At Engine Digital, we’ve been designing and building user experiences for web, mobile, and retail channels for over 13 years. With 35 employees and offices in New York and Vancouver, the tools we use to collaborate and produce work for clients are more important than ever before.
Given the wealth of research and insights that go into each of our projects, how we move through the discovery phase and into design is especially important. And it’s a big reason we’re excited about one of InVision’s latest features, Boards.
Boards shifted our team’s process. We’re already operating differently during our discovery phase and when we build mood boards for projects. Historically, our team’s process included gathering imagery, refining selections, building a presentation-worthy layout in Sketch or Photoshop, and then bringing that layout into Keynote.
“Boards shifted our team’s process.”
Using Boards, we’re able to construct mood boards much quicker, which allows us to spend more time researching and gathering great imagery. The drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to group imagery while resizing, reordering, and adding notes to each image.
Instead of showing a Keynote presentation, we present our InVision Board directly to clients. They love the dynamic layout and clean presentation.
Boards has also bridged the gap between research and design comps, giving our design process increased transparency both internally and with our clients. Internally, a better sense of the evolution of inspiration behind a project builds a stronger case for work done down the line. And our clients get a clearer window into our team’s thinking at an early stage of each project. The result: more buy-in and smoother subsequent phases of the project.
Going hand-in-hand with better process is increased efficiency, another area Boards has boosted our team’s output. We’re able to quickly produce thoughtful presentations in a short amount of time that show well to our clients.
“Boards’ user interface makes it easy to quickly import and organize lots of visual material.”
Boards’ user interface is super flexible and makes it easy to quickly import and organize lots of visual material. As a result, we spend more time researching and thinking about our ideas rather than preparing them for presentation.
Communication and collaboration
We have offices in New York and Vancouver, and Boards has boosted team collaboration from coast to coast. Even with project teams spread across offices, everyone can hop into the same Board to add imagery, comment on existing content, adjust layouts, and more. Each Board also serves as a point for discussion, giving project teams something to rally around and discuss rather than a list of links to images and style guide documents passed around via chat or email.
Boards has also enabled greater collaboration with our clients. We’re able to present and talk about mood boards and other design thinking during meetings and make live updates if necessary. Is there a particular image the client absolutely loves? We can highlight it. Something the client feels is off-brand? We can remove it immediately to avoid confusion later on. As a result, we’re working with our clients during these moments rather than simply presenting to them.
Rich client interaction
Collaborative moments with clients lead to richer interactions overall. Our clients love seeing imagery nicely laid out and strategically grouped into categories reflecting their brand.
On a recent web project that ran parallel to a rebranding, we used Boards as an intermediate digital style guide. The flexible framework allowed us to make updates for both internal and external use with the client as the branding came together and informed the website.
In other cases, when we’re sharing mood boards to communicate creative direction, Boards makes it easy to present and share our work thanks to the client-friendly layout.
We’ve even used Boards as an asset gallery to propose photos to clients, collect feedback, and then use internally as a central asset repository. Sending material internally or to clients is a breeze thanks to the easy-to-share URL—compared to exporting files and sending large attachments.
Often we seek the right tools to support our process. But sometimes, a tool can justify a shift in the way we do things. The new Boards feature has pushed our process and workflow forward. Heck, our team even built a Board to fully educate our team on InVision’s array of features and how we can best incorporate them into our production pipeline.