User interface and user experience design go hand in hand, but they’re two very different fields. Unless you’re working on the same project or app, the two designers likely work in separate teams. Team collaboration is key when working with a UX/UI designer. Take the time to understand each team member’s strengths and weaknesses so that everyone feels comfortable contributing their best ideas. Working as a team means trusting others and collaborating well — which is where most people put their designers. That trust starts with being open and honest about your team’s limitations and individual needs, which makes collaborating much easier than it could be. Here are some tips for effective collaboration between designers…
Trust and communication are key
Understanding where trust comes from and how to communicate effectively with your team members will take some of the stress out of the collaborative process. Trust is a two-way street — it’s something you have to give to others in order for them to reciprocate. In the UI/UX design process, knowing where to begin communication is just as important as how you communicate as it is throughout the process. Trust and communication are two sides of the same coin. You can’t communicate effectively unless you’re aware of your team’s strengths, weaknesses, and communication styles. If you know where they’re coming from, you’ll be able to connect with them on a deeper level.
Everyone has a role to play
Much like the way a football team works together to score points, a great design process requires everyone on the team to take on their specific role. For example, a designer may be responsible for finding the best solution to a design challenge, while a developer may work to build the solution. When each team member understands their role, they’ll know where to focus their energy and have the confidence to approach their tasks with a confident approach. It’s important to remember that different roles are required in any project, no matter the field.
Be upfront about your strengths and weaknesses
No one is perfect. It’s not realistic to expect that a designer can develop the perfect user interface for an app or website. In some instances, design weaknesses may be the biggest roadblocks to success, which is why it’s important to be up-front about your strengths and weaknesses. It’s also a good idea to identify areas that another designer may be strong in so that you can work with them more effectively. When it comes to communicating your weaknesses, it’s important to be up-front about the way you feel about them. It’s OK to admit that you don’t know everything about a certain area of design and that you may need to learn a new skill. You may be able to work with the project team to find the resources necessary to improve your design skills.
Communicate frequently and clearly
Customers expect consistent and clear communication between services and between team members, especially during the early stages of a project. The best way to ensure that communication remains clear during every stage is to communicate frequently and clearly with your team members. When communicating, be as specific as possible. Whether it means explaining a design concept or clarifying a complex piece of information, be as specific as possible while also staying in the context of the project. When communicating with your team members, make sure to be mindful of the type of information they’re communicating.
Stay flexible as the project evolves
Navigating a collaborative project can be challenging. On high-stakes projects, such as those involving software development, it may be necessary to make some compromises. However, for the majority of projects, staying flexible and adapting to the ever-changing project needs is critical. Design and development projects are never static. They’re dynamic and constantly evolving. In fact, most projects don’t meet a single set of expected specifications.
What’s important to remember when collaborating with a designer is that you’ll likely need to change your project specifications to accommodate the designer’s design needs.
Collaboration is challenging for any team and can be especially challenging for designers. However, with the right mindset, it doesn’t have to be frustrating or difficult. Follow these tips to ensure that every collaboration between designers goes as smoothly as possible.
Trust and communication are key Everyone has a role to play Be upfront about your strengths and weaknesses. Communicate frequently and clearly Stay flexible as the project evolves Wrap up Working as a team means trusting others and collaborating well — which is where most people put their designers. That trust starts with being open and honest about your team’s limitations and individual needs, which makes collaborating much easier than it could be.