How to collaborate better with other designers without burning down the kitchen

Header image. Illustration of two cooks cooking together.
Header image. Illustration of two cooks cooking together.

Collaboration is a key ingredient in creating great products. When people come together, contributing their unique skills, ideas and points of view, you simply get better results. But even if the work culture supports it, it is up to the people themselves to work together as a team.

As a product designer, I know how fickle our kind can be. And while collaborating with other designers can be a great creative experience and a wonderful learning opportunity, it can also be an exhaustively frustrating one, that creates tension and resentment. …


Entering week 7 of the COVID-19-induced remote work from home, I’m ready to declare feedback as an official professional casualty of this pandemic.

Image for post
Image for post

Feedback is one of the most important pillars of the design trade. It sheds new light on our work, sparks new ideas and pushes us in better directions. Feedback is so ubiquitous in my daily routine as a product designer, that it took COVID-19 sending us to work remotely from home, for me to realize how challenging it is to design without it.

Meaningful dialogues with myself.

Part one of any design process is the legwork: research, finding references, moving stuff around and trying to make different bits and pieces play nicely with each other. We do this through inner dialogues with ourselves: “This paragraph is hard to read, make the font a bit bigger”, “that element pulls too much attention from the main CTA, tone it down a bit somehow”, “Holishit this purple is the wrong HEX what were you thinking??? …


Image for post
Image for post

Bring developers into your design process and use technical boundaries as a tool to create better user experiences

I often hear designers complain about how the development didn’t do justice to their prototypes, how the transitions aren’t smooth enough and the animations appear too late or too slow. Every time, I can imagine the moment of hand-off, when the developer sees the roller-coaster the designer had planned, and after failing to find the hoops to jump through to implement it somehow, struggles to explain why it’s technically impossible to recreate. To avoid frustration on both sides, I think the what-can-or-can’t-be-done talk should happen at an early stage of design. …

About

Julia Factor

Sr. Product designer, even senior-er wine drinker 🍷.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store