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Design Across Borders

Jim Kalbach, Head of CX at MURAL, co-taught a course at the Stanford d.school with project partner Amnesty International. We sponsored the use of the MURAL platform for the duration of the course. Reposted with permission from the Stanford d.school website.

Glenn Fajardo

in design, collaboration,

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Introducing MURAL Guides: Improve your digital collaboration skills

Online design collaboration can be challenging when you’re starting out. There are a lot of tools out there that can get the job done, but why adopt yet another new tool that could make team collaboration more difficult?

In this post, we’ll explore how MURAL can be used to improve the online design process—from research to mapping, brainstorming to design sprints to critiques. To aid in your journey, we’re introducing 11 new guides full of practical information and resources.

A quick recap

Many designers are already familiar with the Double Diamond method. For those who aren’t, here’s a brief summary: the double diamond is a creative process that guides teams through working with different mindsets when finding a solution, such as creating a new product or service.

Imagine your team receives a client brief with a starting point and an end goal. By following the double diamond method, your team will begin by exploring as many ideas as possible (‘divergent thinking’) until you decide on one idea to focus on (‘convergent thinking’). Once a potentially good idea has been identified, your team will start a second cycle of divergent and convergent thinking. You’ll develop and then revise your idea until you reach an optimized solution.

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As a team, visualizing the conversations you’ll have along the way helps engage others, align decision-making and increase buy-in. Embracing these four stages also pays off in the long run since it reduces re-working ideas and churn rate.

Additionally, MURAL helps keep your creative momentum going. By capturing your work on an online canvas, it will be easier to visualize your progress as you go, and involve other team members or stakeholders who are located elsewhere. This gives your team flexibility on who to include and when to start a creative session. Since every step can be stored and accessed at any time, your team can track decisions and keep a record of your teamwork to loop in others at a later stage.

We used this double diamond method as a starting point to create a series of guides that will help you design and launch a new idea.

 

Discover

First, you’ll want to kick off your new design project with an online meeting. You'll want to align on the project goals, roles and responsibilities, and agree on the next steps. Set up your first group conference call with our guide on effective meetings online to kick off your project.

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Define

Once you’ve agreed on the direction your team will take, you’re ready to research and explore ideas. At this stage, quantity matters over quality. Get your team ready to rapidly generate as many ideas as possible with our guide on brainstorming online.

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Develop

By now you’ll have chosen an idea and will need to develop it further. Running a design sprint is the best way to ensure you validate your initial concept. Prepare your team to build out your idea with our guide on online design sprints.

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Deliver

Lastly, you’ll have to keep testing your designs and make sure you stay on track with your initial project goals. Gathering feedback at this stage is crucial. Learn how to build on each others’ ideas with our guide on running design critiques online.

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Like all new processes, becoming fluent in online design collaboration takes time and practice. You can always come back and read our guides when you’re stuck or unsure of your next steps along the way.


We provide even more guides on how to get started with MURAL and how to use MURAL for educational purposes. Check out all the guides in your MURAL dashboard, and stay tuned for new releases.

 

Tool guides:

 

Method guides:

 

Education guides:

Laïla von Alvensleben

Laïla von Alvensleben

Laïla is a remote work coach and UX designer. She helps distributed teams improve their collaboration practices and cultivate a remote working culture that will enable them to work from anywhere. Laïla tweets at @lailavona

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