It’s considerably easier than ever to collaborate with people in various locations or even in different countries thanks to the widespread use of distributed teams. However, it gets harder to keep track of everything, communicate coherently, and fulfill deadlines the more people you have involved in a project. Collaboration is crucial to the success of your design projects, and that’s where collaboration tools are necessary for design teams.
In this article, we’ll go through why a design team needs collaboration tools, along with a curated list of the 9 best design collaboration tools that design teams can leverage to deliver top-notch design.
So let’s get started!
Why does a design team need design collaboration tools?
While the notion of a single designer producing a strong creative work sounds fantastic, it’s not a particularly practical approach to successful design. Simply put, that is not how design processes operate.
In a real-world scenario, the designers and design teams collaborate with numerous stakeholders and teams from different departments, like engineering or marketing, to gather input. Nowadays, every experienced design team adheres to the fundamental value of collaboration.
Design collaboration tools are therefore absolutely necessary. With the appropriate tools for design collaboration, you can
Achieve real-time collaboration with other designers on your team
There is no need for lengthy Slack chats, email conversations, or office arguments. Simply put, you can experiment together to find what works and what doesn’t. It promotes creativity while simultaneously saving time.
Work together with clients or other teams within your company
Clients and internal team members can monitor progress and offer input throughout the project when they have visibility to your design collaboration tools. This encourages innovation and helps to foresee potential problems in advance.
9 best design collaboration tools
Let’s take a close look at some of the best design collaboration tools available for design teams to use to help you decide which tool works best for you.
Cubyts is an intelligent online platform dedicated to DesignOps and design teams. It is designed for design experts and leaders to eliminate inefficiencies in the design workflow, establish design processes, nurture and grow collaboration, run design projects, and track metrics.
In other words, Cubyts is your all-around DesignOps platform.
With this platform, design leaders can create design roadmaps easily, and include important design process templates, design systems, resources, and tools all in one place. It also has a common knowledge repository that everyone in the team can make use of, so teams don’t need to run around looking for resources or tasks.
Cubyts also integrates with various design, collaboration, and DevOps tools to make cross-platform collaboration a breeze.
Since everything a design team needs for a project is ready for use in one common location, collaboration between designers and other teams is as seamless as it gets.
With over 7 million users worldwide, including 100% of the Fortune 100 list, InVision is a platform for creative collaboration built specifically for designers.
It is a web-based application and mobile app that transforms your concepts into completely functional prototypes that you can exhibit to other stakeholders. They include movements, transitions, and animations.
When working through the design process, it can be extremely useful to demonstrate to other team members or clients how a website or app will operate.
Customers can offer comments on your designs, and you can keep them informed of the project’s status in real time by using actionable to-do lists.
With InVision, you have access to more than 100 templates that will enable you to work more efficiently and integrate all of your projects with your preferred tools.
You can begin your first project for free, but after that, you’ll need to upgrade to a premium plan.
Due to its adaptability, Figma is a popular design tool among professional designers. Figma is the first browser-based interface design tool, making it simpler for teams to develop software.
With just one design platform, you can produce low and high-fidelity designs, animations, interactive prototypes, and more. You can also build a design system that houses all of your design resources (backgrounds, icons, typefaces, etc.) in one location.
The best feature of Figma is the ability to send shareable URLs for design concepts. This is practical because it’s the simplest approach to demonstrate your activities and progress. They don’t need a Figma account at all! Just a good internet connection will do.
No matter where you are located in the world, Figma enables design teams to collaborate. Co-designing allows for seamless collaboration because changes and comments are immediately visible as you make them.
Additionally, Figma has a standalone product called FigJam, a team-focused online whiteboard. It can be used to facilitate team meetings, plan user journeys, and brainstorm ideas. It is a great tool for brainstorming concepts and facilitating idea-sharing between you and your team.
You also can use audio files to explain the design and talk over ideas, all while integrating with Figma for a seamless experience!
With over 119,000 paying clients and millions of free users worldwide, Asana remains one of the most opted choices for design project management, in spite of being introduced way back in 2008. It contains all the tools you require to manage significant projects in a sizable business.
Given its extensive features, it is probably best suited for users that need that level of complexity and cooperation in their design project software and who work in larger businesses.
By allowing you to make to-do lists, track activities via a project “board,” set deadline reminders, leave comments on other people’s tasks, and submit requests to coworkers, Asana enables you to remain on top of your workflow.
Asana also gives you the ability to automate repetitive activities and monitor the status of your projects.
Globally, over a million teams use Trello, another popular project management tool. As opposed to Asana, Trello bases its task management system on the Kanban board, which separates a work board into three columns: “Waiting,” “In Progress,” and “Completed.”
You can build virtual Kanban boards with Trello that can be as intricate as you like. You’re not required to use the conventional three-column layout.
Trello’s digital cards let you do everything in one place by indicating the task that has to be completed and the teams each task is allocated to and providing all the information related to it, including file attachments and comments.
Even if you’ve never used project management software before, Trello is a breeze because of the straightforward Kanban board task management system.
The use of Slack has skyrocketed recently. Although Slack isn’t strictly a design collaboration platform, many designers and developers use it for that purpose alone: to rapidly and efficiently collaborate on projects.
Slack enables you to manage and upload files, and create private conversation rooms. You can always refer back to any talk because it was recorded. It functions flawlessly across all browsers and mobile devices.
It’s a great tool for clear, timely communication that keeps everyone involved in the loop and can help your team communicate better as a whole.
Filestage is a project management tool that focuses on managing reviews, comments, and approvals.
Filestage is an excellent option if you frequently find yourself bogged down in a never-ending email back-and-forth, find it difficult to keep track of all the comments, and are forced to chase down stakeholders to gain the go-ahead.
By offering a platform where you can share design files with various stakeholders, compile their input in one location, and get your work authorized once that feedback has been included, Filestage may help bring order to all of this trouble.
With Filestage, it’s simple to construct workflows for reviews so you can effectively keep everyone in the loop and quickly transition your project from a draught to a final design.
From a technical standpoint, the product has best-in-class security and is easy to use. As a result, you can confidently share your designs with others and know that only those you trust will view them.
Mockplus is a robust web-based design collaboration and handoff tool that makes the design-to-code cycle simple and quick.
You can easily import designs from Sketch, Adobe XD, PS, Figma, and Photoshop into Mockplus, evaluate and discuss them with other users, and then send the designs along to the developer with automatically created specs, assets, and code snippets.
If you and your team don’t use any design tools, you can simply utilize the integrated high-fidelity prototyping editor to build interactive prototypes that are completely functional from scratch, distribute, test, and gather feedback via a single link.
From easy wireframing, designing, collaboration, and developer handoff, your complete product design workflow is accessible in one location.
Mockplus also provides a number of other design tools.
Mockplus Classic is a desktop program that lets you construct websites and mobile apps. It highlights the speed and various pre-made components that can be used to do tasks rapidly. Additionally, a Sketch integration is available.
Mockplus Cloud is a platform for collaboration that makes it easier for product managers, designers, and developers to collaborate.
Mockplus DS is a web application that lets you construct and manage design systems. You can make the latest iteration of your design system available to everyone, set up security permissions, and assemble all of your design assets in one location.
All of your collaboration needs can be met by merging these three apps, making it a fantastic one-stop shop for resources.
If you’re working on a print brochure, packaging, signage, or another type of print design, then Canva makes collaboration a breeze. Its software allows you to create professional designs – and they’ll even print them for you.
Additionally, you can invite team members, allocate tasks, and publish or share designs, all in one place. Teams can also leave feedback with real-time comments and reactions.
This overall visibility, along with the insights function, makes it easy to track your team’s progress.
Collaborate better with Cubyts
It’s more than proven that collaboration is a key success factor in design teams and projects. With Cubyts, collaboration has never been easier. As a dedicated DesignOps platform, effective collaboration is at the forefront of what we want you to achieve.
Want to see what Cubyts can do for you? Visit our platform and sign up for a free Cubyts trial.