As a solo freelancer, there may be times when you work with other web designers on a project. There are many benefits to working with others; however, it can be quite challenging. When you’re working with a new team, it can be difficult to make things work and get everyone going in the same direction!
So, we’ve put together some tips to help you to collaborate effectively with other web designers.
Create Project Goals
The first place to start with any collaborative effort is to ensure everyone is on the same page and going in the same direction. Before the project starts, it’s essential to establish project goals, parameters, and create design and development processes. Laying down the foundation helps everyone understand how the project works, who is responsible for what, and more.
When establishing project goals and parameters, you must first start with the desired outcome. What does your team hope to accomplish in the end? What are the needs and expectations of the client(s)?
Along with goals and parameters, it’s necessary to establish benchmarks for certain points in the project. Benchmarks give you and the entire team checkpoints along the way. And there is where it’s possible to decide who is responsible for what aspects of the project.
Remember there are many different paths to achieve the project’s desired outcome. When collaborating with others, some methods may be more sustainable than others. The time for these discussions is before the project even starts.
One of the most important goals is for each person on the project to know what’s expected of them. Doing so means each individual understands what tasks they’re responsible for finishing and what needs to happen before passing their project section on to the next designer.
If you’re all working from different locations, then tools such as video chat and phone calls can certainly help. However, it’s also a good idea to have key issues and points in writing. This can be done through a shared website, email, or other collaborative solutions. The goal is to create a reference point for everyone to access throughout the project. In addition, these issues and points should be flexible, to allow for revision, if needed.
Learn Their Preferences & Share Yours
When collaborating with others, it’s essential to use your listening skills. Each designer has their own way of doing things and tools they prefer. Individuals on the team may also write code in a different way and even have a process that differs from the others. This is completely normal! However, each designer on the team needs to go through a period of adjustment when working with others. They also need to understand the game plan.
So, it’s essential that each designer learns about the others’ preferences. During this process, be sure to share your own preferences, too! Each person on the team should ask how the other approaches different parts of the project or deals with certain issues.
For instance, each designer may have their own preference for communication. One designer may prefer to answer emails at the end of the day, while another may respond to their messages the next morning. Someone on the team may prefer emails, while another prefers to have a video conference.
In addition, some designers may have different methods for organising and documenting their projects. The key is to find those preferences that work for most people on the team. Keeping open lines of communication is also essential. These are ways to avoid preventing problems later down the line. And it shows the need to compromise when it’s necessary.
Stay in Touch
No matter if you’re working with someone for the first time or for the hundredth time, communication is key to the success of the project. Communication keeps everyone pointed in the right direction with the same goals and how to solve problems to keep them from growing into major issues.
Staying in touch doesn’t mean a concerted effort to communicate. There’s no need to have long, extensive meetings unless they’re really needed. Instead, just use technology to keep everyone connected.
Today, there are more collaboration tools than ever before! You might use Slack for one-to-one or group chats. Google Docs allows multiple team members to comment on and revise documents at the same time. And there are many project management apps to help keep the entire team on track.
No matter the forms of communication you choose, staying in touch and communicating are key. Great communication tools won’t be worth anything if they’re not used correctly. What’s more, communication means providing or receiving feedback, asking questions, and more to have a successful project.
Teamwork is Powerful
Being part of a collaboration team of designers isn’t easy. We’re not here to tell you it is. However, we can tell you that teamwork is powerful when working on a project. It takes everyone’s effort and input to have a successful project.
Team collaboration can improve the quality and effectiveness of your projects. The reason is that each designer and developer on the team works to their strengths. In this way, the team may avoid the most common pitfalls of a collaborative effort.
In addition, everyone on the team has the chance to learn something new! That’s always a good thing. Gaining new insights and knowledge may even offer a significant boost to your own career.
Finally, as a freelance designer, you have the opportunity to work with other freelancers. For a project well-done, it’s possible the team could end up with even more projects in the future. And you may even find a new partner to work with! It’s possible!
Summing It Up
We understand that even the idea of collaboration with other web designers can be scary. That’s normal. However, it’s also a great opportunity to work as a team and learn new things. Working as part of a team can also bring more work your way. You just never know!
So, if you have a chance to collaborate with a team of web designers, then give it a try. Use our tips to ensure the project is a huge success!
Liam is a website designer and digital marketer based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. He spent a decade working within the charity sector before moving into the marketing space a number of years ago. Liam always strives to do something slightly different with every project and always designs to deliver results, not just pretty websites.