Design in Collaborative Projects
2010-03-09 5 Comments
If you just let things happen in a collaborative project with design/artwork needs, you will likely see a few people creating proposals that mostly cover the same ground. They all will base their work on their own assumptions regarding various aspects of the project. This might not even happen consciously, but be more about gut feeling.
The same applies to other collaborators providing feedback. Everyone has an opinion on matters of design. People talk a lot of what they like or don’t like, seldom giving reasons.
This way, there is no shared idea of what should be achieved and how to judge proposals. No common ground for collaboration.
A collaborative project should have a documented mission statement/vision/set of goals. You need to define where you want to end up, before you can take care of getting there. Otherwise you rely on chance alone. This is especially important for artwork, because it shouldn’t be about individual taste or the latest fashion, but rather be constructed to help further the goals of the project.
Even making some people unhappy is better than having no direction.
You should work from a mission statement, a project briefing, towards defining your audience, the desired tone and your message. This will be your measure to decide what is and isn’t appropriate regarding design and artwork.
Your audience, your users might be quite different from your collaborators.
There’s also the aspect of breaking a big problem down into a set of smaller ones. This helps with covering every aspect and detail. As far as there is subjectivity, it’s much better to deal with it in small parts instead of at once, for the entire design.