What is Design Collaboration?
UX design collaboration refers to a collaborative process in which multiple stakeholders can provide real-time feedback throughout the entire design process. The three stages of a collaborative design process typically include ideation, creation, revision. The client, along with key members of a design company, such as product managers, marketing teams and researchers, can provide input at each stage.
Collaboration in design encourages client buy-in on the client’s design. They know the status of the project and can suggest changes early. This prevents teams becoming isolated. For example, if a visual designer creates an unsuitable design, it may prove difficult to implement or not meet legal clearances.
Three Benefits of Collaborative Designs
Collaboration is crucial in UX design for many reasons.
- Encourages teamwork: A collaborative design project allows the whole team to come together around a common goal or vision. As they work together to solve design problems and deliver the product on time, team members can support each other.
- Client involvement increases: The likelihood of clients buying in to the project. This can help the design team streamline their workflow by allowing them to get real-time feedback instead of waiting for all the work to be completed.
- Improves user experience: Collaboration brings together different perspectives and skill sets. Collaboration can boost innovation and bring creative problem-solving to the design process. This can ultimately be a boon for the user experience.
Five Phases of the Design Collaboration process
There are five stages to the collaborative design process.
- Brainstorming: Multiple conversations must be had between the design firm (or an external client) and the client before design can begin. This could be an internal client or a team from a larger company. It is crucial for the design team that the brainstorming process helps them understand the particular design problem they are trying to solve.
- Research: Once the design team understands the client’s needs, they can conduct market research and discuss design ideas with one another. Teams can create design concepts to inspire the design phase by using a vision board.
- Iteration: UX design is iterative. Once a design approach has been chosen, it is subject to multiple iterations in order to refine the final product. A design sprint is a time-frame for the completion of a particular iteration.
- Feedback: Each iteration will receive user feedback to ensure optimal usability. Teams will often test their designs before submitting them to clients for feedback. Clients can also provide feedback in real time using a design collaboration platform. Real-time feedback can increase client buy-in as it gives them more control over the process.
- After the client has approved all designs: The final stage of the design cycle is called development. To ensure that the design elements work properly, team members often walk clients through the project. It’s now time to launch your design. After the design has been launched, you may need to make any necessary adjustments.
A case study of collaborative design
The typical collaborative design process looks like this: First, there is the brainstorming session where all members of the team meet with the client. After the client has expressed their requirements for a website design, the project team offers design ideas. The design team works on the project iteratively, taking into account any feedback from other stakeholders. The client is then notified by the design team that the design has been sent to them for approval. This can take the form of a mockup, prototype, template or wireframe. The client can provide real-time feedback or annotations to the design team by using a design collaboration tool, such as a digital whiteboard, interactive software, or other similar tools. The revised designs are then tested and refined further.