Humans First: Strategies for Leading Remote Design Teams

Cassie McDaniel
Jul 1 · 12 min read

What do I know?

I’ve been designing with remote teams since 2013. Check out my wicked headset.

Shifting to working remotely as a manager helped put everyone on the team on equal ground.

Me announcing at a Paris Lectures event, which I could not have done remotely. Time saved by not commuting 100% allowed me to do this in the evenings.

1 / Design intentional interactions

So many scheduled meetings. Image: @rossharmes

Standing meeting best practices

Better meeting efficiency

Glitchy video calls happen. No big deal. What matters is how we react.

2 / Building culture & collaboration

Design review best practices

Designer Ricardo Vazquez presenting an illustration concept for Webmaker

Open invitations

Regular demos or reviews are fantastic opportunities for cross-org collaboration.

Communicate out; listen in

3 / Experiment to find what works

Distributed designers have a more difficult time than distributed leadership.

Being silly and uploading the first shot together
Credit to my colleague Jess Klein for documenting this piece of history

The unusual challenges of working remotely often require unusual solutions.

Launches, cakes, holidays & swag

Ugly Sweater Holiday Demos. That’s my daughter, and Andrew’s Christmas tree, joining us for the occasion.

On work-related travel

Some things you just can’t do remotely. But many things, you can. Image: dare2win

Be the human we know you are.

I am grateful to have a flexible working life that doesn’t ignore the rest of my life.

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Cassie McDaniel

Written by

Words, design, community, kindness. Design at Adobe. Prev. Design Director at Mozilla Fdn, made Women&&Tech, Paris Lectures, Jane & Jury. www.cassiemcdaniel.com

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +479K people. Follow to join our community.