3 Simple Rules for Enhancing Team Communication

Nov 8, 2023

In the world of design, clear communication is as crucial as the design itself. It can be the difference between a project that flows smoothly and one that stumbles at every step. To foster a more efficient and less stressful work environment, I've distilled my experience into three simple rules for effective team communication.

1. Show, Don't Just Tell: Visuals Speak Louder

Have you ever sat through a meeting feeling utterly lost as someone attempted to describe an abstract concept? The frustration is palpable. We're visual creatures, and our understanding deepens when we can see what's being discussed.

Whether it's:

  • A user story that sets the direction,

  • A research finding that highlights a user pain point,

  • Or a design prototype ready for feedback;

Make it visible. When you "show the thing," you bridge the gap between idea and reality, facilitating a common understanding and sparking more meaningful conversations.

2. Asynchronous Communication: Embrace the Written Word

Real-time meetings have their place, but they can also be breeding grounds for redundancy and confusion. Details get lost, and without careful documentation, vital information slips through the cracks, leading to—yes, you guessed it—more meetings.

Consider this: Convert meetings into collaborative documents, shared design files, or even recorded presentations that team members can digest and respond to on their schedule. This async approach respects individual work styles and time zones, making room for thoughtful, in-depth collaboration.

3. Contextual Discussion: Stick to the Subject

Ever been in a situation where a conversation about a specific task sprawls across multiple platforms? It's a recipe for confusion. Keep the discussion tied to the subject at hand.

For example:

  • Have feedback on a GitHub PR? Leave your comments on the PR itself.

  • Want to update a task status or clarify a requirement? Do it directly on the Trello card.

Contextual discussions ensure that conversations are easy to follow, always relevant, and never lost in the clutter of our digital workspaces.

By adhering to these three lightweight rules, you can transform the way your team communicates, paving the way for a streamlined workflow that leaves more room for creativity and less for stress.

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