Social distancing due to the COVID-19 outbreak has compelled organizations to transform their business digitally. When any business thinks of digital transformation, web applications strike as the first arrow in the quiver to reach its target audience.
However, creating a design that performs for a business is easier said than done. The first logical question that pops on the mind is – what does it take? In a nutshell: a successful web application design is one that is crafted, keeping all the stakeholders’ wishes, yet one that anticipates the needs of its customers.
Website/web application development comes with its own set of challenges. While the list of challenges is long, streamlining collaboration for web designing takes a bulk load off. So the first step towards an effective collaboration is a detailed requirement gathering of the business and the design expectations of all stakeholders.
After the requirement gathering is done, the complete development cycle needs to be fast. Seamless collaboration is the key to a faster time to market, especially when multiple reviewers are involved. Here’s how you can go about it –
Taking feedback at every step of the way
Right since web design is brainstormed for wire-frames, it is not just the business owners, but the marketing team, sales team, and department heads are also involved. The UI/UX team might have worked on web designs as per the business requirement gathering during the discovery phase.
Still, to ensure there are no roadblocks at the later stage of the development, all stakeholders’ feedback must be taken at every step of the development. One might argue that too many cooks spoil the broth, it’s essential all the teams – which may later ask for design changes are involved in the feedback process at every stage, i.e., from the wire-framing to beta release stage. One man cannot run the show, in this case, give the design feedback or speak for everyone.
Even when the website is fully designed, and it is at the beta published stage, it’s important to look at the analytics to collect user interaction data to improve user experience; which brings in new stakeholders, i.e., your consumers and analysts.
So a design-driven website is an iterative and ever-lasting task, one that is sure to bring success for the business. The published website requires even closer collaboration, in some cases, a war-room requiring situation. If having the design, development, and reviewing team under one roof is not possible, it is advisable to have a shared online workspace where all the involved teams can collaborate and share thoughts for agile development.
Overcome conflicting feedback for faster time-to-market
While you’re continually working to offer the best user experience, conflicting feedbacks from multiple stakeholders makes the whole process, many times, an endless loop. Businesses then prioritize the changes and bypass the infinite feedback loop by launching the beta version of the application. A beta release of a website can provide the marketing team ‘visitor insights’ to close all the subjective feed-backs.
However, some organizations prefer to make the website “perfect” before launching it; which brings us to another challenge, i.e., faster time-to-market.
Time-to-market can be a do-or-die situation for digital-first businesses or those who wish to reap the first-mover advantage. It is imperative to have a cohesive collaboration between the designers, business owners, marketing, and other departmental heads involved in decision-making.
Here’s a pro tip: all teams should reach a consensus before giving a change to the web designing team avoids conflicting feed-backs and unnecessary iterations.
Design-driven web apps are most likely time-bound too. The need is to reach the target audience at the right time, e.g., the holiday season for a novelty chain. Since design collaboration and iterations take up a bulk of the time, an investment towards software that reduces the overall time-to-market can significantly benefit businesses. By providing streamlined collaboration with organized feedback and approval, QuickReviewer does just that.
Choosing the design collaboration tool that works
Web designing, especially the intricate ones, require rapid iterative prototyping. An online collaboration tool that keeps all the designs versions and comments in one place always comes handy. An excellent online proofing software that lets HTML reviewing should also have a robust mechanism to test the prototypes on various screen sizes so that the reviewers can provide all the constructive feedback in one place.
Web design consists of image banners, videos, icons, and other design assets; multiples tools can also be used to collaborate the design iterations for all these, and then there are email exchanges to save the day.
But scrambling through multiple tools/emails will take up time and mind space, so it is advisable to have one SaaS product that helps in complete creative collaboration for a web development agency. Having all digital assets in one place can streamline the review and approval process.
The underlying idea of choosing the right collaboration tool is to pick the one that increases the productivity of the team and decreases the collaboration time, one that makes sure that everyone has a shared workspace with updates about the progress of a particular project.
Effectiveness of coordination among teams increases four folds when they spend less time engaging in email exchanges and more time researching about business or consumer needs, and working on highly intuitive user interface designs.
An online proofing tool with a shared workspace allows multiple stakeholders to comment and engage with one another via comments to avoid conflicting feed-backs. A shared workspace for reviewing the designs also enable multiple teams to have a clear record of all the past feedback in the form of a timeline streak.
The biggest challenge in design collaboration for web development is comparing versions and making sure all the changes, no matter how detailed, are addressed. It takes observant eyes of a web designer to ensure all changes are done; while the art of nitpicking changes comes naturally to a quality analyst, it may come across as a mammoth task for other reviewers that are new to the game.
It is, therefore, recommended to have a window that allows an approver to compare versions side-by-side.
Welcoming disruptions & newer solutions
Consumer behavior constantly evolves, and the businesses have to evolve along with it. Then there are sudden disruptions, like the novel coronavirus outbreak, which upended consumer needs and spending patterns. Marketing teams had to overhaul their entire marketing and advertising strategy.
Since there is no escape for any business from such disruptions, embracing the change and joining forces to overcome or make the best use of the disruption is important. Web development is no different. In such time-critical scenarios, there is no scope for endless email exchanges and shifting-through multiple folders of email attachment to make sense of the collaboration cacophony.
While there are multiple project management tools to manage teams, they don’t do justice for design collaboration. That’s where choosing the right design collaboration tool is important.
Less time collaborating, more time designing an awesome web app
In this era where less face time between business and its consumer is commonplace, delivering great digital experience is more important, even for traditional businesses. Excellent digital experience can be achieved by building delightful user experience, keeping the user at the center.
No matter how meticulously the best practices of design principles are applied or how detailed the UX research was done – it always is an iterative process that needs constant collaboration and development.
Collaborating becomes much faster and efficient once the teams break the barrier of traditional methods of collaboration – like email exchanges or ill-fitted project management tools that are not designed for creative minds. Therefore the design architects need to spend less time in endless approval email chains and more time brainstorming awesome creative ideas by collecting all feedback in one place.