At Distillery, the design team is always moving forward at optimized speed. Having international offices allows us to actively produce results, explore different ideas, and come up with unique solutions around the clock. When the sun rises in Santa Monica at the beginning of each workday, a great deal of work has already been achieved. As some of our team members lay themselves to rest, team members on the other side of the world are ready to take over and begin yet another cycle of accomplishments.
From a business perspective, that level of productivity is remarkably beneficial. It allows us to always be ahead of the game, and it significantly reduces any potential waste of time. In addition, working with an international team helps bring fresh new ideas and points of view to the table, drastically improving the creative process.
That said, although highly advantageous in many ways, having a design team that exists an ocean apart does present challenges. Those challenges include misunderstandings that often result from cultural and linguistic differences, occasional time zone conflicts, and difficulty always keeping everyone in the loop regarding decisions that are being made. So how do we combat those challenges? Below are a few strategies that help in keeping Distillery’s design team sane and ready to succeed.
Distillery is a remarkably strong company when it comes to communication, whether that communication involves only employees or branches out to clients and partners as well. Throughout our projects, each project team has regular standup calls so that everyone involved is updated on what is happening. Among designers, there are frequent calls to discuss current tasks, challenges, things that need improvement, design trends, and best practices. As a result, the design team has a holistic view of everything that is being worked on and can easily allocate work, clear up misunderstandings, and stay up to date on the latest design news.
Whether a designer works on a project alone or receives help, organization is a fundamental skill for everyone to have. This is important for any design team, international or otherwise, as products always go through a number of iterations, all of which must happen quickly. Establishing a solid work process is also mandatory when it comes to efficiency. If one knows which path to follow in order to reach a determined goal, the journey will happen smoothly. In addition, one never knows when a team member will need to access certain folders or files. If an urgent task to update a screen suddenly comes up, for example, the designers available need to be autonomous and capable of dealing with it on their own, independently of who was working on the project to begin with. That’s when a solid process framework comes in handy, making sure that there will be no unpleasant surprises on the road ahead.
Our design team thrives on variety. The designers at Distillery all have very distinct personalities and strengths. Some have great technical knowledge and a passion for learning new tools, and others are exceptionally reliable and always ready to help. Yet others have a very unique and creative style that never fails to spice things up when a design needs a little push. By being aware of these strengths and seeking to understand each other on a personal level, we use those differences in our favor by making sure that we work on the projects and tasks that suit us best. We also advise each other accordingly and place great importance on being supportive. This leads to a healthy exchange of knowledge and improvement in everyone’s skill sets and personal growth.
The software design and development industry is always changing, and we must be quick to keep up with new demands. While we can always make improvements in the way we work and interact as a team, our disciplined approach to our work will always be a defining factor for our success. By following the set of principles outlined above, we are able to stay on the right track as we move forward. Challenges will always come along, but the way we overcome them will always set our Distillery design team apart.
The software design and development industry is always changing, and we must be quick to keep up with new demands. While we can always make improvements in the way we work and interact as a team, our disciplined approach to our work will continue to be a defining factor for our success. By following the set of principles outlined above, we are able to stay on the right track as we move forward. Challenges will always come along, but the way we overcome them will always set our Distillery design team apart.
Want to learn more about how Distillery’s design team uses its superpowers to make a difference for our clients? Let us know!
As a Senior UI Designer at Distillery, Luciana Flora brings a balanced perspective to her work that’s based on equal parts artistry and practicality. Since she’s studied UX, UI, and programming, she has a strong understanding of what’s possible at the intersection of design and development. Luciana loves learning new languages, writing fiction, and going to karaoke.