It’s a well-known fact that efficiency doesn’t grow linearly with the team size. Matthew Bowers, the co-founder of creative agency Manufactur, believes that keeping his team small but well connected is key. However, having talented colleagues on board is only half the battle. The rest is up to the tools that connect your team members and pretty much define your workflow.
Have a look at how the creatives at Manufactur think about design and how they proceed when translating it into the real thing. 👇🏼
Our long term users know best what they need. Besides asking them about design workflow we are interested in their feedback and stay open to their suggestions.
Vu Hoang Anh (CEO @Avocode): “Since you've been using Avocode for more than a year, could you tell us a little about the role of Avocode in your workflow?”
Matthew Bowers (Partner & Creative Director @Manufactur): “Sure. When we're creating anything from a big enterprise site to a small microsite, our design team builds out the design in Photoshop or Sketch. Once it is approved and has gone through a number of iterations with the client (to add some stuff they are super stoked about), we'll upload the design to Avocode straight from Photoshop. This is where our dev team comes in. Our developers just open up the app and check the design that has been added to a given project. They don't even have to have Photoshop on their computer which they really don't need – actually lot of times they don't even want to look at it. They can pull out all the comps and all the artboards and see what the final size will look like and whatever assets they need. It's great that if the client wants to change something our design team can simply change that in Photoshop and sync it as a revision with the design that is already in Avocode.”
Vu: “Wow, that's great. It seems that Avocode has a steady place in your workflow.”
Quade Dumont (Developer @Manufactur): “Absolutely! It's way simpler than Photoshop. I've never had an experience with Photoshop while working in this job – you know it's a monster, I don't need all those functions. When I open Avocode I can see exactly the assets that I need.”
Vu: “Do you use Avocode to collaborate? Is there anything we could do better?”
Matthew: “Well, we use Avocode mostly for design hand-off. Most of our creative design work requires working with textures and layer effects and therefore we use mostly Photoshop – well, I mean, we do use Sketch too but only for flat minimal design. Collaborating on our designs usually requires multiple rounds of feedback. It doesn't really matter whether we do print or digital, I like to draw on top of the design to precisely mark what I don't like and what could be done better: if this area isn't necessary, scratch it; if this button is not big enough, circle it and redraw it on top of the design; if something needs to move, point the direction by drawing an arrow. Basically it's like taking the red pen and sketching on top of the printed design.”
Vu: “Well, we have the Avocode Manager. Once you preview a design you can leave comments on top. Actually you can even mark a given area with a rectangle.”
Matthew: “Sure, we know that feature, but as I said before – we work with a lot with texture. Those little red dots can be easily overseen in a complicated design (especially when I have a lot of things to say).”
Vu: “Oh I see, so maybe some marker tool would be better for you guys?”
Quade: “Exactly. I imagine opening the design on an iPad and letting our clients scribble whatever notes they feel like adding.”
Vu: “Well, that sounds awesome. Hopefully we'll have time to add such feature soon. Is there anything else you'd like to point out?”
Matthew: “Right, it's not really big one, but I really like the Slack notifications. Since I have to manage multiple workflows at once, this little feature always keeps me up to date.”
Vu: “Haha, yeah we all love Slack, don't we? Thank you so much for your time guys.”
Matthew: “You're welcome, let us know when you guys have any interesting updates.”
Vu: “Will do.”
Would you like to tell us your thoughts about Avocode?
What do you think about the "Marker tool" for collaboration that Matthew mentioned? Let us know in the comments below.