Working on the Internet has many perks. One of them is that we work remotely. The Phuse has team members in Canada, The United States and England, which means we have the ability to work on our own schedules, using our own techniques, in whichever chair we choose to sit.
However, in this line of work, communication is absolutely critical. Taking a project from concept to completion requires a solid connection between all team members. Without a physical office and the ability to shout annoyingly across it to a teammate, we must take great care to ensure our communication is consistent and top-notch. Any breakdown in the communication process could potentially cause disruptions with the client’s timescale and budget, and that’s what should ultimately be avoided.
“We are not self-made. We are dependent on one another. Admitting this to ourselves isn’t an embrace of mediocrity and derivativeness, it’s a liberation from our misconceptions.” – Kirby Ferguson
Why Have Audits?
Our developers have carried out code-audits for a while now. They prove to be extremely useful as it ensures they are using optimal techniques to create a website or application which is built to last. It’s a chance to share, learn and collaborate.
So, if it works so well for them, surely it should work for designers? Therefore we recently started a series of weekly design audits. These are essentially short meetings in which our design group can get together on Skype and share what we have been working on during the past week. We start off by discussing the projects we’ve been hacking on and any problems we may have faced. Then we take turns to share screenshots of design work and ask around for critique. This is in addition to weekly kick-off meetings and an almost constant line of communication whilst working.
This new method of communication allows us to develop our critical thinking and improve the way we express ourselves through other people’s work. Also, as any other web designer will tell you, the longer you work on something, the easier it is to see your design through rose-tinted spectacles. Using another set of eyes gives us the chance to discover potential flaws in our design, which a client or another team-member may not have initially noticed.
This has improved our work process by opening up our own little project eco-systems to the rest of the team. It re-enforces the knowledge that, despite living thousands of miles apart, we can still work together, help each other and enjoy doing what we love the most – design kickass web stuff!