5 Tools for Awesome Remote Design Collaboration

Making online design collaboration a little easier for everyone.

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Remote workflows have developed into the status quo for many designers. The rise of digital agencies and freelance opportunities has made remote collaboration into second nature. There is a rising population of employees embarking on “the new frontier” of online and remote work.

Creating and collaborating long distance doesn’t come naturally, but for that, there are countless solutions ready to make it possible and worthwhile. Design work for businesses is rarely done in a vacuum.

There are a plethora of fabulous tools that can make remote teamwork on designs that much easier. These are some of the best we’ve found:

1. For Spinning up great social graphic superfast

Content creation is fun, essential, and can offer high rewards for the time you put into it. That being said, content creation can be incredibly time-consuming. Between gathering assets, properly sizing assets, approving captions, editing, scheduling, and engaging, it’s a full-time job and carrying out these tasks remotely can make the process even longer. So, consider using online design tools that allow for collaboration, like Adobe Spark.

These online design platforms serve as a one-stop-shop for guidance, inspiration, and tools to bring a project to life. For example, Adobe Spark features a blog full of design resources, social media sizes and guidelines, and inspirational content. Next, head to the Spark Gallery to explore professionally designed templates to get the ball rolling on your design project. Then, invite your team members to collaborate on projects with you to work together, remotely. Download and share your designs with clients via their preferred method.

Spark, and other online design resources, feature both desktop and mobile apps so you can create and collaborate from any remote location, as long as there’s good WiFi!

2. For sharing & collaborating on design ideas in real-time

Waiting around on email responses for a design concept can stifle productivity.

A lot of tools promise to be a game-changer that dramatically reduce the volume of an inbox. The best tools for remote communication on design ideas go even further than reducing inboxes. They are enhanced with upgraded image uploading and search function capabilities. The creation of channels by topic means team members can give input at the right place in real-time.

We love tools that have the bonus of connecting with a global community of designers from which to draw inspiration.

3. For collecting visual feedback on website designs

Vague feedback on website designs such as, “this logo is too small” or “this image is wrong” can be difficult to act on. It is almost par for the course that a designer will have to go back and forth with a client. Clarifying which page the issue appears on or what browser they see the issue in is a regular occurrence. It is difficult to gather technical information and metadata like browser and operating system info, let alone asking for a screenshot.

Collecting visual feedback from non-technical folk doesn’t have to be a chore. Reducing back-and-forth communication is a key benefit of using an online tool to collect and act on design feedback. Bonus points for being simple to use with remote, non-technical clients.

4. For collaborating on early stage design ideas and wireframes

Sometimes you need a no-fuss tool that allows you to quickly (and neatly) put together a design. Sharing with other collaborators in the early stages can lead to great results. Great tools play nice with other apps, which can keep remote workflow collaborative across existing tools.

Early design ideas don’t always come out of thin air. Having access to a large range of artboard templates and resources to draw upon can benefit early design inspiration. A simple and powerful vector design tool, that has the ability to import templates and export full-designs, can be great for creating wireframes swiftly to pass onto the next design stage, or into a third-party app.

5. For connecting design and code with a design system

Designing, building and shipping products can take forever when many stakeholders are required to keep a project moving. A centralised design system can keep the entire team on the same roadmap, regardless of where and when they work. Losing previous work or struggling to locate files in a sea of naming conventions is a pain. Having a robust, secure and easy-to-use versioning system is key.

The best design systems have great version control and a singular source of truth/master file. They will integrate with tools you already have for an easy fit into the workflow and a repeatable guided roadmap. This means team members, such as developers, can recreate, iterate on and scale website and product designs by having all the components at hand to get the job done.

Design collaboration qualities:

  1. Integrates into the existing workflow without disruption

  2. Has clear lines of communication and feedback

  3. Inspires creativity

  4. Easy-to-track edits, changes, and versions.

This article is contributed by BugHerd, the visual feedback tool and bug tracker for websites.