web development process. This is exciting stuff that helps your team work faster and make more informed design decisions.

You can include many kinds of smart data automation to boost your web design system.
Photographer: Possessed Photography | Source: Unsplash

For example, imagine that project management can view the top selected freelance candidates by skill rankings matched to a certain web project. This kind of resource-selecting data mining is both genius and speedy for your projects’ talent sourcing.

Equally cool are AI-powered design and development tips, snippets, suggestions or shortcuts to make work easier for coders and designers. Automated reminders, tasks, and project dependencies never fall through any cracks. Thanks to smart systems, your teams stay aware of all key details without feeling bogged down by them.

Your design system can even open up new learning and mentoring modules, complete with smart tests, guided career paths, innovation exercises, and team-building challenges. Just make sure to follow up on these in person, to give it all much more genuine and personal work meaning.

In a competitive web design agency industry, your intelligent design system automation helps you work smarter, not just harder.

Iterate Like A Boss

The top benefit of a design system is speed. Speed to create, speed to test, speed to get the right designs done faster. With a talented team collaborating this way in efficient synchrony, iterations happen without friction or waste.

Lean Startup workshop
Photographer: Daria Nepriakhina | Source: Unsplash

This is the key to your scalable work model: the ability to quickly go through a smooth and efficient feedback loop, providing as many iterations as needed to get to your client’s desired result. Only great collaboration among your team members, guided by a lean project management department, can achieve this with great success.

Highly reusable components organized into logical, shared atomic design libraries sit at the heart of this model. Don’t expect collaboration to be fast if each group works in traditionally fragmented work silos, separated by the high walls of private drives and disorganized folder trees.

A shared set of UX / UI guidelines, libraries, and atomic design components are the lifeblood of this collaborative setup. There are no high walls between departments. Instead, everyone has visibility and understanding of the systems. Specific levels and rules by role enable everyone the access they need without the risk of mishandling, breaking, or losing any component owned by another team. Everyone walks together but stays in their lanes, with a full view of the road ahead, behind, and around. A collaborative design system team that is always on the move.

Promote Face Time

Your collaborative design system is the gateway toward better work processes, and better designs are done fast. But remember that your technology and documentation does not replace rational, emotive thought. Your people are the most unique, valuable part of your system. It’s always a people business, no matter what you do.

Photographer: Christina @ | Source: Unsplash

When you need more action or a crucial change in direction, have those discussions in person. Touch base regularly to make sure everyone’s mind is on the right business priorities, by the team and by the company. Technology enables a better working process, but only people complete it and take it sky-high. It’s also only people who can build a work culture, centred around a smooth collaboration web design system.

Your design system metrics will obviously quickly point out certain things that are working well, and others that aren’t. Don’t let the technology do all the managing, though; use this automation as a lean springboard to chat with each team member in person and figure out what’s really going on, with ways to optimize or switch courses. Plus, make sure to give praise when needed, which is always a nice morale boost for the troops.

Follow up in person and in meetings on key learning, mentoring, and team-building modules inside your collaborative design system. The added context gained from discussions can help everyone learn concepts better and put them to work faster.

Adopt A Collaborative Web Design Style Today!

Use your design system to support an open, collaborative work culture powered by effective no-code technology. Do this, and watch your speed and your team innovations shoot up in no time.

Photographer: Christina @ | Source: Unsplash

Whether you’re a creative marketing team or a web design agency, the way to advance your collaborative web design is clear. A powerful, lean design system like SiteManager can help you get there. To learn more, schedule a demo and get the ball rolling now. We look forward to speaking with you!

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