UIEtips: Designing with Remote Teams

Jared Spool

September 11th, 2013

Collaboration is a critical part of the design process. With more teams consisting of members who work remotely, this can be a challenge. In today’s article, an excerpt from Jeff Gothelf’s book Lean UX, Jeff outlines the biggest challenges encountered with remote collaboration. Jeff says that it all comes down to communication. He knows what it takes to design effectively in this distributed environment.

Jeff dives deeper into what it takes to be successful with remote teams in his upcoming virtual seminar. The tactics he shares for working with remote teams include a host of Lean methods. Additionally, Jeff is leading a full-day workshop at this year’s UI18 COnference in Boston, October 21-23 on Escaping Product Requirement Hell Using Lean UX.

 

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

There’s been no shortage of coverage lately about the different strategies companies employ when it comes to their distributed work force. Certain companies, like Automattic – makers of WordPress, have an entirely remote workforce and swear it’s the only way to work. Other companies, like Yahoo!, have made headlines recently when CEO Marissa Mayer demanded all remote employees come back to the office. LivingSocial has promoted a distributed team environment under the leadership of now-departed SVP of Technology Chad Fowler. The poster children for distributed teams, 37 Signals, swear by this approach to the point that they’ve written a book on the topic. What has been missing from the conversation to date is context – the context of the work these companies are doing and the context of their current environments.

It seems that, as with most things design and UX, the answer to the question, “Does remote working work for software development teams?” is, it depends. Context and culture seem to be the determining factors but there’s another sub-element of culture that can’t be ignored: trust – specifically the trust between managers and their employees.

 

Read the article: Designing with Remote Teams

Have you ever experienced any challenges with working remotely while part of a team? Tell us about it below.

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