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3 Collaboration Tools for Designers

The Flow TeamLast Updated: November 19, 2020

On successful design teams, each individual brings their own unique perspectives and creative strengths to the table. And as an effective team manager, it’s important to make sure that no one’s ideas get lost in the conversation trail. Collaboration tools for designers help your team work together seamlessly on projects, exchange ideas, and get real-time feedback from clients and one another. With better collaboration, everyone is on the same page regarding design briefs and client requirements—all leading to exceptional final deliverables. 

However, not every collaboration tool will necessarily suit your creative team’s needs. Collaboration tools need to be flexible enough to support the changing requirements of your team and the projects you work on. Before committing to a particular platform, you need to look for certain features that support the creativity and overall productivity of the team.        

Must-Have Features of Collaboration Tools for Designers

Facilitating collaboration among your design team members is not just about creating a project timeline, assigning tasks, or organizing project resources. Effective collaboration is only possible if your team feels supported in taking on responsibilities and communicating their thought processes. To help your team succeed in using collaboration tools to work together on complicated projects, you need to look for the following must-have features:

Organization

For designers, a design brief from the client is the holy grail. It works as a reference point and continuing guide for the project. Everyone involved needs to have access to the design brief, images, and approved templates—along with other exhaustive information such as size specifications, output file type, type of media, and any other technical particulars. Organizing a clear project timeline and delegating tasks is also key to ensuring the success of the project and avoiding confusion among team members. Organizing such resources, information, and tasks in a secure cloud platform is critical for the progress of the project and seamless collaboration among your teammates.     

Communication

Streamlined communication is instrumental in helping your team adapt to a collaborative work environment. Without real-time communication, creative ideas can easily get lost, affecting the outcome of the project. An open channel of communication facilitates brainstorming, thereby enhancing the quality of work while lowering instances of missed or delayed deadlines. To put your team’s creative ideas into executable designs, you’ll need a collaboration tool with a built-in chat feature.    

User Interface

This is one of the most overlooked aspects of collaboration tools. A collaboration tool is meant to improve productivity but also needs to be user-friendly and visually appealing. If your design team members find it difficult to navigate through a new platform, they will grow frustrated or lose interest in using it for their day-to-day work and will end up relying on previously used tools. This would negate the purpose of adopting new software for collaboration in the first place!  

Some of the widely used collaboration tools for designers are based on these essential features; however, every collaboration platform has a few unique advantages that set it apart from the rest. Before committing to a particular platform, you’ll need to be well aware of these potential benefits so you can confidently choose the best one for your team.

Key Collaboration Tools for Designers

Considering the availability of several collaboration tools for designers, how do you determine which one works best for your team? Based on the features discussed above, here is a comparison of some of the widely used collaboration tools for designers.

Asana

Asana is a powerful collaboration tool used by designers to capture ideas, create and manage product roadmaps, and collaborate through feedback and ongoing clarifications. Tasks can be organized and viewed in the form of boards, lists, calendars, or Gantt charts. However, users face a steeper learning curve, and there is no built-in chat feature. Here is how Asana fares on key features needed for designers: 

Organization: Tasks can be organized into four priority sections: recently assigned, today, upcoming, and later. Files from the local folder, Box, DropBox, GoogleDrive, or SharePoint need to be associated with a task before uploading them as a project asset. Organized files can be looked up through advanced search and file view. 

Communication: Task-level conversations and comments are allowed but teams will need to integrate Slack or another chat option for additional communication.

User Interface: Steep learning curve for new users.

Monday.com

The visual interface of Monday.com includes colorful, customized designs that are appealing in a project collaboration tool for designers. The platform uses a “Board system” with individual boards functioning as macro tasks or projects, and individual tasks listed within the boards are termed “pulses.” Like Asana, however, there are limitations in the communications and user interface realms. Here are some pros and cons of the platform: 

Organization: Tasks can be organized and viewed in the Board filter and can be assigned to multiple team members. Files from local drive, Google Drive, DropBox, Box.com, and OneBox can be uploaded and added to the file column of the respective board. 

Communication: No chat feature—Slack or other communication app needs to be integrated for communication.

User Interface: Advanced tools and features take time to figure out. 

Flow

Flow is an intuitive and visual collaboration platform with different customizable views for designers such as list, timeline, Kanban, and calendar. Built-in chat offers easier communication, and a modern, intuitive interface makes the platform extremely user-friendly. Here is how Flow can help your creative team accomplish their project goals:

Organization: Simple drag-and-drop to assign or reassign tasks, letting team members create, share, and discuss tasks. Resources such as photos, videos, files, links, and other relevant assets can be attached to the respective tasks.

Communication: The built-in chat feature offers real-time communication.

User Interface: A fresh, user-friendly interface allows for easy navigation and intuitive learning.

In addition to these features, Flow’s lively platform provides options to choose project colors and icons to easily categorize tasks. The crisp, appealing display provides a clutter-free virtual workspace for your creative team. With Flow, your designers can enjoy further customizable themes with dark, neutral, and light colors along with specific accent colors to create a unique workspace, similar to how they might decorate their desks in a physical office space. 

Lastly, when it comes to choosing a collaboration tool for designers, user experience plays a critical role not just in terms of easy navigation or advanced features but also in the overall look and feel of the tool.. Keep this in mind when committing to a collaborative workspace so your creative team can tackle project goals with gusto.

With Flow’s all-in-one platform, collaboration among your creative team can be more robust and productive than ever. To learn more about our collaborative platform for designers, sign up for a free trial today!