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InVision ambassador ambassador
Owen Hughes Owen Hughes

Remote design teams

I have within the last year started working in a design team spread across 2 locations. We are adapting and learning about working across locations all the time and are adapting our processes to cope. 

I was wondering if anyone else does this and if you have any learnings or insights that are worth sharing?

 

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Preston McCauley
InVision ambassador Preston McCauley , ambassador Edited
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Good Morning,

As a UX teacher and consultant, I've had to do this a lot with my teams. The way you should approach this problem is through the eyes of a UX process.

Evaluate the needs of each team: This can include tools, technology, and communication. I often take a good look at what experience level other team members have. I then use this to help me to determine how frequently I communicate with team leads.

Understand Working Environments: Every team works differently and often when working with organizations around the world; there are different cultural norms. It's important to understand those quickly and how they may impact any design team leadership and decision-making process

Determine Tools For Success: As you might have guessed, I use a lot of Invision tools. To start  Use BOARDS to help align each teams design direction. This is important so that you don't have teams in different areas running off on different design directions, moods tones, etc..

Do this to kick start your design library process. DO NOT JUMP into just building a design system without understanding the context of how the design will work and needs to adapt (A lot of people do this, and it's wrong).  Start with a mood board, a design pattern board, and build up from there. If it's time to collaborate, get together the whole team Virtually on one Freehand board - Upload designs, comment on them, share them, sketch out new ones. And then meet all together over a hangout or video meeting.

Above all, use video. You want to know your team and at least once or twice during a project see your teammates face to face. There is a person behind the thought and the pixel and its essential to understand and empathize with them.

Determine Your Meeting Times: Setup and stick to your meeting times. Be very direct with the team about the meeting focus. This is especially true if you are working remotely, assign pieces of work that you want to see from the group. Setup times to discuss the finer details of the UX and the design. This is especially important if you are working in an AGILE environment

Celebrate The Small Empower The Worst: Not every design is going to be a hit. Understand why specific teams are struggling and identifying those pain points as early as possible. They will drastically hurt your ability to produce. Perhaps it's not enough details, or the client wants to go in too many directions, Be sure to ACT - acknowledge, change and teach. This way, you make your teams more, and they will start to recognize what they need to ask for earlier in the design process. Also, when things are great to acknowledge them from the start, don't wait - Great Job Team X on The Y. This is the exact direction the client wanted!

Don't Let Process Dictate Success: Too many teams struggle to follow a process, and then lose sight of the end user and customers. Find the right balance, when you do this, these are the teams that succeed.
These are just a few areas you should be looking at any kind of template I follow when evaluating, building, and strengthening design teams.

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Owen Hughes
InVision ambassador Owen Hughes , ambassador
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Hi Preston! 

Thanks for the reply! Lots to take away and digest! 

Really helpful! 

Thanks

Owen

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