The Best Collaboration Tools for Designers

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June 10, 2021 | 9 Mins Read

collaboration tools for design team

Whether your design team is made up of in-house team members, freelancers or both, being able to collaborate efficiently and easily is absolutely imperative for your creative teams. 

For designers, having the right tools at your disposal is a must, whether you work from home, the office or roaming as a digital nomad. 

In this post, we examine the importance of online collaboration tools for design teams and how you can select the right tools for your design team. We also outline some of the best possible collaboration tools for designers as well as project managers and the wider creative team. 

 

The importance of online collaboration for design teams


With complex briefs, (and often tight deadlines and creative design tools such as adobe xd or figma to navigate) arming your designers with the online collaboration tools they need to conceptualise, plan and complete their work is crucial.

Being able to collaborate remotely is essential for designers as many work as part of a disparate team made up of agency partners, freelancers and in-house teams. Being able to instantly share knowledge on new design tools, as well as upload, store and exchange design assets is imperative for any design project in a digital workplace. 

The unprecedented increase of remote workers has also led to challenges for project managers. Delivering briefs and specs virtually, rather than in an in-person meeting or brainstorming session means teams don’t benefit from the dynamic atmosphere of the office. With this in mind, choosing a project management tool that advocated and facilitates teamwork and creativity has become paramount for 

How to choose the right collaboration tools for teams 


It’s important to acknowledge that certain collaboration or project management tools, such as Monday or Basecamp, might be a great fit for your wider team, but a design team has niche needs that may not be addressed by mainstream business collaboration solutions. 

It’s important to start by assessing the key needs of your design team. Do your designers need to work simultaneously on the same project? Do they need a tool specifically to fine-tune their prototyping processes? Do they regularly conduct training on new design programmes and software? Is there a requirement to package and share large design files for each project? 

Assessing the bespoke requirements of your designers should be a first step towards choosing the right collaboration tools for your design teams. 

 

What are the best collaboration tools for designers?


With a number of design collaboration tools on the market, it’s hard to know which solutions will make the daily routine easier for your creatives. Whether you’re looking for a solution to help creative teams gather feedback and approvals faster or simply share artwork in a professional capacity, we’ve highlighted some of the best collaborative tools that enable designers to work together in real time. 

  • RingCentral 

RingCentral is designed to be a versatile tool for all functions of your business including your design team. Whether your designers need to be able to review brand guidelines and discuss artwork in video meetings, instantly message collaborators for quick-fire questions or share and store mockup documents, the unified platform has everything creative users might need.

  • Visme 

Visme is a browser-based collaboration tool built for design teams. Allowing you to collate team activities all in one platform, and enable your employees to create visual projects such as infographics and presentations. Acting as a project management software specifically for creative teams, users can monitor project progress and workloads to help streamline the design process.  

  • InVision 

Another tool created specifically for designer teams, InVision is a desktop tool and mobile app that displays artwork projects into interactive prototypes featuring gestures, transitions and animations. With a great reputation as a prototyping tool, InVision enables designers to share work and glean feedback from colleagues or clients in the form of annotations or comments on the design. Users can also keep in the loop on project progress with real time updates and workflows. 

  • Podio

    Podio helps workers improve the efficiency of your design teams’ complex workflow. Allowing managers to assign tasks to specific employees, users benefit from better structure and clarity to break-down and organise a heavy project workload. Offering a mobile app as well as desktop platform, users benefit from project status updates, file sharing and feedback on the move. 

  • Red Pen 

Designed specifically for an efficient feedback process, Red Pen allows users to glean constructive criticism on their design projects quickly, easily, and collate all in one place. Using the drag and drop feature, designers can introduce a new design into the easy-to-use dashboard, inviting colleagues or clients to review and give feedback in real time. 

  • Mural

A popular tool for collaborative brainstorming and conceptualisation, Mural offers designers an easy way to collate inspiration, draft-up and organise ideas and brainstorm ideas together, remotely. The platform is popular for those putting together drawing boards, conceptboard or storyboards ready to gather additional design ideas and inspire collaboration with fellow designers, clients and colleagues. 

Why is RingCentral the best tool for designers?

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With dedicated file storage, instant messaging, video conferencing and screen sharing, RingCentral allows designers to collaborate with colleagues, brainstorm, conceptualise, conduct briefs and gather feedback all from one single unified platform. 

1. Easy-to-use

Our dedicated collaboration platform is designed with the user journey at the fore. The intuitive solution is easy to set up, easy to use, and what’s more, users can easily integrate it with their other core platforms, so it fits seamlessly into your daily routine, and your design teams can be up and running in minutes. 

 

2. Integrated

With a huge range of custom and off-the-shelf integrations, RingCentral allows you to sync your collaborations with hundreds of other key tools such as Microsoft, Google Workspace, Salesforce, and any integral design platforms you might use, meaning you have all the tools you need at your fingertips.

 

3. Secure and scalable collaboration

Bringing together phone, audio conferencing, video conferencing, instant messaging, screen sharing, file sharing and storage, RingCentral’s holistic functionality means you benefit from all your communications needs in one scalable platform that can grow with your design team or the wider business.

 

4. Designed for teamwork

As your designers know, keeping everyone on the same page is imperative when delivering on a project brief. RingCentral’s core features are designed with effective teamwork in mind, allowing users to set dedicated threads for projects, topics, and teams. Whether you need to set a separate internal and external group, share templates, code snippets, briefing documents, and submit designs for proofing. What’s more, being able to exchange media files for better context ahead of a meeting, you can keep everyone connected across different teams and time zones.

 

5. Supports collaboration and productivity

Having a single app that brings together meetings, phone calls, text messaging and team chats as well as document sharing and screen sharing can work wonders for your team’s productivity. Eliminating the need to switch platforms for each team communication capability means your designers can more effectively retain their focus on the creative process. 

 

6. All-in-one workspace for design teams

With design teams based across your office locations, home or remotely as digital nomads, bringing your creative team together in one virtual workplace is crucial. Our all-in-one virtual working environment gives your designers access to everything they need as they work on artwork at home, in the office or anywhere in the world.  

 

      • Message teams

Being able to fire quick questions to colleagues, brainstorm ideas within your designer’s message thread, or get a second opinion on some of your designs, collaborating becomes more efficient, whether you’re working with internal teammates or conducting a client handoff.  

 

      • Meet in one-click

With unlimited video calls, you can get valuable face-time with your team or share your best designs and concepts via screen sharing, or using the handy whiteboard feature. What’s more, your team can begin collaborating from wherever they are using the iOS, android or desktop app. 

 

      • Hit your target on time

Juggling multiple projects with tight deadlines, means it’s crucial to be able to organise your workload, manage and oversee tasks and have the wriggle room for periods of deep work. RingCentral’s task management feature means you can assign your tasks, set deadlines, and check assignments off the list all from within your chat threads. 

 

      • Store and share files 

Whether it’s a brand guidelines document, wireframes, storyboards or mockup documents, RingCentral allows designers to exchange, save and store all the files they need in one single virtual workspace. If you need a separate space to sync your files, RingCentral can integrate with tools such as dropbox for additional cloud storage.  

 

      • Reduce costs 

Being able to pull all your communications functions together in one platform means that your team can significantly reduce their monthly communications bill. What’s more, if your business isn’t quite ready to make the leap, wanting to shop around for the best tool first, RingCentral offers a free version, which allows businesses to trial the key functions before committing to a payment plan. 

 

      • Design from anywhere

With our intuitive mobile app, as well as our holistic desktop platform, designers can collaborate, jump on a call, screen share and discuss ideas or send large design files from wherever they are working. 

Discover more RingCentral features >>

 

7. Plans and pricing that meets design teams needs

Whether you’re a startup with a small design team, a creative agency or a global business with many outsourced stakeholders and internal designers, RingCentral offers a solution that meets your needs at a price that’s manageable for you. 

With a number of pricing plans on offer, RingCentral allows you to choose a manageable plan in accordance with your needs and your budget.

Entry Standard Premium Ultimate
₤7.99
/user/month
₤14.99

/user/month

₤19.99

/user/month

₤24.99

/user/month *

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Explore RingCentral solutions


Looking to offer your designers a better screen sharing video solution? Or a tool that enables more efficient uploads and downloads, file storage and a more collaborative channel to help colleagues and clients align? RingCentral offers the key capabilities you need to connect and empower your design teams.

Video conferencing

RingCentral Video allows small teams or global workforces the chance to meet face-to-face in real-time, helping designers join forces, and work together on design briefs and projects remotely. Our video platform offers the high-quality audio and video every team can expect from a high calibre communications platform, enabling better connections across your entire team. 

Find out more about this solution>>

 

Cloud Phone Systems

Our hosted PBX phone system ensures seamless connectivity between workers, management teams and everyone else within your company. What’s more, RingCentral users can make and receive phone calls with their business phone number and identity, no matter where they are or what device they are using, meaning your teams can keep work separate from their leisure time. 

Find out more about this solution>>

 

Conference Rooms & Devices

With our conference room solutions and devices your team can make any room a conference room. Whether you’re in a small meeting room, joining remotely or presenting your creative artwork to the senior management team, you and your teams can get straight to the agenda with one-click conferencing.  

Find out more about this solution>>

 

The integrations that design teams need


With a number of tools and platforms specifically built for design teams, there are certain tools that have become indispensable for every member of your team, whichever department they work in.

The RingCentral platform allows teams to build customised integrations with their key design software. This means your employees can streamline their processes and free up more time for creative work.

Here are a few of RingCentral’s host of integrations that might come in handy for designers and project team managers looking to fine-tune the design process:

Google Drive

Google Drive for RingCentral has become an integral solution for design teams looking to save, store, create and share files and synchronise accessibility across your creative teams. As a RingCentral integration, Google Drive becomes even easier to use as you can simply pull any document, presentation, image, video or other file stored in Google Drive right into your team chat thread of choice. 

Calendars

Organising workload is key for designers, especially when they have to juggle multiple projects and deadlines. Whether you use Google Calendars or the RingCentral for Microsoft Outlook equivalent, ensuring all your teams can switch seamlessly to and from their collaboration platform and their calendar will mean meetings are seamless, quick to set up and easy to join at the click of a button.

Asana

Asana has become a go-to project management software for many businesses. Our Asana Bot by Kore.ai gives users a comprehensive virtual assistant experience to help you create and manage tasks all from within the RingCentral platform. Users can create, update, assign and comment on project tasks, receive update alerts from a chatbot-style notification, allowing teams to stay aligned, and focused on every design project. 

Zapier

Zapier for RingCentral allows teams to fully customise their collaborative ecosystem. The perfect tool for teams that use a number of different applications within the same workflow, design teams can integrate with all of their key design tools, project management solutions, email and calendars to ensure they can receive updates from and switch between apps seamlessly and efficiently. Connecting all your key operational apps, means you and your team members can consolidate their virtual workspace in a single view and significantly improve their productivity.

Trello

Popular for its Kanban framework software, which features visual boards, lists and cards, Trello is designed to make your workflows leaner and more accessible. The Trello for RingCentral app integration allows users to plan, organise, manage workflows and receive updates on Trello activity from within their team messaging app. Receiving automatic notifications whenever there is new activity on a Trello board allows teams and managers to  monitor project progress all from one single view.

Allyn Jayawon

Author

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