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Best practices for collaborating with a digital product design agency

Collaborating with an agency can be an exciting and rewarding experience when it comes to initiating the web design for your business. However, it can also be a challenging process, especially if you're unsure of what to expect from their team or if it's your first time in this situation. No doubt there will be an exchange of ideas, instances of decision-making, feedback... and a lot of teamwork!In this article, we want to share with you some of the best practices and valuable tools to optimize collaboration with a digital product design agency and to successfully achieve the desired product. Let's go!

What are the most common challenges that may arise during a collaboration with a digital agency?


From our experience, we understand that the challenges listed below are the most common - and the most important ones to mitigate - in a new relationship with clients. Therefore, we always work with them to build a partner relationship. Giving this entity to the relationship is the first step towards collaborative work, with effective and successful communication. Now, let’s see the challenges:

  • Lack of communication between teams: Communication is the first point to pay attention to. It should be open and transparent to ensure that you’re on the same page with the agency and that the project is moving in the direction you are looking for. If you have questions or concerns, don't hesitate to communicate frequently!
  • Not having a clear goal: It is important that you communicate your needs and goals clearly to the agency. Make sure you give them a detailed description of what you're looking for and what your ultimate goal is. Otherwise, there could be a lack of understanding of what your business is trying to convey and the agency won't be able to create a strategy tailored to your specific needs.
  • Poor feedback instances: As collaboration takes shape, it’ll be necessary to establish fluid communication channels, feedback instances, and strategic meetings. Yes, it sounds like more meetings, but they are key to channeling deviations in the creative process or mitigating confusion. Keep scrolling to find more examples on this point!
  • Not falling in the loop: Partners have a lot on their plate. That’s why is crucial that stakeholders keep their calendars open and maintain regular contact with the agency. This’ll help to avoid an endless loop of feedback and blockers.

What strategies can be implemented to ensure the success of the partnership?


Now that you know what to avoid, let's see some tools to incorporate and enhance the partnership:

  • Empathy with each team member: The project's progress is achieved thanks to the understanding between teams. Each member must make their best effort to land the main goals in a supportive and comfortable environment.
  • Definition of general and long-term objectives: Setting common goals helps to create the best strategy and achieve short-term results. But also, it allows thinking about a long-term relationship.
  • Maintain transparent communication: As we said before... communication must be open and as clear as crystal to be on the same page. And in case of any questions or concerns, the agency will fully address them.
  • Celebrate achievements and review what can be improved: Behind the project, there was a lot of hard work and dedication from the entire team. Celebrating the achievements fosters a relationship of trust and collaboration on future projects.
  • Constant Feedback: Pointing out areas for improvement will make everything flow better! Ongoing conversations help to address any concerns and offer ways to improve. Continuous feedback is both helpful and productive.
  • Understanding the business in-depth: If the design agency understands the partner’s purpose, it’s a match! The sooner this is achieved, the better. This will lead to the best solutions to any problems that may arise.

Don't forget to add some digital tools:

  • Slack: the most famous IT chat to send images, audio, and videos, and to make calls to your team. It's an excellent tool for quick questions or sharing information that does not require mail or meetings.
  • Figma: an ideal platform for editing user interfaces and creating prototypes. It's the ally of designers and UX - writers & designers - who work simultaneously and save everything in the cloud.
  • Mural and Miro: websites that allow teams to develop workflows, brainstorm spaces and exchange ideas through a virtual whiteboard.
  • Hotjar: a data analysis platform that assesses the site’s visitor behavior. Thanks to this tool, you can better understand how to optimize your UX.

How can you help the agency to understand your brand vision?

Many strategies can be implemented to ensure you are on the same page. One of the most important steps is to share a complete and detailed documentation of all the information about the company, its vision, the business, the essence it wants to convey, and the target it’s aiming at. The agency will appreciate having it beforehand, and combined with meetings, will have a full picture of what needs to be developed.

Another great tool is to conduct UX research to add a more impartial and objective perspective on how to present the partner’s business. This’ll help make final tweaks before starting. And when the time arrives, developing a work plan and a meeting schedule will be key to fostering teamwork and avoiding distance. From that moment on, they function as a single team.

Last but not least, it's important to establish who’s responsible for communication and deliverables between the agency and the partner. Having a collaborator assigned to act as a bridge between teams will ensure that the connection is never broken.

How to measure the success of the collaboration?

The time has come to consider all the things the partnership has built since the beginning of the project. And yes, this is just as important as everything mentioned so far, because it's the moment to review how the project and the partnership worked:

  • Results analysis: building and analyzing performance metrics is a way to measure the fruit of the agency's work. Reviewing and sharing this data will help to understand the impact of the site since its market release and to see the team's progress and achievements.
  • Retrospective: conducting this post-mortem meeting, typical of agile methodologies, allows a 360º review of what went well, what went wrong and possible improvements.
  • NPS surveys: These metrics are frequently used to measure the partner’s satisfaction after acquiring products or services. With them, agencies will give partners the possibility to evaluate their performance, as well as the likelihood of recommending them to other businesses. And, of course, it will be used as a basis for improvement.

The end!

Over the course of many years, we’ve learned and put into practice that collaboration between teams and partners opens up a whole new level of innovation, improving the quality of our offered service on daily basis.

By following these best practices, you can ensure a successful experience when working with a digital product design agency. Remember, collaboration is the key to success, so make sure to work closely with your design agency and maintain open and transparent communication.

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