Designing great software products means not only collaborating with fellow designers but with the entire organization. A couple of weeks ago the question “Can designers work remotely?” surfaced. And the answer is YES. The UX Team at Nearsoft has been doing it successfully for over ten years. 

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With the current situation worldwide, most teams have gone full remote mode. Here are four strategies to successfully lead a remote design team.

Set Clear Expectations and Responsibilities 

Set the rules of the game even when they seem obvious. When we kick off a project with a new client the first thing we do is to have a meeting to make the rules of the game clear for both sides. Be sure to cover the following points, 

If your team is already established, you probably already have something like this. It’s a good idea to go back to that document and do a quick recap now that everyone will be working remotely. If you don’t have something formal, make it just to be sure everyone is on the same channel. 

Drive Communication 

When working in the same office many ideas and opportunities happen during casual conversations at the kitchen or the game room. Remotely, casual conversations don’t happen as often. One of the dynamics we implemented to keep connected, even if we’re working with different clients, is a Weekly Design Meeting. The idea is that each team member can use that time to present anything from a design challenge they are currently facing to an interactive game to play with everyone. Below are some things that can help you keep communication consistent,

Choose the Right Tool for Your Team 

Building software products is not only about what you prefer, but what is best for your team. One of the things that you need to consider is how your team is structured. Ask the tough questions before choosing a tool and committing to it, 

Making these decisions as a product team, will help you see the bigger picture and find security when uncertainty comes.

Use Your Creativity  

In uncertain times, it’s very important to look at the upcoming challenges, focus on how to break them into smaller ones and find a solution for each one of them. It might seem silly but some problems are easy to solve, for example we’ve used,

At the end of the day design is strictly about solving problems, and that can be done from anywhere in the world. Working remotely is possible if you tackle challenges as they come and remind yourself that you play an important and collaborative role in your company.