improve-remote-collaboration:-5-techniques-for-ux-designers

Our friends at Miro — a visual collaboration platform — are experts when it comes to managing distributed teams. Today the Miro team shares five high-impact processes to improve collaboration and communication when it comes to distributed or remote UX designers.

Leading tech companies are the first to test out innovative methods of work, so it’s no surprise that they’re also beginning to be more distributed. This approach allows them to attract the best talent worldwide while reducing costs.

However, being distributed can create new challenges, especially for UX design and research teams who often rely on rituals and methods that are hard to replicate online — i.e. customer journey mapping and clustering research findings on a whiteboard to syncing with product and development teams.

To help UX designers overcome communication barriers that arise from working within a distributed team, we’re digging deep into how other leading tech companies are solving these problems and making it work.

1. Empathize with your teammates to build trust

A big part of achieving alignment on a remote team is thinking about how different cultures work, and encouraging teammates to ask questions and be proactive communicators. Supporting your team and understanding their communication style will help keep everyone on the same page.

A good way to find out what works best for each individual is to ask the team to create personal manifestos. Each person outlines their preferred communication tools, ways to give and receive feedback, and even pet peeves. This simple exercise can encourage everyone to be more open and vulnerable, and gives teammates some context for understanding each other.

Erin Casali, Design Principal at Automattic:

“Certain country cultures create different expectations, and certain languages, when translated to English, might subtly change the tone. In some cultures, discussions tend to be very dry and factual; short sentences, sharp language, no acknowledgment of context beyond the specific answer. For someone who comes from a different culture, this can be read as very distant, detached, even rude or impolite; but it’s just a cultural difference.”

2. Create rituals & establish a source of truth

Distributed teams don’t have the opportunity to share quick updates by a watercooler or during lunch. And if they work in different timezones, it’s generally harder to sync and react quickly if there are any blockers. Distributed teams are more prone to working in silos and struggling with miscommunication because some real-life conversations can naturally happen in different hubs. However, it’s hard to communicate the outcomes of these conversations to people in different locations. Establish regular rituals for the whole team to share updates, insights, and concerns and document anything that happens at the meeting or even outside of it when it affects the whole team.

Prianka Rayamajhi, Lead Product Designer at Pinterest:

“We have our regular rituals like grooming sessions and retros. Also, having a source of truth or a living history of its accomplishments is vital for a team. Having some sort of outline of your team’s process is really going to give your team purpose. I think it’s important to start mapping out those sorts of processes.”

3. Protect your time from empty, actionless meetings

It’s okay to leave a meeting if you don’t know why you’re there within the first five minutes. Another best practice is agreeing that all the meeting hosts must have an agenda when they are sending invites — that way, everyone has a chance to prepare for the meeting and spend time efficiently. Some meetings are hard or impossible to eliminate, so another good tactic is to block time on your calendar for focused work — alone or together with your team.

Ben Holland-Arlen, Senior UX Designer at BOLD:

“I’m sure many people have this calendar problem where their life is in 30-minute chunks all day long, with a 30-minute lunch. If me and my team are all working on the same problem, wherever we are – we’ll turn on the camera, have a quick discussion for 20-30 minutes, then keep the camera on for a few hours while we’re working. It’s been amazing because it feels a lot more like when you’re working side by side. It’s so powerful and so simple.”

4. Mimic the in-person collaborative experience

A lot of people working within distributed teams experience a fear of missing out. They wish they had a mentor or a friendly chat with a teammate who is remote or located in another hub. It’s harder for distributed teams to bond, cheer each other on, or learn from each other, so setting some time for mentorship calls, ‘Friday wins’ meetings, our even virtual happy hours can be a good idea.

Summer Kim, Head of Research at WhatsApp:

“It is important to have local leadership for your team in the remote office. And also encourage and help people to find great mentors (it could be more than one or two) in the local office as well as the headquarters. I’ve had many mentors, coaches, and advisors throughout my career, and I think it is particularly important for those who are working from remote offices.”

Exchanging tools, techniques, and insights is critical for improving any team’s productivity, but it’s especially important to be proactive about it in distributed teams. In general, it’s hard for information to travel across several hubs and timezones.

When you’re having one of your team rituals, make sure key insights are recorded in a central hub that every team member can refer to synchronously or asynchronously. Encourage comments and questions. Capturing the conversations that happen in remote meetings is key to keeping everyone aligned and moving forward as one team.

Jessica Drizin, Senior UX Researcher at Upwork:

“A lot of our job is empowering the design and product teams to conduct their research. We started implementing a weekly research review, which is open to researchers and non-researchers, so designers and product managers that want to take more ownership of their research can join in. We listen to what problems they’re working on, any methodology that they propose, and we offer advice around the best methodology, or even if research is warranted at that stage.”

Conclusion

At the end of the day, you can’t avoid the challenges that arise from working within a distributed team. However, you can lean on the tactics that other successful companies use regularly to make collaboration work effectively for them. Of course, don’t shy away from tweaking these processes as needed, and make an effort to customize them so they work for your specific team. Good luck and happy collaborating!

Ready to level up your remote collaboration and better connect your product teams? Join us and the fine folks from Slack, Atlassian, LinkedIn, Dribbble, and more at Distributed 2019, a free virtual summit for product teams, hosted by Miro.


Find more Community stories on our blog Courtside.
Have a suggestion? Contact stories@dribbble.com.

750 comments

  1. I am really enjoying the theme/design of your blog. Do you ever
    run into any browser compatibility issues? A small number of my blog visitors have complained about my blog not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Safari.
    Do you have any ideas to help fix this issue?

    Look at my blog best CBD oil for dogs

  2. Everything is very open with a very clear explanation of the
    issues. It was definitely informative. Your site is extremely
    helpful. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Hey, I think your website might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your blog in Ie, it looks fine but when opening
    in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up!
    Other then that, superb blog!

  4. Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up.
    The words in your content seem to be running off the screen in Safari.
    I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to
    do with web browser compatibility but I figured
    I’d post to let you know. The design and style look great though!
    Hope you get the issue resolved soon. Thanks

  5. Appreciating the time and energy you put into your site and in depth information you offer.

    It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same
    old rehashed information. Fantastic read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m including your RSS
    feeds to my Google account.

  6. Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board
    and I find It really useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to
    give something back and aid others like you helped me.

  7. I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your blog.
    It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more
    pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out
    a designer to create your theme? Great work!

  8. I was curious if you ever thought of changing the structure of
    your site? Its very well written; I love what youve got to
    say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.
    Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 images.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

  9. Tam olarak sağlık bakanlığından onaylı olan markalarımızdan biri olan leke kremi Cilt
    lekelerinize kesin çözüm olan hc care leke kremini mutlaka denemenizi tavsiye ediyoruz,
    Cilt lekesi yaşlılık lekesi gibi bir çok lekelere çözüm olacaktır.
    En iyi leke kremi markası hC Care

  10. I used to be recommended this blog through my cousin. I am now not
    positive whether or not this submit is written via him as nobody
    else recognize such special about my trouble.
    You are wonderful! Thank you!

  11. I got this web site from my pal who shared with me concerning this web site and at the moment this time I am visiting this web page and reading
    very informative articles or reviews at this place.

  12. I am not sure the place you’re getting your information, but great topic.
    I must spend some time studying much more or working out more.
    Thanks for great info I was on the lookout for this information for
    my mission.

  13. Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Many thanks, However I am encountering troubles with your RSS.
    I don’t know the reason why I cannot subscribe to it.
    Is there anyone else getting the same RSS problems? Anyone who knows the solution can you kindly respond?
    Thanx!!

    my web blog: CBD gummies for sleep

  14. Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and
    I’m impressed! Very helpful information specifically the ultimate
    part 🙂 I maintain such info much. I was looking for this certain info for a long time.
    Thank you and good luck.

    Check out my web blog … buy cbd gummies

  15. Firstly, congratulations on the success of your post. The way you arrange the words leads the readers to get something to sink their teeth into. I agree writing academic assignments precisely can often be overwhelming for a lot of students as there are a lot of aspects to focus on simultaneously. In such a scenario, students should definitely try out the all-around Online Assignment Help service by the LiveWebTutors platform. The Ph.D. or Master’s qualified subject-specific experts put in the best of their efforts to deliver 100% plagiarism-free assignment solutions to your inbox.

  16. Greetings from Ohio! I’m bored at work so I decided to browse your site on my iphone during
    lunch break. I really like the knowledge you provide here and can’t
    wait to take a look when I get home. I’m amazed at how fast your blog loaded on my
    phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, amazing site!

    Here is my web site :: CBD gummies for sale

  17. Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I in finding It truly useful & it helped me out much. I hope to present something back and help others such as you aided me.

  18. Thanks for every other magnificent article. The place else could anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect method of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I am on the search for such info.

  19. Hi there! This article could not be written much better!
    Looking at this article reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He always kept talking about this. I’ll forward this information to him.

    Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

    Here is my web page; delta 8 near me

  20. Greetings, There’s no doubt that your blog may be having web
    browser compatibility problems. Whenever I take a look at your website in Safari, it looks fine however, when opening in I.E., it’s got some overlapping issues.
    I just wanted to provide you with a quick heads up!
    Other than that, wonderful blog!

    my blog post; cbd gummies

  21. I’ve been browsing on-line more than 3 hours nowadays, but I by no means discovered any
    interesting article like yours. It’s beautiful worth enough for me.

    Personally, if all web owners and bloggers made just right content material as you probably did, the internet might be much more useful than ever before.

    my web page; where to buy delta 8

  22. Its such as you read my thoughts! You appear to grasp
    so much approximately this, such as you wrote
    the book in it or something. I feel that you simply can do with a few percent
    to pressure the message house a bit, but instead of that, this is great
    blog. A fantastic read. I’ll definitely be back.

    Also visit my website … delta 8 thc

  23. When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox
    and now each time a comment is added I get four e-mails with
    the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that
    service? Thanks a lot!

    Look at my web blog – buy cbd

  24. Hello are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m new to
    the blog world but I’m trying to get started and set up my own.
    Do you need any coding expertise to make your own blog?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    My site :: where to buy CBD

  25. I have been surfing online more than 2 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
    It is pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all web owners
    and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be
    much more useful than ever before.

    My web page – gold bee

  26. Greetings, I think your site could possibly be having internet browser compatibility issues.
    Whenever I take a look at your web site in Safari, it looks fine however when opening in I.E., it
    has some overlapping issues. I just wanted
    to provide you with a quick heads up! Apart
    from that, great website!

    Here is my blog post … Area 52 Delta 8 THC

  27. Hello there, I discovered your site by way of Google even as looking for a related topic, your site came up, it looks
    great. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.
    Hi there, just was aware of your blog thru Google, and located that it is
    really informative. I am going to be careful
    for brussels. I’ll appreciate if you proceed this in future.

    Lots of other folks will likely be benefited from your writing.
    Cheers!

    My website – best delta 8

  28. Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site
    before but after going through a few of the posts I realized it’s new to
    me. Anyhow, I’m certainly delighted I found it and I’ll
    be book-marking it and checking back regularly!

    Feel free to visit my site :: best delta 8 carts

  29. My brother suggested I might like this blog. He was entirely right.
    This post truly made my day. You cann’t imagine just how much
    time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

    my website … delta 8 carts

  30. This design is wicked! You obviously know how to keep a reader entertained.
    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Excellent
    job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that,
    how you presented it. Too cool!

    my homepage delta 8 THC area 52

  31. Hey there! I’ve been reading your web site for some time
    now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Kingwood Tx!
    Just wanted to mention keep up the excellent job!

    My site cbd gummies

  32. Just wish to say your article is as surprising. The clearness
    in your post is simply spectacular and i can assume you are an expert on this subject.
    Well with your permission allow me to grab your feed to keep up
    to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the gratifying work.

    Stop by my homepage CBD gummies for pain

  33. Thanks for your personal marvelous posting!
    I actually enjoyed reading it, you can be a great author.
    I will be sure to bookmark your blog and definitely will come back someday.
    I want to encourage that you continue your great
    work, have a nice morning!

    My page :: best CBD gummies

  34. I would like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put
    in writing this blog. I really hope to check out the same high-grade blog posts from you later on as well.
    In truth, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get
    my own, personal blog now 😉

    P.S. If you have a minute, would love your feedback on my new website
    re-design. You can find it by searching for «royal cbd» — no sweat
    if you can’t.

    Keep up the good work!

    Feel free to visit my web page … buy instagram followers

  35. This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger.
    I have joined your feed and look forward to seeking
    more of your excellent post. Also, I have shared your website
    in my social networks!

    P.S. If you have a minute, would love your feedback on my new website
    re-design. You can find it by searching for «royal cbd» — no sweat if you can’t.

    Keep up the good work!

    Also visit my page buy instagram followers

  36. Instagram’da popüler olmak için insanlar instagram takipçi sayılarını arttırmaya başlıyor. Hem canlı yayınlar sayesinde para kazanmak hem de instagram tarafından gelir elde etmek isteyenler kısa sürede para kazanma ayalarını açmak için 1.000 takipçi sayısına ulaşmayı hedefliyor. Hesaplarınızı kısa sürede 1k takipçi sayısına ulaştıracak takipcibonus.com her zaman hızlı ve etkili bir takipçi gönderimi uygular. Sipariş verebilir ve en ucuz fiyattan instagram takipçi satın alabilirsiniz.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.