Working together with team members and clients on a project can be difficult. In most cases, a design or development team ends up getting stuck in lengthy email correspondences instead of focusing on the project itself. This is where collaboration tools come in.
Collaboration tools are designed to help smooth out project workflows and make it easier for the team to coordinate with their clients and with one another. In this post, we’ll round up some of the best collaboration tools for both web designers and web developers and highlight their key features.
Let’s get started!
What Are the Best Online Collaboration Tools for Web Designers?
It’s very common for individuals in web design agencies to work in distributed teams and receive clients from all across the world. As you can imagine, this makes it difficult for the design team to share wireframes, be given feedback, and act on that feedback.
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For this reason, we’ve rounded up five of the best collaboration tools out there that make it easier for design teams to collaborate in real-time.
InVision takes web design collaboration to a whole new level. Its Live Share option enables web design teams to initiate an interactive, real-time design meeting from within their web browser. This incredibly powerful functionality offers color-coded pointers and drawing tools that make it useful for getting client reviews, feedback, and day-to-day design collaborations.
In addition to this, you’re also able to take your clients and team members through design tours that add context to your artwork. InVision also features a drag-and-drop project workflow management tool that allows your design team to keep track of each module’s status. It allows users to assign tasks, add comments, and keep track of the project’s history.
- Offers real-time design meetings and whiteboarding.
- Comes with built-in commenting functionality.
- Allows the entire design team to track each module’s progress.
- Integrates with design tools to create interactive prototypes.
InVision is ideal for design teams who need to collaborate with their clients and are in the market for a design meeting and workflow management tool.
Concept Inbox is a powerful web design collaboration tool that features feedback and annotations, prototyping, and real-time collaboration. It allows users to comment and annotate videos, design pieces, and PDFs – in real-time. If you’re working on a project with tons of different design files, Concept Inbox lets you organize them by dragging and dropping everything into place, grouping modules together in color-coded folders, and leverage split feedback.
Concept Inbox is designed to smooth out your iterative design cycles and help you with agile development. Its built-in version control system stores all of your design drafts so you can go back to them whenever you’d like. Additionally, with Concept Inbox, you’re able to collect feedback from clients and upload revisions until the project is complete.
- Comment on all types of design pieces including images, videos, and PDFs.
- Create high-quality prototypes for web, mobile, and tablet apps.
- Built-in version control and iteration control system.
- Encrypts your data with Secure Socket Layer (SSL).
Concept Inbox is a great tool for web designers who find themselves following an agile development methodology.
According to their official website, Red Pen’s goal has been to make design collaboration super-fast. Its intuitive point-and-click functionality allows team members and clients to leave feedback in real-time so that everyone is on the same page. In terms of project organization, Red Pen allows you to group different screens and states of your design together.
Similar to some of the other tools on our list, Red Pen keeps track of different design versions for you. It’ll update and replace the existing version whenever you complete a successive design iteration. The best thing about Red Pen is that everything is designed with efficiency in mind. For instance, the tool features optimized keyboard navigation for blazing fast reviews.
- Allows users to comment on design projects by pointing and clicking.
- Makes it easy to group together different screens and states of your design.
- Built-in version control functionality.
- Optimized for performance right out of the box.
Red Pen is great for users who are looking for a simple, elegant collaboration solution.
GoVisually is a mobile-optimized design collaboration tool that allows designers and clients to manage projects even when they’re not at their desk. The tool aims to eliminate the (once thought to be) inevitable email correspondences by allowing direct feedback on designs. As of this writing, GoVisually supports commenting and feedback on images and PDFs.
With GoVisually, you’ll also get access to their built-in version control system that tracks everything from small edits to complete design changes. And if your team is already using Slack, then you can simply integrate GoVisually with it to take team collaboration to the next level.
- Tons of customization options for annotations.
- Layers each team member’s input to keep everything organized.
- Comes with version control functionality.
- Integrates seamlessly with Slack.
While the other tools in this section focused on feedback and version control functionality, Mural takes a step back and helps you out with brainstorming your project. It enables your design team and clients to collaborate on design projects using whiteboards. Mural defines different states of contribution and makes it easy for designers to work individually and as a group.
Mural offers a collection of pre-designed templates and frameworks, which means that you’ll save time on describing your project and focus on understanding it instead. It allows users to create sticky notes and use images, videos, and links to support ideas on the drawing board.
- Allows designers to collaborate in real-time and create visual aids.
- Focuses on project brainstorming through whiteboards.
- Comes with version control functionality.
- Supports Google Drive, Slideshare, Evernote, YouTube, and Vimeo.
What Are the Best Online Collaboration Tools for Web Developers?
Managing web development projects is difficult. Collaborating with a team of web developers on a project is even more so. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of online collaboration tools that are designed to help you review code, assign tasks, create documentation, and leave helpful comments.
As a web developer, chances are you’ve probably heard of GitHub. It’s one of the most popular development platforms out there that allows you to host and review your code, manage all kinds of projects, and develop software. The tool’s Pull Requests functionality encourages conversations and commenting, allowing development teams to review their code and distribute the workload.
If you find that your development team gets stressed managing all those code files, then GitHub just might be the solution you were looking for. In addition to this, the tool takes care of your administrative and code security needs.
- Comes with built-in code review tools.
- Manages your development project workflow to ease collaboration.
- Allows users to create code documentation for their code projects.
- Integrates with hundreds of apps including Slack, Atom, Cloud9, and AWS CodeDeploy.
GitHub is great for both individuals, small teams, and large teams that are looking for a complete, standardized development collaboration tool.
Slack is probably one of the most popular collaboration tools out there that focuses on one thing: team communication. It promotes transparency in workflows by allowing you to create multiple open channels for your team members. Of course, it also features private channels for when you need to invite a handful of members only.
One of the best things about Slack is that it allows users to share just about every kind of file, including images, documents, PDFs, and spreadsheets. Additionally, this online collaboration tools integrates with all of your favorite apps (such as Twitter, Dropbox, GitHub, and SoundCloud), which means that you get all your notification in one place.
- Intuitive user interface.
- Saves you from having to send emails back and forth.
- Supports multiple file types for images and documents.
- Integrates seamlessly with popular apps.
Trello is an incredibly intuitive and user-friendly online collaboration tool that has all the right features in place to help you out with your next web development meeting. It’s made up entirely of easy-to-use boards, lists, and cards effortlessly keep your work organized and in one place.
Trello’s standout feature is that it gives you important information at a glance and allows you to open up a card to get more details. Each card allows developers to add comments, notes, attachments, due dates, and much more. In addition to this, you can also leverage Power-Ups to integrate your favorite apps with Trello.
- Intuitive user interface.
- Makes it easy to add team members to boards.
- Allows users to color code cards for better project management.
- Integrates seamlessly with Evernote, GitHub, Google Drive, and Slack.
Todoist is a cloud-based online web development collaboration tool that allows users to work together on shared tasks. And the best part is that you can access it anywhere – whether you’re at your desk or on the go. Todoist’s real-time collaboration functionality is centered around delivering a distraction-free environment.
One of the best things about this incredibly powerful tool is that it allows different team members to break up biggers tasks into smaller, manageable sub-tasks. Once you have everything in place, you can delegate those tasks to your team members and begin discussing the project’s details.
- Allows users to add intuitive and recurring due dates to projects using normal language.
- Makes it easy for the entire team to visualize productivity.
- Enables developers to share unlimited tasks and collaborate in real-time.
- Gives you online and offline access to your project.
Yammer is a social media platform of sorts that enables web developers to collaborate with team members and clients privately. The platform is easy to use on devices of all sizes, which makes it a popular choice for users who are often on the go. It makes collaborating a lot more functional, without the usual back and forth emails – Yammer Conversations are designed for efficiency!
With Yammer you can share ideas, ask questions, and update your team members using its intuitive interface. It features both Public (for sharing project details) and Private Groups (for sharing sensitive ideas). Yammer allows users to upload images, documents, and videos.
- Social media-like interface.
- Allows team members to share comments and ideas.
- Comes with Public Groups and Private Groups.
- Supports documents, images, and video files.
Having a powerful collaboration tool on your team – regardless of whether you’re a web designer or a web developer – is vital. They’re designed to help you increase productivity, receive and implement feedback, and share ideas through a single platform. We’ve rounded up some of the best collaboration tools out there in this post. Hopefully, you’re in a good position now to evaluate your team’s needs and select a collaboration tool from our list.
Have you tried out any of the online collaboration tools we listed in this post? What did you think of them? Let us know by commenting below!