One of the challenges of being a remote worker is engaging with others in a meaningful way that fosters good communication and provides the necessary feedback and input to accomplish the tasks and projects in one’s queue.

In design, collaboration is key to getting things done efficiently and accurately. The need for each stakeholder involved in the process to provide their input is critical.

This collaborative approach was put to the test this past week when I was assigned a product ticket to improve the process of adding a new or existing user to a site. While this sounded like a simple task at first the more digging, the more I realized this was a complex project with many variables in play based on the information provided by a site admin or editor.

There’s nothing worse than staring at a blank artboard and not knowing where to start; this is where I found myself as I began. After thirty minutes of pushing inputs and buttons around in Adobe XD, I realized I needed more information from the ticket creator. In this case, our CTO, Josh Lynch. A quick SLACK call gave me the start I needed. My goal was not to produce a polished set of comps to share a day later but to have a simple prototype to review and ensure I was moving in the right direction. I shared my prototype with Josh who provided more feedback that gave me the clarity I needed to finish and deliver the comps for our developers to start building this improved interface.

Simple Prototype. Not polished

Keys to Successful Collaboration

  1. Communicate often. If possible face to face or over a call
  2. Peer review is critical. The input of developers, product managers, and other designers will reveal your blind spots.
  3. Stop and review. The danger of going down the wrong path is a time killer.
  4. Take notes during sprint planning to refer back to later
  5. Prototyping helps reveal the right process and gaps in thinking
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Photo of Brian Biddle Brian Biddle

For the past 14 years, Brian has served as lead designer and art director for LexBlog. He works directly with the product team to provide design and UX/UI guidance for the tools that power the worlds largest legal network.