To collaborate is defined: To work together, especially in a joint intellectual effort.
Web success will be hard to attain if we cannot share ideas across business silos. We need a way share not only ideas, but share about everything in the business. Ideas drive business and collaboration plays a role in discovering those ideas. As well, collaboration at times is a business meem often used but seldom understood. Collaboration means we share ideas.
Discover Ideas though Brainstorming
We’ve all been in brainstorming meetings. An example of a good brainstorming meeting is where ideas are shared and received. On the other hand, ideas are shared and sometimes immediately shot down or rejected. One part of brainstorming is to harvest as many good ideas as possible and that rewards ideas, even if those ideas are contrary to popular opinion. We should be able to receive each other’s ideas in good faith in a welcoming atmosphere.
We’ve taken the time to start the collaboration process by brainstorming ideas. We now have a bunch of great ideas to be analyzed. Now is the right time to be critical, weigh pros and cons, and thoughtfully consider the ideas. Does the idea line up with business strategy e.g. does it add value? Consider the ideas in the context of the technical strategy e.g. don’t adopt a .Net idea if you’re a JAVA shop. Are the ideas user centric? How these questions are answered will reveal the ideas that are best for your business.
Test your Ideas
I don’t believe we can afford to be myopic in collaborating for the web as to say that we shouldn’t take the time to brainstorm or analyze or have some type idea sharing process. Create comps or wireframes and put them in front of users. If you can’t afford usability testing, do it yourself with a handful of good candidates. You’ll be surprised at the results. Sometimes user reactions are contrary to designer’s expectations. Either way, usability or testing ideas with real users is an indispensable part of the collaboration process.
Collaborating in the context of web design means you share ideas in every step of finding those good ideas that make websites successful. Whether your just emailing, brainstorming in person, analyzing user data, collaborating is simply sharing ideas, but in the context of web design your sharing not only ideas but everything related there in.