Collaborative Design

Synonyms: collaborative design process

It is an approach that involves different team-centered practices for working on design. It includes collaborating nor just with other designers, but also with members of other teams — for example, developers and marketing specialists.

Collaborative design is opposite to hero-based design, when all the work has to be done by one designer. 


This approach is helpful for generating ideas and creating more effective products.


  1. Team Sketching

    Sketching sessions can make your team more collaborative as all the members can share their ideas simultaneously. The key to success here is to define the goal of the session. For example, to design a homepage that drives customers to subscribe for your newsletter.  


    It is not necessary to start with blank sheets or screens. It is okay to bring low-fidelity wireframes or some sketches as a starting point. 

    Thanks to different tools, team sketching is available for remote teams.


    You can also provide some elements of design to involve in the session  those members of the team who are not keen on sketching.

  2. Design Charrette

    Charette is a short meeting where designers can share their ideas with members of the team to explore different design ideas and find the best solutions.

    This process includes 5 stages:


    1. Problem or goal definition.

    2. Individual idea generation.

    3. Presentation of ideas.

    4. Team idea generation. Can include team sketching.

    5. Collecting all the ideas for the next review.

    Time management is extremely important here. You should limit every stage and stick to the timing.

  3. Internal Reviews

    Before presenting any design outside the team it is important to review it internally. This practice creates a safe environment for every member of the team as he or she feels that he is not alone. It is also helpful in improving design as an author of it gets good feedback from other designers he trusts.

    Team discussion is also extremely helpful before the presentation of a project to a client.


  4. Prototype Testing

    Testing with both designers and non-designers helps to identify some weak points of the design. This process can help a designer to look at his project from the perspective of the user. It is especially necessary when you work on a small project and can not afford testing outside the team.


  5. Sharing Inspiration

    Here in Flowmapp we like this practice. The idea is to share projects that you find interesting and inspiring. All the members of the team can do it any time on a special channel. The practice helps to generate ideas on different meetings, to get feedback on different projects and to create an informal atmosphere.

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