Being able to justify your decisions based on your concept and the look you are trying to achieve is vital. Communication plays a big part, and I must admit, for me I am finding it a bit confusing as I feel like it takes twice as long to make a decision and I get lost along the way. I have got my head around the concept of working as a team to get the design done. I guess I was just a little out of practice, and it has been good for me to step outside that comfort zone. I have had to explain my ideas more thoroughly and I have double checked what I have chosen and walk myself through the "why" scenario a few times before I share my thoughts, just to make sure I am happy with what I have come up with. So it is a good thing for me to do.
Working as a team is a way to get a better design outcome as you have a larger pool of ideas to work from. This only works however, if as I mentioned earlier, you can communicate those ideas and banter them around for the advantages and disadvantages of using them. Only then can you take the design up a step, if the communication isn't working then it can be a disaster. Designers can be very ego driven and if their ego is hurt they will often sulk and won't want to share their ideas in case they are stolen by some one else and they then in turn receive the credit. Please don't take offense, I am generalizing here, but I have experienced it many times in my years of working in a design practice, and I know it is silly, but designers being creative people are also very sensitive and get upset easily. It can be like working with small children. I will stop there before I get inundated with emails from you all!
To Summarize - The Key Points for Working in a Successful Design Team are:
- Good sound communication
- Quality design reasoning
- Chose a leader who makes the final decision based on the team discussion
- Make sure you have a quality design brief, so you are all working to the same outcome
- Designate areas of responsibility to each member (this often reduces the ego problems if everyone has a responsibility)
- Set deadlines for decision making (or else you will debate for days)
- Obviously document all decisions
- The ability to listen to other team members with an open mind
- The ability to debate and express your design reasoning or philosophy
- And lastly - have a sense of humor, there will always be times when things go wrong, be able to laugh and then knuckle down and sort it out TOGETHER!
I know I have had to remember all these things to help me work in a design team environment, now I am enjoying the process and can't wait to see the finished project.