At its core, design is a collaborative practice. From design reviews, sprints, group sketching, and cross-functional feedback, the process requires an “all-hands-on-deck” mentality that’s organically created when working shoulder-to-shoulder with colleagues . So when a brisk transition to working remotely comes out of left field, design teams can especially feel creatively and productively challenged.
In light of the challenges many in our community face while trying to keep their organizations running during this pandemic, we’ve put together a collection of the most helpful, design-oriented content we’ve created at InVision. Helping the world’s best teams work collaboratively is a core tenet. We hope this collection fosters creativity, focus, and collaboration during this uncertain time.
This book compiles the most important lessons we’ve gleaned from years of scaling InVision into the company we are today: one with 700 employees across 30 countries—and zero offices. We also pull from our experiences building digital collaboration software as a distributed organization and working with remarkable design teams around the world.
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Creativity is dependent on the remashing and remixing of ideas, and a good in-person creative ideation session is an incredible boon to a product team. But when you’re remote, you have to recreate the magic using real-time collaboration tools. Here, we share how we use Freehand, our real-time whiteboarding tool for allowing independent thought and exploration throughout the ideation and product design process.
Culture is the set of values, norms, habits, beliefs, and characteristics that make a company a unique place to work. But what happens when that “unique place” isn’t a location on a map but in the cloud? When coworkers can no longer participate in team-building exercises in the same room or the daily serendipitous meetings that happen in the halls or open floor plans of a traditional office? Here are the six things you can do to build and maintain a strong remote company culture.
Contributors at the freelancer platforms 99designs collaborate remotely as a part of their daily routine. However, they’ve found that the set-up means peer-to-peer communication is limited mostly to the most pressing and day-to-day topics. They were greatly missing the value of conversations that come up outside the context of a project or deadline, those that organically arise while grabbing a coffee in the kitchen or during a fleeting moment in the hallway. While surveying ideas to strengthen the team’s design culture and truly connect beyond the screen, they came up with a truly genius idea: A UX book club. Read the article to find out more about how the team set it up and the benefits it brought to the organization.
The web-integration company Zapier’s former director of design shares the tools, communication strategies, and mentalities that helped create not only a productive remote design team, but also fostered a greater culture.
The biggest challenges for designers and developers working together is often lack of alignment, bottlenecks in delivery, and the fact that the two disciplines often don’t share a central hub. While these are difficult for co-located employees, the issues are often exacerbated when the team is distributed—but these four tips can help.
A physical separation doesn’t have to mean a mental one, too. Companies both large and small share their best practices and tools to help reduce the friction of working together when you’re not actually together.
While you’re more likely to be dealing with a fully-distributed team rather than a hybrid-remote one, this case-study from SaaS company ACS Technologies details how running a design workshop and doing exercises like empathy and journey map creation using Freehand is still super helpful for any newly-remote team.
In this webinar Aarron Walter, VP of InVision’s design education, and Linda Eliasen and Buzz Usborne from Help Scout, another 100% distributed company, have a candid discussion on what it means to design together when you’re miles apart. They cover tactics and tools to keep designers inspired and connected across time zones, protecting design-share channels from unconstructive commentary, considerations when working with far-flung teammates, and using video to get the feedback you need.
The founder and CEO of Maze, a user testing platform, share their best practices for remote user testing after meeting with hundreds of designers who understand the potential of remote research and embrace it during their design process.
Justin Huskey, head of design at Infinite Red, shares how his team used remote collaboration to develop a better design process than what they had done in person.. Read more on how they established the golden rules of design communication, recreated the whiteboard experience, and ran remote design reviews in this post.
Remote designers aren’t inherently bound to a life full of miscommunication and difficulties collaborating. From simple communication habits to powerful collaboration tools, here’s how to make things easier when working with a remote design team.
Just like in most disruptions to routines, productivity can be a problem as individuals figure out what works best for them in their new set ups. We reached out to our fellow distributed workforce partners (as well as our own InVision employees) for their best #remotelife tips on tackling the most common problems.
No matter your role, it’s likely you’re facing some things that make it harder to get work done during the day. Whether that be kids home from school, roommates who are also working remotely, or just silence, these 12 steps can help you gain greater control over your work day.
While many teams may be delaying or reframing timelines on projects after this shift, thinking that remote work can’t foster as much productivity in the office, Creative Market’s six-month project is an inspiration. Read the community-generated design assets marketplace’s recap on how clear alignment trickles down into purposeful collaboration and hiring, and can move mountains in a short period of time.
Interested in learning more? We at InVision will be focusing on how we can help our community and customers collaborate creatively and seamlessly throughout the pandemic, as well as tracking the impact the sudden shift in remote work has on businesses. For now, also check out some content from some of our most trusted partners.
- Gitlab: Resources for companies embracing remote work
- Trello: How to embrace remote work
- Remote: Office Not Required, book by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson from 37signals