Collaborative design has been gaining new grounds of late. A traditional design process is where a single core designer or design team will be responsible for everything from the initial idea to the finalized products.

Customer or employees care concept

A collaborative design on the other hand, will involve a team of individuals with different skill sets who can participate in the product’s design. Collaborative design allows the team to creatively solve problems in addition to engaging in project management and coordination activities.

Key elements involved in collaborative design

Collaborative design is made of six key elements. These include:

  • Motivation

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Everyone in the team needs to be motivated to reach the end goal in order for the entire team to succeed in the collaborative design process.

  • Communication

Hispanic Designers Meeting To Discuss New Ideas

A collaborative project needs effective communication in order to find the right people to work with.

  • Diversity

Planning work

Collaborative design involves people with differing skill sets to ensure that a wide range of expertise is involved in achieving end goals effectively.

  • Sharing


It is imperative to designate which ideas and concepts will require ownership and which others can be more flexible. Ownership issues need to be sorted out at the onset in order to avoid hassles later on.

  • Support

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The collaborators will need to offer their full support for the process, even at times of unforeseen difficulties. This support should be readily available from every member of the team even in normal situations.

  • Problem Solving

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The group should work together in solving a problem. It should also be highly tolerant in cases of uncertain changes in the designated plan.

Steps to succeed in collaborative design

Man Working Computer Organization Team Building Solution Concept

Even though collaborative design is considered difficult by many, it can produce outstanding results if practiced efficiently. Consider these steps when implementing collaborative design in your projects.

  • Designate roles early on

Designate roles

You need to designate roles to each members of the team at the onset of the process. This will help you ascertain how long certain members need to remain in the process as well as who will remain in it till the end.

  • Follow tried and tested collaborative methods

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After assigning the roles, you need to start the collaboration process. Use a tried and tested method like a brainstorm to kick off the process. Make sure that every member of the team is heard and is involved with the design throughout this process.

  • Get feedback for chosen solutions

customer feedback

You will need to get in touch with design solution expert to gain feedback on chosen solutions. This will help you narrow down the list of ideas to those which are worth pursuing. You can also welcome feedback from the team members at this stage, however ensuring that the end decision remains with the core product team.

  • Test with users for improvements

beautiful woman pointing her finger at light bulb

Make it a point to test prototypes with users to ascertain the areas you can improve in. Repeat this cycle until you get the desired design. Remember that while it is hard to please everyone in the team, the end design will in most cases; include the ideas of most of the members in the team.

Collaborative design can provide great results if done efficiently. Companies planning to integrate collaborative design in their processes need to take note of the key elements and steps involved in the integration process.