Design in Collaborative Projects

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.

People trying to pull a project in various directions.

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.

People pulling a project in the same direction.

Even making some people unhappy is better than having no direction.

People pulling in the same direction, but one is unhappy.

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.

Everyone paints the project in the color they prefer.

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.

About thorwil
I'm a designer from Germany. My main interests are visual and interaction design, free/open-source software and (electronic) music.

5 Responses to Design in Collaborative Projects

  1. Harsh says:

    Wow, where did you get the illustrations from? They’re fantastic!

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  3. Brett Alton says:

    I agree, very nice illustrations! Love the bold colour, the body stances and actions the bodies are partaking.

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