UX Team Collaboration
Getting to know your teammates & collaborating with them in a short span of time.
During my UX/UI Immersive course at Flatiron school, I worked on 4 projects in which 3 were with different teams. I’ve worked with teams in some of my previous roles but this was a different experience.
The first team project I worked on (Bungee) was with 3 other members. It was the first time that we had all met and that too, remotely (due to Covid 19). Our first goal was to get to know each other before jumping into the project. To help with this, we created a team contract which included the following aspects mentioned below.
Part 1: Self Reflection
Personality Assessment Results
- Each of us did a personality assessment and wrote down our results to help understand each other in a faster way. We used this source for the assessment: https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test
Working and Communication Styles
- We included what our ideal working environments are as well as the team dynamics & communication styles.
- We made a note of what our individual goals are for the project. What we hope to have learnt by the end of it and how we can help each other achieve them.
Part 2: Learning About Our Team
Similarities & Differences
- We wrote a couple of sentences defining our working styles & personality traits that we share or differ on with our team members. The ways in which we approach conversations, collaboration and presentations and if they are similar or different to those of the rest of the team.
Strengths & Appreciations
- We defined what we appreciate about our teammates, the strengths they bring to the table and how our differences improve our overall team.
Support & Flexibility
- We specified the things we would be mindful of to support each other based on our individual working and communication styles. We discussed how to best mesh together our working styles for our team success.
Part 3: Group Discussion
Collaboration & Accountability
- We set our working hours, the project management system that we’d use (we decided on Trello), we set our reoccurring team meeting slots, the roles each team member would have on a weekly basis and what the tasks of a specific role would be and other general project management plans.
- We planned to make an alternating schedule for all team members to interact with clients and users when group interactions are not possible.
- We decided to split out 4 sections of the presentations which would be delegated to each team member. They would be responsible for creating the slides for their talking points. We would then work together on making sure there is a flow in the presentation and practice our talking points together.
Creative Conflicts & Disagreements
- We made an action plan for situations where there may be conflicts. We decided to list pros and cons on a conflicting idea, give constructive criticism on it, vote between the team members and default to the project managers’ judgment if there is a tie.
- Considering that some projects can get stressful, we came up with three approaches on how to alleviate stress and promote team building. We would ensure there is thorough planning and communication to level out the work load according to team members’ strengths & weaknesses. We would have digital coffee hangouts to help de-stress and socialize more with one another. Lastly, we would share UX-tangential information to help keep each other motivated & excited to keep working.
Creating this team contract really helped us work together as a team as we had a better understanding of each other’s working styles. Critically examining and reflecting on the positive impact of our differences helped increase positivity in challenging times and helped us reframe our own thoughts and feelings.
We created team contracts for all the team projects I worked on. I found them to be very useful and would suggest that others use it to. I got along well with all of my teammates from the three projects I was on and I never ran into any issues with anyone. I generally get along well with others but I was also lucky to not have a difficult member on the team. By difficult, I mean someone who is not willing to help or doesn’t complete their assigned tasks etc.
All of my projects were done remotely due to Covid but this did not intervene with our workflow. We managed to use different tools which helped us with team collaborations. We used Figma instead of Sketch to help us work on wireframes and prototypes together. We used Trello for our team management and Miro for affinity mapping and ideation processes such as ‘how might we,’ ‘challenge assumptions,’ ‘mind mapping’ etc. We used Google Hangouts and Zoom for our team/client meetings and remote user interviews and usability testing. Otter.ai was used to record and transcribe the user interviews that we carried out. This helped us extract quotes from the interviews that we’d use in our client presentations to help justify our design decisions.
Overall, I’ve enjoyed all of my team projects; meeting, working and communicating with new people. That’s what I enjoy the most and I’m looking forward to working with more teams in the future.