Designers from all over the world are just starting to adjust to a work culture that is based purely on remote communication, and that does not include those who have been freelance designing for the last couple of years. These days, finding a remote contract job is easier than ever; mostly because of the restrictions that may come in place when you have to travel from EU to US (or other parts of the planet), and your visa can only be extended/purchase for a certain amount of time. That’s a well-known restriction.
As the number of designers, and developers, who work remotely increases, so is increasing the number of collaborative work tools that are helping designers to communicate with fellow co-workers and clients instantaneously, in productive and reliable manner — managing reports, managing support tickets, doing real-time design editing, and other things that would be so much easier to do in person, are now becoming available to do online through a range of tools built specifically for those purposes.
Yammer is an enterprise social network for small and big businesses. Teams using Yammer can take advantage of the reliable collaboration tools that allow every team member to stay on top of things without too much hassle. Store, find, organize and plan things ahead of time — all of which becomes accessible to everyone in the team.
Some of the most popular features of Yammer are:
- Has a mobile app that lets you carry your work, and your team, wherever you go.
- Share ideas and work in an open environment that’s inviting and easy to use.
- In-built features allow sharing of photos and videos that enriches the work experience.
- Real-time notifications help you stay productive while waiting for the next update and/or push.
Yammer is an outstanding platform for anyone looking to become closer friends with their existing physical work team, and those team members who are working remotely.
InVision is a well-known platforms for doing design collaboration. With the help of InVision, teams across many different categories — design, management, marketing, etc,. — can easily evaluate product ideas before anyone even gets a chance to write any code for what your team is trying to build. In-built tools let team members built prototypes with fully functional feedback systems that let you experience the product before starting the actual coding work. Companies like Yammer publicly advertise the usability of InVision and how it helps them to build products that people love.
GoVisually offers designers a simple way to collaborate together on the designs they’re working on. You can upload your own designs/mockups at which point you’re given a link that you can share with your team members, or your clients and together find solutions to parts of design that might not be flowing as they should, or which might be different from what the client expected in the first place. This definitely helps those who are constantly finding themselves with clients who are over-expect certain design features, and is overall a great way to find common ground.
Slack has exploded in popularity in recent years, and whilst it’s not a strict design collaboration tool per say, a lot of designers and developers use Slack for that reason alone — to collaborate on stuff, quickly and effectively. Slack lets you create private talk rooms, lets you upload and manage files, and all conversations are recorded so you can always return back to them when necessary. It works great on mobile, as well as all available internet browsers.
Trello is the big brother of Slack, though it doesn’t really work as an instant messaging system. Trello users will find it incredibly easy to organize and plan things ahead of time, as well as stay on top of latest changes and necessary optimizations, whether for design or development work. Like a whiteboard with super powers, Trello is simple to use and infinitely flexible. You’ll know exactly what needs to get done, who’s going to do it, and what’s coming up next. Plus, everything you do is synced and saved instantly to the cloud so that all your devices are always up to date. Trello adapts to your project, team, and workflow.
Teams who are more enterprise oriented will benefit greatly from the features that Interact brings to the internal work process. Whether your team is looking to communicate, collaborate or share — Interact takes care of all the necessities that may stand in the way of making multiple workstations seem like one. Their Intelligence Store platform keeps logs of multitude of actions which allows to tailor and display content in an intelligent manner to the members of the team who are working with the particular projects. Interact Intranet promotes a culture of collaboration and idea sharing by using corporate social networking and micro blogs.
Mural is a great example of how someone who works in design was struggling to make his team efforts work, and instead of finding a remote solution that wasn’t reliable, Mariano Suarez Battan decided to built his own design collaboration platform that employs more than 10 people already. Mural is your visual thinking box for your whole team — use the collaborative design board to create, build and inspire ideas in a way that everyone feels part of the whole design process.
Conceptboard is a collaborative, whiteboard-based project management tool in the cloud! All your projects are stored in one place, categorized by folders, and you are able to share ideas, leave notes, upload files, and leave feedback for any new project that your team has started to work on. Because it is a project management tool, you will find it easy to create projects specifically for collecting feedback, as well as put together projects for your individual teams to start working on. It’s the perfect platform for doing collaborative visual design work.
Binfire, yet another project management platform, focuses on collaboration between small and big teams that need to get projects going in an efficient manner. A collaborative whiteboard enables you and your team members to communicate with clients directly and solve all their problems within the single whiteboard itself. Keep your clients in the loop of design process and send them frequent updates with all the changes since the last version. Teams who use similar design styles for their work will be pleased to know that Binfire provides an option to save templates that you can use for any new project, saving yourself and your team a ton of time.
Red Pen is a point and click design collaboration tool that enables you, your team and your clients to interact in real-time on the designs that you wish to proceed with. Be creative about the reasons why you wish to do things in a certain way, but also keep track of all the changes that were made in earlier versions and find your way towards the final version.