Web design collaboration has always been in many ways a digital communications friendly area for the people involved in it. However, in the last few years (at most) this trend has moved even further in that direction and thanks to an assortment of new technologies, web design collaboration is easier to do without physically meeting than ever.
From video conferencing tools to outsourcing to cloud storage to workflow management tools in the cloud, there are all sorts of tools both employers and web designers can use to mutually plan their websites and build them to an extraordinary degree of detail.
That said, let’s cover some of the best of these tools that the digital collaboration world has to offer; with these, you and any other designers or collaborators can plan and execute a website from scratch and regardless of physical distance.
The well-known and well used Google Drive (formerly Google Documents) is simple, widespread and very effective as a basic collaboration tool for almost any kind of project related work. For one thing, since just about everyone has their own Gmail address, you’re not likely to have to sign your collaborators up for the service since it’s an automatic part of every Gmail account.
Secondly, it’s mostly free for data loads up to a few GB, which should be more than enough to cover most of your document sharing needs. Now, while Drive isn’t exactly a web design cloud collaboration tool, it does let you and your team members mutually edit, submit and widely share a whole range of word, excel and assorted visual files, making an enormous amount of website design related work easily possible on a cheap, simple and widely used medium.
To access Google drive and start collaborating with it and adding team member accounts together, simply open your Gmail account and send out access invitations to your partners’ Gmail addresses.
The well known and very popular BaseCamp from 37Signals is a thoroughly useful all-in-one project management package designed by coders for coders (and anybody else who needs a top notch collaborative tool). Cheap to use, easy to use; BaseCamp lets you and your team track every last document, idea, notation and file of any type in a single multi-party access dashboard.
Assorted files can be securely imported and shared amongst team members while a separate section has also been added for pure text files where you and your web development team can keep and share notes and snippets of code stored.
Video conferencing is becoming an integral part of the broader digital collaboration landscape and this is applying not just to large corporate teams but also to small groups of programmers, freelancers and designers.
It’s easy to see why too: with broadband internet access becoming pervasive and the quality of light, on-the-fly video meeting software improving all the time, the ease of picking a software tool that works well and using it for multi-person meetings is extreme.
Platforms such as GoToMeeting, InterCall, Cisco, and Vidyo let you open a conferencing account at extremely low monthly cost and a small investment in video and screen equipment and then give you the ability to hook your team of coders, graphic designers and software developers into the same platform via simple login procedures.
After these things are done, you’re good to go and can meet and share files and screen time as often as you need to with your team when you’re right in the middle of a major web dev project.
If you want a powerful (but not entirely polished) project management software platform that’s completely free to use and loved by many coders, you can’t go wrong with Redmine.
This large platform lets you and your team create and track multiple projects and subprojects at the same time, assign roles to different team collaborators within given projects, create multiple databases in multiple languages and tie together all sorts of documents and files.
Take a better look at some of the numerous features Redmine offers with its somewhat polish-free free to use project management platform.
If you’re a team of web designers and cooperating on a major project, chances are you’re going to be doing some commercial work at some point soon. This is where you’re going to need yourself an easy to use, robust and ideally collaborative billing and invoicing platform of some kind.
This is where CurdBee fits nicely. This software platform lets you and your teams create, organize and adjust invoices hassle free. Bill as many clients for as many accounts as you want and have all of your previous invoicing neatly stored in a logical, systematic way on this tool that integrates with PayPal and is designed to handle multiple currencies without a problem. Best of all, CurdBee is completely free to use.
GoVisually, lets you make powerful visual designs within a framework that was completely designed from the ground up with collaborative teams in mind.
With GoVisually, you and your group of web designers can create visual displays of your web design projects such as app projects, static sites and mobile stores and then add annotations, notes and revisions all over the place. This gets done in a visually layered way that lets multiple team members work together within the same project at the same time without losing track of who is doing what at any moment..