This page contains affiliate links to products on Amazon and other affiliate partners. We may earn a small commission if you make a purchase through one of these links, at no additional cost to you.

Bringing in a design team comes with many benefits: it saves you time on developing new materials for your brand, it brings expertise and experience to your design process, and it frees up space when navigating your full schedule. However, design is a collaborative process. Your team needs your feedback and guidelines to work effectively.

Here are seven tips that will help you streamline your communications with your design team and help you bring your vision to life.

1. Have Trackable Goals and Timelines

First things first, develop a clear timeline for your team to follow. Sometimes assignments and tasks will get pushed back. That’s fine, but you should still have an initial deadline for your design projects.

Even if you’re starting from scratch with your design team, you want to have dates to tell you when you’re moving on from brainstorming ideas into prototyping, designing, touching up, and eventually releasing your designs and materials.

When you have a clear timeline, you’re more likely to be on the same page concerning what needs to get done. You don’t want to expect a final product and receive a second draft due to lack of a timeline.

2. Understand the Division of Responsibilities

Ideally, you should have one leader on your design team who will serve as your point of contact. Any time you have a question about the design process and team progress, you can contact this person.

At the same time, you do want to know the size and specialties of your team beyond the team leader. Know how many writers, graphic designers, and coders are on your team. Have an idea of who will be handling which tasks.

Even if the team leader will be your main contact for the team, you may need to schedule meetings with other team members. Understanding the division of responsibilities will also tell you whether certain tasks and projects are better staffed than others.

3. Get Emotional

You want your team to be invested in your vision. That means showing them how much you care about your business and how excited you are about your design projects.

Don’t be afraid to get emotional—talk about your background and your story. Go into that humorous anecdote about where your company’s name comes from. Describe how you want your audience to feel when they encounter your branding. 

Getting emotional about your business will help your design team get invested in your project, and it serves as inspiration for your designs. Remember, design is communication, and your team wants to know what emotions and ideas they should be communicating—sleek and modern, comforting and homey, or something completely different!

4. Check-in regularly

Design is iterative—it requires a lot of repetition, a lot of rinsing, and repeating. Your design team will do their best to produce material that meets your vision, but you will have to go through a lot of drafts and check in on work in progress.

Schedule regular check-in meetings to discuss progress with your team’s leader. You want to know how close you are to meeting goals at least every week. And you definitely want to know when a task is completed and ready to be reviewed.

5. Set Expectations, Understand Limitations

Your timeline, goals, and emotional investment should set expectations for your team. It should be very clear what you want produced, when you need feedback, and who your audience is.

But design is also a team sport. Sometimes you may have to change direction given your team’s abilities and feedback. You might learn that your ambitions do not match your budget, and you’ll need to scale back some of your ideas. Some concepts may turn out to be impractical. Audiences might not respond well to the initial designs that you started with.

Be prepared to receive feedback when you meet with your team. Designers will know what they can, and cannot, accomplish. Have an open mind as you move forward. Don’t worry if some of your favorite ideas don’t make it into the final designs. Your main goal is communicating your brand to your target audience, and you might need to experiment to figure out what works.

6. Establish Organizational Rules and Guidelines

Each member of your design team will be creating new materials for you to check out, approve, and discuss. Without a streamlined process for sharing that information, things will get messy. You shouldn’t be checking your emails, texts, Google Drive, and three other platforms to find one document that was supposedly sent to you last week.

Have clear guidelines for organizing and sharing materials among your team. Develop a folder system for different design projects at different stages of completion. Expect follow-up emails whenever there are questions, or if an update doesn’t receive a response.

Organizational guidelines and structures will ensure that everyone has access to the necessary materials and that no project will go unfinished. An organized workspace will keep everybody on the same page.

7. Make Yourself Available (Within Reason)

Designers may need to ask for a password to access a document on Google Drive. They might need confirmation to go ahead with the next step in your timeline. Sometimes a task will be delayed, a sudden question will need to get answered, or an emergency must be resolved.

You should give your team a daily schedule with your availability for texts, calls, or any other kinds of direct messaging. Make sure they know when they can get in contact with you, and the appropriate means of reaching out for an unscheduled check-in. Finally, have separate protocols for emergency communication in the event of a security leak.

Making yourself available on a set schedule makes it easier to answer questions and resolve problems without you getting bogged down in unexpected messages and calls.

Familiarizing yourself with the right communications tools can help you put these tips into practice while making it even easier to keep you and your team up to date.

By maintaining clear communication, you build trust with your team and keep everyone focused on your end goals. You’re more likely to address roadblocks early and avoid expensive mistakes down the line.

Looking for an experienced design team that cares about your business? Monkey VA is ready to help you design anything your business needs, from websites to logos, to advertisements, and more! Schedule a call and learn what our team can do for you!