3 Rules to Help Designers Work Efficiently in a Team

In the past, we’ve written an article about how Plant helps design teams. This time we will explain the rules our team exercises to organize our work and increase our productivity.

There are three things that affect work efficiency:

  • Competent file organization
  • Seamless continuation of project evolution
  • Team communication

These things are bottlenecks in the collective work of designers and are vital rules for team performance and productivity.

Rule 1: Organize your files

Often when starting a project designers make up a knowledge base or moodboards, which in reality will not be needed in the future. Therefore, don’t spend too much time on organizing files at the stage of research and reference discovery.

The best time to start organizing your files is when you start a Sketch project. As your project grows, new artboards will be created and the library with a design system will expand. If you create the basic rules for organizing files and follow them, then it’ll be easier to build work on a project, no matter how much it’ll scale.

We came to a conclusion that “One project is one Sketch file” method, is best suited.

Such rule can solve several problems at once.

First of all, working on a single file on Plant helps get rid of duplicates, since the latest version of the file will always be available. There is no need to spend time studying everyone’s files in order to determine which work to continue.

Projects with a single Sketch file are easier to organize into large structures. When project requires new layouts for different platforms, ideas for redesign and separate Sketch libraries that appear in a project, it becomes uncomfortable to keep it all in one place.

To conveniently organize project files we use folders in Plant. For example, folders help group multiple project files that are related to one client or a team, or sort project files under different platforms. In any case, folders are a flexible way to help you organize your work the way you like it.

Rule 2: Commit changes more frequently

Teamwork is like rowing, the boat goes faster if all team members find a common pace and work synchronously. When each team member is aware of each other’s work, the team achieves its goal quicker.

Plant eliminates barriers when collaborating between designers with the help of the activity timeline, which shows who and when have made changes on specific projects and artboards.

Commit every important change in the project as often as possible by sending it to Plant.

When should you send your changes? For example: when finishing a design task, set a new milestone on the project, offer new more convenient structure of artboards, correct errors in a symbol that affects the work of other designers.

We highly recommend accompanying your changes with commit notes when sending changes. Commit notes add additional help of what has changed on a project and allow the whole team to work better with the history of the project.

Rule 3: Communicate at higher speeds

Poor communication between the designers will jeopardize the launch time of a project no matter how proficient the design is in Sketch. Designers need to communicate consistently, especially if the team is working remotely.

In Plant, all contributors on a project can quickly and freely communicate with each other. Designers can use annotations to draw additional attention to a specific detail of their design and discuss it with their peers. Artboards with annotations can easily be sorted out to save time and when viewing an artboard, annotations can be accessed in a single space in Plant webapp to make sure no comments are left unseen.

When directly referencing a specific user member in annotations, Plant will notify the user about the comment on the design, and other participants will not be distracted.

In Plant team members are notified about changes via email or push notifications inside Sketch. And if that’s not enough, Plant also integrates with Slack, so you’ll never miss anything.

To demonstrate designs to a client or have project managers and non designers follow the evolution of the project, the admin of a team can invite them as a viewers. The viewers will be able to view designs on web app and leave comments without needing Sketch.

Plant has everything for communication. Your projects and communication around them are tightly connected and stored in one place. You will no longer have to search for the right up-to-date file, look for emails or scroll through chat conversations.