To ensure a smooth and productive collaboration process between designers, developers, marketers and stakeholders you must look at the design collaboration tools. Image credit: SplitShire.

7 Powerful Free Tools For Effective Design Collaboration

Effective design collaboration is one of the keys to success in most of the industries.

A mind-blowing 97% of employees and executives surveyed believe that lack of alignment within a team directly impacts the outcome of a task or project.

The future of work looks very diversified and digitalized, with a rise of freelancers and digital nomads, we’ll soon have every company with a remote employee in it. To ensure a smooth and productive collaboration process between designers, developers, marketers and stakeholders you must look at the design collaboration tools.

Create interactive prototypes, make stunning presentations, get client feedback and communicate with your team using one of these 7 powerful tools for effective design collaboration.

All of the listed design collaboration tools are available for free, whether it’s a trial of a premium or a forever free account you can definitely find something that suits your needs and price range.

Marvel

You can create screens directly in Marvel or add your images from Sketch or Photoshop. Image credit: Marvel.

Marvel is a free cloud-based mobile and web prototyping tool for designers. Its simple design makes prototyping and collaboration very quick and effortless. You can create screens directly in Marvel or add your images from Sketch or Photoshop. You can even sync designs from your cloud storage.

Marvel offers a forever free plan for unlimited projects and commenting on your first 3 projects. Premium plan starts from $15/month with unlimited projects and comments, password protected prototypes, removed Marvel branding and more.

Zeplin

Zeplin is a design tool for effective collaboration between designers and developers. One of its most powerful features is automatic style guides and resources generator. It does it all automatically and is extremely easy to export.

Zeplin is free for one project, “Starter” plan starts from $15/month and allows you to create 3 projects.

OpenBrand

OpenBrand is a powerful tool for any design team. It helps you organise everything you need for your project, it allows
for easy creation of amazing design mockups to impress your clients. The best part is that OpenBrand is built-in to your Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. You won’t have to download or even leave Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign to access your files.

You can start using OpenBrand for free, premium plan “Pro” starts from $9.95/user/month or $95/user/year.

ViewFlux

ViewFlux powers you with a versioning control. Manually add design revisions or let Dropbox sync do that. Image credit: ViewFlux.

ViewFlux is an interactive prototyping tool for designers. It allows you to create interactive prototypes from static designs with just a few clicks. ViewFux simplifies web design feedback & client approval. Might be a good alternative for pricier InVision.

ViewFlux offers a forever free individual account with limited features and the premium plan starts from $9/month.

Pixelapse

Pixelapse is a visual version control and collaboration tool for open source and private design projects. In January 2015, Pixelapse joined Dropbox to provide you effortless experience in your workflow. Pixelapse works with the existing tools you use and every design iteration is automatically backed up as you work.

Pixelapse is free for open source public projects, a premium plan starts from $15/month for 3 private projects and unlimited storage.

Prevue

Give stunning design presentations with Prevue and get fast client feedback. Image credit: Prevue.

Prevue is a tool targeted at design agencies allowing them to create design presentations. It enables you to upload, organise, share and get fast client feedback on your projects.

You can start with Prevue for free for 14 days, during which you can upload up to 250 images, create and share unlimited projects and invite up to 2 team members. The “Freelance” plan starts from $5/month.

Gravit

Gravit is a completely free web-based design tool for designers and non-designers. Simply put, it allows you to design like a boss even if you’re not a designer. You can easily create beautiful logos, business cards, websites, flyers and social media covers to impress your customers, family and friends.

Conclusion

There are dozens of useful collaboration tools for your design projects and it might be hard to choose the right one. Treat it as an experiment, try one tool for a couple of days with your team and see how it works, if it doesn’t what you need, stick to it, if not, try another one.

I’d like to hear your experiences collaborating on design projects. What tools do you use to ensure a smooth and productive workflow in your company?


Originally published at www.forbes.com on February 24, 2016.