How collaboration makes a good designer even better

by Kelsey Copeland on Mar 21, 2017

As every designer knows, feedback plays a huge role in the overall design process. No matter the situation, collaborating with one’s fellow designers throughout the process helps them to develop a better-looking end product. Here at AppLovin, our design team works to create a variety of of ads and videos that are tailored to individual clients and their campaign needs. Collaboration makes us better individual designers and enhances us as a team. Here’s how:

Collaboration helps determine and maintain standards.

Every Wednesday, the design team holds a weekly review. During these reviews, our entire team of twelve walks around and stops at each designer’s desk. The designated designer then presents the work that they’ve accomplished during the previous and/or current week to the team. As we go around and review each other’s work, we can see the types of projects that are currently trending in mobile advertising, such as playables, gameplay videos, and playable end cards. We also look at new, experimental ad ideas that team members are trying out and evaluate the finesse shown in each project. By collaborating as a team to review each other’s work, we can see how our work as individuals stands up against the rest of the team’s, which is how we set standards for our work.

Collaboration leverages individual expertise.

Although every designer focuses on their own campaigns, occasionally they may want their ad to have some additional pop. This is where specialties come in. Each designer on our team generally has their own specialty. Whether it’s for animating characters, creating 3D models, or designing generating motion graphics, we often enlist the expertise of other designers to make our own ads better. For example, I may need to add an animated character to a section of my video that is rather empty (and to enhance the narrative of the ad), but since character animation isn’t my strong point, I’ll send a request to another designer who is great at it. While I continue to edit footage and animate assets for my video, the other designer will fulfill my character animation request. When they’re done and we’re both happy with the character animation, I can add it into my video. Combining our expertise helps to make the video ad more engaging.

Collaboration often enhances a good idea.

Have you ever thought you had a good idea, discussed it with someone else, and out of that discussion come up with an even better idea? If so, congratulations, because the same can be applied with the design process. When I go about creating an ad, my process is usually: Gather Assets, Concept, Clean Up Assets, Composition and Layout, Animate, and Finish.

AppLovin mobile ad design process image

In any of these stages, I might reach out and ask a colleague for ideas, feedback, and suggestions that they may have when I feel stuck or am in need of a fresh pair of eyes. Sometimes when you are focused on creating something by yourself, you develop tunnel vision and are unable to see any oddities or mistakes that may pop up while you are working — or you might not think of a good fix when you do see a problem. Getting someone else’s perspective helps to alleviate these issues and will help you execute the best version of your creative vision.
Collaboration provides a variety of benefits to a good designer that, with consistent application, can help them to develop into an even better designer. When collaboration can help establish standards for teams, it also enhances good ideas with outside perspectives. In design, collaboration is in fact key to high quality work.