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UX Design With Distributed Teams


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How to ideate, prototype & research together remotely. A talk from UX Camp Hamburg 2015. More on this topic on

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UX Design With Distributed Teams

  1. 1. UX DESIGN WITH DISTRIBUTED TEAMS how to ideate, prototype & research together remotely Johannes Baeck - @jbaeck - UX Camp Hamburg - August 2015
  2. 2. Hi, I'm Johannes • M.A. International 
 Information Management • UX Consultant & Designer 
 (before: Aperto Berlin, IBM) • Lecturer User-centered Design
 at the University of Hildesheim • UX Design Mentor 
 at CareerFoundry • Maker of Music
 at the piano and with my ukulele @jbaeck
  3. 3. Lately, I have been working more 
 and more with distributed teams Hannover Berlin Pune Hamburg Fürth Nürnberg
  4. 4. Lately, I have been working more 
 and more with distributed teams London Hannover San Francisco New York
  5. 5. And yes I have been in awful conference calls “A conference call in real life”
  6. 6. My recent experience with distributed teams has been quite good! !
  7. 7. There are many types of distribution All distributedOne/some remote Teams in different locations inspired by James Kalbach (
  8. 8. Some all-distributed startups have been designing great products
  9. 9. So how can we make user experience design with distributed teams work? ?
  10. 10. Let’s have a closer look at our process User Research & Testing Planning & IdeationPrototyping & Design Communication
 & Team Work
  11. 11. Planning & Ideation with Distributed Teams
  12. 12. Ideation sessions using shared 
 virtual whiteboards Distributed agency Hanno uses virtual sticky notes in for remote design thinking ideation sessions.
  13. 13. Designers at EightShapes use document cameras and screen sharing to see what their teammate is sketching in real time. Sharing paper sketches remotely 
 with document cameras
  14. 14. Co-located workshops as a starting point for remote collaboration An effective design studio session at the beginning of a project can set the stage for further remote team work.
  15. 15. Prototyping & Design 
 with Distributed Teams
  16. 16. Hovering ADs
  17. 17. fallback when nothing else works out Show, don’t tell — always have a flexible screen sharing stack available for this one corporate client standard for internal use new standard for corporate clients? MY CURRENT SETUP
  18. 18. Let stakeholders directly interact 
 with the design you are talking about InVision LiveShare gives every participant a cursor and the possibility to directly comment inside the design layout
  19. 19. Axure Team Projects make both remote and non-remote work easier Axure Team Projects let designers work together in one file 
 with version control.
  20. 20. Set up a workable spec workflow 
 and adapt to developer tools UX Design Team Dev Team Product 
 Management EXAMPLE SETUP JIRA Agile Board 
 for functional spec 
 and clarification Confluence Wiki 
 for requirements 
 and research data Hosted Axure prototype 
 incl. visual design spec 
 with version history
  21. 21. User Research & Testing with Distributed Teams
  22. 22. Why remote user research? • Reach globally distributed users in their natural environment • Save time and money (do more iterations) • Have more research tools in your toolbox • Moderated (e.g. screen-sharing) • Self-moderated / Automated (e.g. • Diary studies
  23. 23. Involve remote stakeholders by streaming research sessions Dubai Stakeholder Location D Test Participant Location B User Researchers Location A Stakeholders Location E ScreenSharing Streaming
  24. 24. Before you start with remote research • Know your audience
 (are they tech-savvy? how well do they speak your language?) • Prepare for technology and connectivity issues • People may behave differently remotely 
 (scheduling: people less committed to being there, trust: 
 “can you control my computer?”) • Combine with contextual interviews or lab usability tests for better results — if possible
  25. 25. Communication & Team Work with Distributed Teams
  26. 26. Be aware of your remote constellation and deliberately rethink your process - Leif Singer (iDoneThis) On a high level I think just being aware that you need to have a remote strategy is important. Don't assume that things will work the same as in a colocated situation. Don't assume that it will just work. Try to communicate more than you'd actually need to. Commit fully, or not at all.
  27. 27. Learn to choose your mode of communication wisely Mail / IM / JIRA Audio Call Video Call Co-located Workshop Building trust and relationships Exploring big ideas Tackling complex problems Getting “routine” work done Following a “maker schedule” Clarifying urgent issues
  28. 28. Build and keep connections Virtual presence 
 Sqwiggle shows a snapshot of
 each team member which updates
 throughout the day In-person meetups
 Distributed team at Zapier 
 on a company retreat /
  29. 29. Balance remote / non-remote meetings — prepare & facilitate! - Jason Fried (Basecamp) By rationing in-person meetings, their status is evaluated to that of a rare treat. They become something to be savored, something special.
  30. 30. But why should I care? Let’s just avoid working with distributed teams altogether… ?
  31. 31. Why thinking about your remote 
 ux process might prove useful • You might not be able to avoid working remotely - so make 
 the most of it! • You get access to more users for user research and you 
 can involve more stakeholders • Your process becomes more flexible — 
 do more iterations (e.g. ideation sessions)
  32. 32. Thanks! Let’s connect • • •