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I'm a programmer who understand html & css, but got no taste.

My company decided to redesign our e-commerce website with new UI and move to ASP.Net MVC. They want a really good design, so they hire 2 designers to work with me, remotely.

First designer to create design mockups (PSD/PNG) Second designer another one to slice the design into HTML/CSS/Images/etc..

Then, my part is to use the HTML/css as the template files (as View files in ASP.Net MVC project)

Usually, even if the designer get involved in the project since the beginning, I still have to discuss many things with designer. sit together with the designer drawing something on papers and then see it directly the designer working with Adobe Fireworks, while the designer can ask if the change is feasible or not.

Now I will work with designers, remotely, to redesign exisiting website. so, I will need to explain many things about this website with both of them, remotely.

I would ask any of you who used to work with designer, remotely and have tips to share on how to make the collaboration more effective?

Thanks :)

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2 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

You need a good collaboration environment. The ones I'm most familiar with are:

These are commercial services, so you'll have to pay (Teamviewer has a free non-commercial license, but it doesn't sound like you qualify for it). I've heard there is also free software available for online collaboration, but I don't have any experience with the open source stuff.

The online collaboration allows you and other colleagues to all look at the same screen, and take over control of the other person's computer (if granted permission by the remote user). So you just talk on Skype or the phone (get a headset so you can type and mouse) while you're viewing each other's screen and it really is a lot like sitting at the same table, looking at the same monitor. I work remotely with a large team of people and we do this every day.

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"but I don't have any experience with the open source stuff" ... you should ;) –  Oscar Mederos Feb 10 '11 at 18:15
    
Skype has decent screen sharing, too, so it might be up to the task by itself. They even claim to do conference calls, but I haven't tried it. –  grossvogel Feb 10 '11 at 18:18
    
@oscar -- well, I know and use a lot of other open source software. But I have to use the collaboration stuff that others are using (and providing). Do you have any suggestions on OSS collaboration software?) –  adj7388 Feb 10 '11 at 19:12
    
@grossvogel -- Yes, Skype's conference calling works great. I haven't used its screen-sharing feature. Should try it. –  adj7388 Feb 10 '11 at 19:14
    
nevermind. I thought you were talking in general, not refering to collaboration softwares ;-) –  Oscar Mederos Feb 10 '11 at 19:43
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Consider using Agile methodology, and schedule regular meetings, even on days when you don't have anything specific to discuss. A fifteen minute scrum can get be useful just to lay out what needs doing and who is blocked and unable to continue with their work. If everybody is clear on what work needs to be done, establish that in the meeting and then don't drag it out.

Interview your boss, your designers, your users, and your developers (i.e., yourself) to come up with a solid list of coherent requirements -- things you want from the site, etc. Come up with a thorough design document that describes use cases, information available, and error screens.

It sounds like you are going to be experiencing a lot of down time while waiting for the designers to do their work, so this is one thing you can do to constructively fill your time while also making sure that everyone is on the same page.

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