5: Collaboration

Use project management software to be accountable for professional-caliber design work.

Learning Targets

  • I can build a professional-caliber file system.

  • I can collaborate with my team through a KANBAN board.

Google Drive

While often used for online storage, Google Drive's offline functionality unlocks its potential for design projects. You and your team can work on Adobe AI and Photoshop files without an internet connection by enabling offline access. Shared folders within Drive serve as central hubs for exchanging design files and planning materials like Google Docs. This seamless collaboration ensures everyone stays on the same page, regardless of location or internet availability. This technique is crucial for delivering professional-caliber design work in a collaborative environment.

  • ProjectName

    • Loose in the folder can be branding documents, collections of text in Google Doc and other guides.

    • STOCK

      • Collect images from allthefreestock.com and other sources. These are raw images that will need to be resized and possibly color-treated.

    • HTML

      • Any coding elements get stored in this folder

    • IMG

      • Edited images ready for the web.

    • LOGO

      • Adobe files and your logo package


      • Collect relevant articles, screenshots of other websites for comparison, etc.


Initially developed by Toyota to optimize manufacturing, KANBAN boards have become a popular project management tool across various industries, including design. Their simplicity lies in their visual, three-columned structure: Backlog, In Progress, and Done. This straightforward visualization aids communication and transparency, allowing every team member to grasp the project's status at a glance. KANBAN's power lies in its ability to manage project flow. Tasks move from Backlog to In Progress, signifying active work. Once completed, they shift to Done, signifying progress and freeing up space for new tasks. This system prevents overloading team members and keeps complex projects manageable, even for large-scale design endeavors. Whether collaborating remotely or in person, KANBAN boards ensure transparency, focus, and continuous project flow, propelling your design project toward successful completion.

Every Trello card is a vital piece in our project puzzle. Here's what makes a great one:

Title: Keep it simple and descriptive. Focus on the problem, not the solution ("Broken Link on Homepage" versus "Update Header Navigation").

Description: Explain the issue itself, avoiding descriptions of actions taken. Let the details flow freely so others can understand the scope of the problem.

Visuals: Paint a picture! Paste screenshots directly onto the card to clearly illustrate the issue and where it occurs.

Teamwork: Ensure the right team is aware. Tag the appropriate team members who can tackle this specific problem.

Backlog to In Progress: When the card is ready for action, drag it to the "In Progress" column. Now's the time to assign ownership! Choose the individual(s) directly responsible for working on the issue, not the entire team.

Progress Tracking: Before marking the card "Done," log your activity in the comments section. Share screenshots, code snippets, or any relevant updates to document your progress.

Time Transparency: Be kind to your future self (and colleagues)! Track your work in 15-minute increments. This detailed time log will prove invaluable when creating project invoices.

Remember, clear and concise Trello cards are the key to smooth communication, effective collaboration, and, ultimately, project success. Let's build clear cards and conquer those sprints!

Example Cards

You'll have to make your own cards, but here's some starting ideas:

We'll be using Trello to track your progress and to coordinate a team project. Each task or card must be a specific task that can be achieved preferably within a class period or at least within a week. The measurement or proof of that task's completion should be described in the activity log entry of that Trello card.

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