3 Collaborative Design Tips

Businesses that practice and carry out operations based on a collaborative design have been proven to make significant benefits towards optimizing their potentials. These designs basically harness the potential of various available problem solving skills to make quick effective and elegant decisions.

While the description and illustration of how these designs work may seem reason enough to engage, not many companies have succeeded of prompt integration. There are a number of things to know regarding collaborative designs and their usability. Understanding how the design can be used to expand and simplify decision making is the most important thing before integrating it into your routine practices.

3 Collaborative Design For Usability Tips

Mastering the Elements

When looking to take the advantages of collaborative designs and inculcate them into your business, mastering the key elements of collaboration is obligatory. These designs are practiced from the simplest practices to the most critical decisions which mean it evolves into a culture. The design elements are therefore felt by every employee and this effect provides the platform for harmonizing everyone’s skills to make an elegant well-evaluated decision. Some of the most important design elements include;

• Motivation – In order to effectively deploy a collaborative design into play, every employee must be at the same level of spirit and motivation. They should be made clear of the end results and each one has to feel like they are gaining something. Simply put, ensure each employee is aware of their role, part and importance to the end results

Support, sharing and collective problem solving – These are in essence the core simple characteristics that every collaborative design should exhibit. Sharing ownership of success among teams does not bar team members from crediting each other and idea sources. All brilliance is shared and support is given to ensure problems are effectively handled and solved within the shortest time.

Communication – Collaboration and communication are inseparable in terms of designing this type of environment. The goals and what is required of everyone must be effectively communicated. Each person must be aware that it is an independent decision to work towards a common interest of which everyone is part of.

Diversity – Small sub groups and sub sets of teams brings in diversity of though, opinion, point of view and creates an avenue to justify claims and view a subject or proposal from all angles. Inculcating diversity always part of collaborative designing.

Once you have mastered the elements of this design, you can replicate it by shaping the elements to suite your business purpose.

Assessing the design process and theories

While collaborative designs bring forth various benefits to the business, it could be a cause for poor decision making if not seriously handled. Collaborations must be controllable and stricter paths may be required for some levels of the delivery process. The main goals of collaboration designs are to deliver solutions for problems, enhance marketing and presence and increase sales. All these require decision making at various levels of involvement.

A framework of the design process must be well understood and employees should always know what channels are open to them. There are a number of levels in the decision making chain for routine day to day business management activities. The processes illustrate a basic model of employing a collaborative design and using it to make decision making simple, efficient and far from overwhelming. The four Ds; discover, define, develop and deliver are all you need to master. These processes cut through everything from inspiration to stakeholder approval and delivery of solution.

In discovery, ideas develop, inspiration is sought and problems are identified. Definition basically involves visualization, brainstorming and filtering findings to select ideals. Development and delivery involve prototyping, testing, refining and receiving approvals. In order to effectively use collaborative design in building a viable decision making process, certain requirements must be met to justify a decision made regarding the specific issue. This process ensures no aspect is oversight in the process of making decisions affecting the business thus improving efficiency. What’s more, the businesses can design a theory to use, evaluate the risks, pursue it and test the results. Often, this yields to idea perception and creation of new offers.

Know your governance models

As usual, decisions are made at various levels on routine basis and collaborative designs harness decision making skills of each person to facilitate the process. Some have paths while others are open while still housed under the same business. It is important to focus on the hierarchies and paths. Some of the existing projections in a collaboration designs include;

Open model – This has been used by many businesses to make short term and long term strategies as well as to gather intelligence on how to handle problems. The organization may choose to set the problem and the platform kept open for everyone’s participation. This type of model can be effective in cases that lack a clear definition of the subject.

Closed model – In this case, participants in decision making are chosen by the manager. It can be used in monitoring of inter-organizational comparisons especially in subject matters that are well defined. This ensures your chosen participants are the most appropriate ones and have the needed capacity to provide urgent answers.

Other important distinctions are flat and hierarchical governance models. In the flat model, every member is open to make a decision that is summed up together in an agreement of all. In hierarchical, a group of members may sit down to assess the options and make ultimate decisions. These two additional models are usually used together to form four sets of integrated concepts. You can therefore have open and flat, closed and flat, open and hierarchical, and closed and hierarchical design governance models.


Each of the above usability tips presents collaborative designs and models that can be used to efficiently employ and begin reaping the benefits of such designs. The quicker and swifter decisions can be made, and problems can be solved, the more chances your business has to excel. Many analysts and research have explained the relationship between decision making and other aspects of the business of which it affects all. Using a collaborative design will give you a chance to simplify this task and increase productivity.


Jessica is the Lead Author & Editor of UsabilityLab Blog. Jessica writes for the UsabilityLab blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to usability.