design has stayed stubbornly isolated – it hasn’t undergone the same collaboration revolutions that software development and office productivity have gone through – it’s remained, basically, single player
I haven’t tried the real-time collaborating tool Figma yet, so I can’t pass praise. However; it looks fabulous and they are tackling an area close to heart — collaboration.
It’s 2016 and it amazes me how we (makers of digital services and experiences) are still stuck using methods and processes that circle around creating visual static artefacts — statically filming a theatre stage instead of making a cinema film.
I believe this isn’t just down to designers and their choice of tools, it’s also about business and organisational setup. As Nick Bostrom states in his brilliant book Superintelligence: “Bureaucratic deformations that warp organisational life—wasteful status games, mission creep, concealment or falsification of information, and other agency problems.”
Playing on the same instrument at the same time might indeed be a good way to move towards a multiplayer setup, but along with that I reckon we should explore how we can inspire everyone to become a maker. Inject oxygen in basic moments of collaboration prior to implementation.
Empower the multidisciplinary team with tools of communication that has a low entry point and are more powerful, sophisticated and forgiving than a bullet of requirements, whiteboards, post-its and deck of slides.