The Advantages of Collaborative Design

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The Advantages of Collaborative Design

Postby McDanielCA » Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:51 pm

The Advantages of Collaborative Interaction Design was originally posted on the main page of LDSTech. It was written by Jed Grant.


Usually an interaction designer works to understand and implement project requirements in a way that allows users to most effectively accomplish their tasks. In this model, team members review designs and offer feedback, which leads to valuable improvements in the product design. Various iterations with the team happen before the design is even presented to the client.

When you present the design to the client, the client usually requests additional changes, which in turn leads to further iterations of design. The whole process to complete a design varies in the number of iterations—it can be excessive or light, depending on the team and client.

However, I’ve recently discovered several advantages to collaborative interaction design—that is, working alongside another designer on the same project. Collaborative design can reduce the number of iterations it takes to reach a high quality of design.

Collaborative Design

I had never considered working in tandem with another designer until a recent project when I found that regular discussion and feedback from another designer allowed for greater intuitive leaps in the quality of our work.

The regular discussion refined significant design elements and layout much more thoroughly, before we even presented the product to the team or client.

With collaborative design, both designers usually enter a project with a strong understanding of design choices. This helps us make better informed choices and leads to an increase in overall design quality.

Working as a design team has been an enlightening experience, and I am beginning to think that multiple designers on a single project provides enough benefit that it may be valuable to maintain the practice as a standard methodology.

Collaboration to the Face

Each week the interaction designers have an open forum called “Collaboration to the Face” to discuss or share their work and get assistance or feedback if they choose.

Typically this proves to be a very beneficial activity for those who are able to take advantage of it. By extension I have found that a design team on a single project is able to gain similar advantages on a daily basis.

While I am sure there are drawbacks and other considerations, I think working in a collaborative manner is valuable and hope to have similar experiences in the future.

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Nice Article!

Postby vibes35-p40 » Tue Jul 14, 2009 3:26 pm

Great article on the effectiveness of collaboration.
As a fellow designer I have also found these principles to work along with taking advantage of non-designers as well. <O:p</O:p
Bringing in others from cross-disciplinary areas (management, sales, etc) offers perspectives at times which are either overlooked by the designer or helps give a fresh view on a particular problem.<O:p</O:p
The meetings we have this way are very structured and sensitive to everyone’s time.<O:p</O:p
We then meet as a design team 2-3 of us and compile and play with the data gathered and then proceed forward.<O:p</O:p
One other tool that has been effective within this also has been simply mind-mapping.<O:p</O:p
Not only does collaboration lead to an overall better system or design - it builds team unity and moral.<O:p</O:p

BTW Also love that you all are posted via Twitter!

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Postby McDanielCA » Tue Jul 14, 2009 3:48 pm

Thanks! Tell as many people as you can about the Twitter account!

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