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6 Easy Tips to Work Together in Remote Design Teams

6 Easy Tips to Work Together in Remote Design Teams

Table of Content

Coincidentally, you're not the only one grappling with the challenges of managing a remote design team. It's a common struggle, especially in today's digital age where remote work is becoming the norm.

You might be wondering how to efficiently collaborate, maintain productivity, and foster creativity within your team, despite the physical distance. That's exactly what we're going to explore.

Buckle up as we embark on an enlightening journey through the six game-changing tips that will redefine your approach to remote collaboration.

Curious? Let's get started.

Key Takeaways

  • Utilize collaboration tools like Loom, Wistia's Soapbox, and Dropbox Paper for seamless communication and project tracking.
  • Schedule real-time video calls and conduct one-on-one video calls for personal connection, clarification, and problem-solving.
  • Foster a positive and inclusive team culture through open communication, celebration of achievements, and providing growth opportunities.
  • Seek community and support among other remote designers, share experiences, seek mentorship, and engage in networking activities to expand professional connections.

6 Tips for How to Collaborate on Remote Design Teams

To effectively collaborate on remote design teams, you should utilize tools such as Loom, Wistia's Soapbox, and Dropbox Paper for seamless communication and project tracking. Daily video walkthroughs can be done through Loom or Wistia's Soapbox, helping to keep everyone on the same page. Dropbox Paper, on the other hand, is handy for creating 'Work In Progress' (WIP) documents, keeping all team members updated on project status.

Next, be sure to leverage face-to-face interaction. Real-time video calls, one-on-ones, and team meetings are crucial for maintaining personal connection and collaboration. If your company holds retreats, take full advantage of these opportunities for in-person interaction.

Building a positive and inclusive team culture is also vital. Encourage open communication, celebrate team achievements, provide growth opportunities, and plan virtual team-building activities. Embrace diversity, as it enriches the team and enhances creativity.

Lastly, find community and support among other remote designers. Share experiences, seek mentorship and engage in networking activities. You're not alone in this; you're part of a dynamic, innovative, and supportive community. Now, go forth and collaborate on your remote design teams with confidence and effectiveness.


Diving into the world of remote design work, you quickly realize the importance of clear communication and establishing solid expectations within your team. In this new remote environment, you're not just designing, you're also navigating the challenges of collaborating with remote design teams. This can seem daunting, but with the right strategies, it's not just possible, it's potentially even more productive and rewarding than traditional onsite work.

The core of successful remote design collaboration centers on leveraging technology. You'd be surprised how much more connected you can feel to your team when you're all on a video call, sketching out ideas on a shared digital canvas. Regular video walkthroughs and 'WIP' docs can keep everyone on the same page, reducing misunderstandings and increasing productivity.

But tech isn't everything. Building a community and fostering a positive and inclusive team culture is essential. Regular face-to-face interaction, whether in-person or virtual, helps to keep the team dynamic alive. Providing feedback, recognition, and embracing effective communication tools are also crucial for fostering accountability and transparency.

Tip 1: Daily Video Walkthroughs

Embracing daily video walkthroughs can dramatically elevate your team's remote collaboration experience, fostering clarity and ensuring everyone is aligned on project progress. It's a simple yet effective strategy that can be implemented using tools like Loom and Wistia's Soapbox.

Here's how it works: every day, someone on your team records a brief video showcasing what they've been working on. These daily video walkthroughs not only highlight the breadth of the work being done but also provide team members with a chance to visually and verbally explain their thought processes.

It's more than just sharing the 'what'; it's about delving into the 'why' behind your design decisions. This leads to a deeper understanding among team members, sparking insightful discussions and constructive feedback.

Moreover, it allows team members who might be located in different time zones to stay updated, eliminating the need for back-and-forth emails or messages.

Why daily video walkthroughs are essential for remote design teams

Understanding the significance of daily video walkthroughs for remote design teams can truly transform how you collaborate and communicate. It's not mere hype; these walkthroughs are a game changer for any design team working remotely.

Why? First, they facilitate visual communication. You can easily showcase your design progress and challenges, making it easier for your team to understand the concept and provide real-time feedback. You're not just telling, you're showing.

But they don't just aid in communication. Daily video walkthroughs also foster a sense of connectedness and teamwork. Even though you're physically apart, these walkthroughs bring you together, promoting a sense of unity and shared purpose.

Moreover, daily video walkthroughs create transparency, accountability, and alignment within remote design teams. When you share your creative process, ideas, and solutions, you're not only making your work visible, but also inviting insights and suggestions. This open forum enhances the team's collective intelligence and ensures everyone is on the same page.

In a nutshell, daily video walkthroughs are indispensable for remote design teams. They're the difference between disjointed work and a synchronized, efficient team. They're your key to successful remote collaboration.

How to conduct effective video walkthroughs

To conduct effective video walkthroughs, you need the right tools and strategies in place, and a good understanding of the purpose behind each interaction. Tools like Loom and Wistia's Soapbox allow you to share design progress and updates effectively. Use these tools to clearly communicate your ideas visually, which is especially important in design.

Video meetings are integral to this process. Real-time video calls let you discuss design challenges directly with your team. One-on-one calls are perfect for clarifying briefs and resolving problems. It's also crucial to schedule regular team meetings. These larger discussions help align goals, address challenges, and share work in progress.

Open and respectful communication is key in these interactions. Celebrate your team's achievements to build a positive and inclusive culture. Remember, you're not just sharing designs, you're building a community.

Efficient collaboration also requires the right software. Project management tools, virtual whiteboards, and cloud-based platforms can all contribute to productivity. They help keep everyone on the same page, making your video walkthroughs even more effective.

Tip 2: "WIP" Docs

Using 'WIP' docs is another vital tool in your remote design team's collaboration toolbox, allowing everyone to track ongoing work and provide timely feedback. As a team, you can use these documents to effectively monitor the progress of projects, all while maintaining transparency and alignment.

In the fast-paced world of remote design teams, it's essential to stay updated. Platforms like Dropbox Paper let you share 'WIP' docs, allowing constant communication and real-time updates on work progress. It's a seamless way to exchange ideas, discuss hurdles, and celebrate milestones.

Consistently updating 'WIP' docs ensures the entire team stays on the same page. It eliminates any confusion or miscommunication, fostering a collaborative environment where everyone knows the status of different tasks.

Moreover, 'WIP' docs also provide a platform for timely feedback. Team members can give their input, suggest improvements, and contribute to problem-solving, all within the same document. This collective approach improves the quality of work and leads to more efficient design processes.

Why "WIP" docs are crucial for remote design collaboration

In the realm of remote design collaboration, 'WIP' docs serve as a critical tool, streamlining the flow of ideas, providing transparency, and fostering a strong collaborative environment. These documents, tracking work in progress, keep your team aligned on design direction. They help you centralize the sharing and evolution of design concepts, allowing feedback from team members no matter their location.

WIP docs are a key to transparency within your team. They provide complete visibility into the design process, ensuring everyone's on the same page. You'll find no surprises or misunderstandings, as these docs serve as a detailed reference for the evolution of design ideas and the decisions made along the way.

Moreover, WIP docs facilitate asynchronous collaboration. They allow your team members to contribute at their own pace and stay informed about ongoing developments. They're not just a record of what's been done, but a communication tool that allows for continuous, productive interaction.

Best practices for creating and utilizing "WIP" docs

So, how can you effectively create and utilize 'WIP' docs for your remote design team? As a Head of Design leading a remote team, it's crucial to keep everyone updated on the work in progress.

Firstly, make sure to track your team's work in the WIP docs. It's a best practice for leading remote teams, providing transparency and encouraging collaboration. Regular updates will keep your distributed team informed about project status and changes.

Secondly, document your design processes and iterations in the WIP docs. This allows your team members to provide feedback and suggestions, promoting healthy team discussions and improving communication styles. It's a key aspect of designing remotely and working effectively as a team.

Lastly, leverage your WIP docs to centralize your design resources. This makes it easy for your remote teams to access reference materials, regardless of their location.

Leading a Remote Design team requires effective management of WIP docs. These best practices will enhance your team's efficiency and productivity. Remember, successful remote work isn't just about working remotely, it's about working together.

Tip 3: Show, Don't Tell

Embracing the concept of 'show, don't tell,' can dramatically enhance your remote design team's communication and productivity. This mantra encourages you to demonstrate your ideas rather than just talking about them. It's an effective approach, especially during team meetings, to clarify complex design concepts or progress on tasks.

In practice, 'show, don't tell' might mean using daily video walkthroughs with tools like Loom or Wistia's Soapbox. These resources let you share your screen and illustrate your process in real-time. It's like having your team right there with you, even if you're miles apart.

In addition to walkthroughs, you could use 'WIP' docs to visually track and discuss your work. It's a quick and informal way to keep everyone updated. Share these documents during team meetings to provide a visual aide, further enhancing understanding.

Lastly, don't underestimate the value of face-to-face interaction. Video calls are a great platform for showing and discussing design challenges. It's an opportunity to visually demonstrate your thought process and receive immediate feedback.

'Show, don't tell' can significantly boost your team's communication, understanding, and overall productivity. Implement it today and see the difference it makes.

Why visual communication is key in remote design collaboration

Building on the 'show, don't tell' principle, let's consider why visual communication holds the key to effective collaboration in remote design teams. You'll find that visual communication ensures clarity and alignment in design concepts. It's like having a virtual coffee with your team, where you can clearly see and understand the design elements being discussed.

Visuals carry an inherent ability to express nuanced design elements, reducing the chances of ambiguity and misinterpretation. Imagine trying to explain a complex design idea over a call, it's not as effective, is it? Now, picture sharing that design visually – instantly it becomes easier to comprehend and respond to.

Moreover, visual collaboration tools provide a platform for real-time feedback and simultaneous input from all team members, leading to more efficient and productive discussions. This fosters a cohesive and shared understanding of design objectives and progress.

How to effectively convey ideas through visual means

How can you effectively harness visuals to convey your design ideas in a remote team setting?

One way is through video walkthroughs and demonstrations. Tools like Loom and Wistia's Soapbox are perfect for this. These platforms allow you to bring your designs to life, giving your team an in-depth understanding of your ideas.

Another important element is the use of 'Work In Progress' (WIP) docs. They help you visually communicate your progress and task priorities. You can quickly update your team on what you're working on.

Don't underestimate the power of video calls for face-to-face interaction. When you collaborate on remote design teams, real-time visual discussions can clarify design challenges and briefs.

Design-specific collaboration tools and virtual whiteboards are also invaluable. They offer a platform for real-time visual collaboration and brainstorming sessions. They're like having a shared studio space, only virtual.

Lastly, make use of UI libraries and design collaboration tools. They streamline the design process, making it more efficient and visually appealing.

With these strategies, you can effectively convey your design ideas, even in a remote team setting.

Tip 4: Make Time for Face-to-Face Interaction

Don't underestimate the value of face-to-face interaction in your remote design team. Even in the digital world, human connection can't be replicated. It's crucial to make time for this within your working hours.

Organize real-time video calls to discuss design challenges. This gives everyone the chance to share ideas and tackle issues collectively. It's more efficient than back-and-forth emails, and it often results in stronger solutions.

Plan one-on-one calls for specific problems or to clarify briefs. This ensures no one is left in the dark and everyone knows exactly what's expected of them. It also builds trust and reassures team members that their input is valued.

Schedule larger team meetings to discuss work in progress and share updates. This keeps everyone on the same page and encourages a sense of unity. It also allows team members to learn from each other and grow professionally.

Even if you can't meet in person, try to facilitate face-to-face interactions during company retreats. This not only enhances collaboration but also fosters a sense of belonging, which is invaluable in a remote team.

The importance of face-to-face interaction in remote design teams

Understanding the importance of face-to-face interaction in remote design teams can revolutionize your collaboration process. This interaction, whether it's virtually or during company retreats, builds a deeper connection among your team. It's these connections that foster a sense of unity and promote collaboration.

Consider how in-person interactions can help clarify briefs and discuss design challenges. Having the ability to align on project goals face-to-face ensures everyone is on the same page, reducing the risk of misunderstandings. It's far easier to explain complex concepts and nuances in person than over text.

Moreover, real-time video calls offer immediate feedback and problem-solving opportunities. There's no delay between asking a question and getting an answer. This immediacy enhances your team's ability to tackle design challenges swiftly and efficiently.

Incorporating face-to-face interaction into your remote design team isn't just about work, though. It's also about building relationships. Team meetings and company retreats provide opportunities to share personal updates and engage in team-building activities. This not only strengthens your team's bond but also boosts morale and motivation.

In the end, understanding and prioritizing face-to-face interaction can dramatically improve your team's collaboration and productivity.

How to incorporate face-to-face interaction despite the distance

Despite the distance, you can still foster a sense of unity and camaraderie within your remote design team through regular video calls and virtual team-building activities. Consider scheduling these meetings in a time zone that accommodates everyone, ensuring that no one feels left out.

Real-time video calls can be an effective way to discuss design challenges, clarify briefs, and address problems. It's not just about work, though. Incorporating some fun into these meetings can strengthen bonds and make them something to look forward to. You could organize virtual game nights, brainstorming sessions, or even a virtual coffee break.

Company retreats also provide an opportunity for in-person interaction. These can be organized once or twice a year, depending on your team's availability and budget constraints. These gatherings can be invaluable for team building and collaboration.

Embracing diversity and building an inclusive environment is also crucial. Remember, everyone brings something unique to the table. Encourage your team members to share their ideas and experiences. This not only makes everyone feel valued, but it also fosters a sense of belonging.

Incorporating face-to-face interaction, despite the distance, can greatly enhance your team's collaboration and productivity. It's a challenge, but it's definitely worth the effort.

Tip 5: Find Your Community

While facilitating face-to-face interactions is key, it's equally important to foster a sense of community among your remote design team. Finding your tribe can enhance collaboration, boost morale, and create a support network that can help you navigate the challenges of remote work.

Don't limit yourself to your immediate team. Reach out to other remote designers. Engage in meaningful conversations and share experiences, wins, and even anxieties. You can learn a lot from each other's highs and lows, and these shared experiences can foster a stronger sense of community.

Consider mentoring other designers. It's a two-way street where you can provide guidance while also learning from their fresh perspectives. This can strengthen your collaboration skills and provide you with a more diverse understanding of design work.

Why building a community is beneficial for remote designers

Regularly engaging with a design community can significantly boost your sense of belonging and camaraderie, making the remote work environment more supportive and inclusive. As part of remote design teams, you'll find that connecting with like-minded individuals who share your experiences can greatly enhance collaboration and support.

Community interactions aren't just about work, they're also opportunities for celebrating achievements and fostering professional growth. By being part of a community, you're able to develop your skills in a positive and supportive team culture.

Embracing diversity is another plus of engaging with a community. You'll learn from others, participate in virtual team-building activities, and thereby strengthen your collaboration and creativity skills.

Building a community isn't just beneficial for you, but also for your team. Your contributions can inspire your team and foster a collaborative and innovative environment.

In essence, building a community in remote design teams isn't just about social connections, but it's also a valuable avenue for professional growth and creative inspiration. So, invest in building a community, and experience the myriad benefits it offers.

Where to find and engage with like-minded remote design professionals

So, you're wondering where to find and engage with like-minded remote design professionals? Well, the digital world is brimming with opportunities.

Online communities and forums are a great place to connect. Here, you can share ideas, ask questions, and learn from others in your field.

Virtual events such as webinars, workshops, and online design conferences are another avenue. You'll not only learn new techniques and trends but also get a chance to network with others in remote design teams.

Don't underestimate the power of social media platforms and professional networking sites. LinkedIn, Twitter, or industry-specific sites can be gold mines for connecting with professionals working in remote design.

Also, consider joining remote work-focused groups and associations. This gives you a platform to meet, collaborate, and share knowledge with remote designers from all over the world.

Lastly, check out freelance platforms and design-specific job boards. These provide opportunities to engage with remote design professionals on projects. It's a win-win: you get to work on interesting projects while expanding your professional network.

Tip 6: Sometimes, In Person Is Just Better

After exploring various digital channels to engage with fellow remote design professionals, let's not forget the undeniable value of in-person interaction, even in a remote set-up. There's a unique power in face-to-face meetings that can't be replicated online, irrespective of the sophistication of your digital tools.

Sometimes, it's necessary to break away from the screen and immerse yourself in a real-world, human interaction. This can be particularly beneficial when you're dealing with complex design challenges or when you need to align team goals. Not only can it enhance your understanding and engagement, but it also provides a chance to clarify doubts and address issues more efficiently.

Of course, coordinating in-person meetings can be tricky, especially when dealing with different time zones. But it's worth making the effort. Plan ahead, schedule wisely, and you'll find it possible to arrange periodic face-to-face meet-ups. Larger team meetings and company retreats offer excellent opportunities for this.

When and why in-person collaboration is necessary for remote design teams

Despite the advances in digital communication, there are times when in-person collaboration becomes a vital component for your remote design team's success. This is especially true when dealing with complex design challenges. There's an essential dynamism that comes from real-time problem-solving and brainstorming sessions that online tools can't fully replicate.

Every day, you're likely tackling intricate issues that demand quick, creative solutions. Here, face-to-face interaction can foster a positive and inclusive team culture, encouraging a sense of belonging and camaraderie. Celebrating achievements together, for example, can't quite be matched by virtual high-fives.

In-person meetings also build trust, rapport, and understanding among team members. These are particularly effective during company retreats and team-building activities. You'll find that the bonds formed in person often translate into better virtual collaborations.

Lastly, there's value in finding community and support through in-person interactions. Meeting like-minded individuals, mentoring other designers, and engaging in co-working spaces can greatly benefit your remote design team. At the same time, establishing clear expectations and communication channels is often best achieved through in-person interactions, ensuring everyone's on the same page.

How to plan and execute in-person meetings effectively

Planning and executing effective in-person meetings for your remote design team can significantly boost productivity and collaboration. To maximize this, it's crucial to set clear objectives for each meeting. This keeps everyone focused and ensures that the meeting is productive.

Leverage the power of video conferencing to enhance communication and engagement. It's the next best thing to physically being in the same room. This technology helps bridge the distance and fosters connection among team members.

Before the meeting, create an agenda and share it with all participants. This helps guide the discussion and ensures everyone's on the same page. Encourage active participation from all team members. This helps gather diverse perspectives and ideas, which can spark creativity and innovation.

How Can Remote Design Teams Improve Their Task Management?

Remote design teams can improve task management by utilizing effective ways to do lists for remote teams. By using collaborative task management tools, setting clear priorities, and establishing regular check-ins, remote teams can ensure efficient communication and successful project completion. Embracing digital task management can streamline workflows and boost productivity.


So, you've learned how to set clear objectives, use technology to your advantage, ensure everyone's on the same page, and encourage active participation in your remote design team. You've mastered the art of video conferencing, learned the value of WIP docs, and discovered the power of visual communication. You've seen how valuable face-to-face interaction can be, even in a remote setting, and you've begun to build a community within your team.

You've also seen the importance of in-person meetings, even in a remote context, and you've learned how to plan and execute them effectively. It's all about keeping everyone engaged and accountable, and ensuring that the meeting's objectives are met.

But remember, every team is different. What works for one mightn't work for another. Be open to alternative solutions and don't be afraid to experiment. If a certain technique isn't working, try something else. Keep communication lines open and always strive for continuous improvement.

What It Takes to Design Remotely

After mastering the art of collaboration in your remote design team, it's crucial to understand what it takes to design remotely with success and efficiency. Remember, remote work isn't without its collaboration challenges.

You'll need to leverage various tools like Loom, Wistia's Soapbox, and Dropbox Paper, among others, to aid communication and collaboration. But don't just hide behind the screen. Real-time video calls, one-on-one chats, and even occasional in-person interactions during company retreats are essential to maintain face-to-face contact.

Creating a positive and inclusive team culture is another crucial aspect. Open communication, celebrating achievements, and offering growth opportunities can all help build a supportive community. Don't hesitate to network with like-minded individuals, mentor other designers, and engage in virtual meetups and conferences.


So, you've got the lowdown on boosting your remote design team's collaboration.

Embrace daily video walkthroughs, streamline with 'WIP' docs, and enhance visual communication.

Don't shy away from virtual face-to-face interactions or occasional in-person meetings.

Remember, fostering a community spirit is key.

Now, it's your turn to implement these strategies and watch as your team's productivity soars.

Go on, navigate those digital waters with confidence.

You've got this!