• Productivity
  • Web Design & Development

Team Collaboration 101: A Guide to Effective Digital Collaboration in a Web Design Agency

Denis Yankovsky
21 min
Feb 02, 2023

Running a web design agency isn’t a one-person job; acquiring new projects and completing them successfully requires teamwork. This makes it highly crucial for web design agency owners to set up an effective digital communication and collaboration system that makes exchanging information easier and unleashes all the benefits of working collaboratively. 

And, as the remote work model goes mainstream, we realize that effective team collaboration doesn’t count on exchanging trails of emails. It might seem like the easiest way, but it’s definitely not effective. 

Without a time-efficient, user-friendly digital collaboration solution, your agency will

  • Lose a lot of time figuring out the next steps
  • Incur a lot of miscommunication internally and with clients 
  • See a higher turnover because of a disproportionate workload 
  • Miss important milestones necessary for successful project completion 

Ignoring this will only worsen the situation, costing you at least 20 hours per month lost dealing with siloed systems, and about $12,506 per employee, putting you at risk of losing some of your top-paying clients. Whether you’re a small agency just starting out or a large one looking to improve your website design and development workflow, this guide is for you. 

By the end of this web design collaboration guide, you will better understand digital collaboration definition, and how to improve team collaboration within your agency, leading to happier clients and more successful website design and development projects. 

Let’s get started!

Digital Collaboration Definition

Digital collaboration refers to working together with other people using digital technologies to achieve a common goal. This can include things like sharing documents and files, communicating through instant messaging or video conferencing, and working on projects together in real time

The goal of the digital collaboration is to make it easier for people to work together, regardless of their location or time zone. It can also help to increase productivity, reduce costs, and improve the quality of work.

How Can Effective Digital Collaboration Boost Your Web Design Agency Performance? 

Effective digital collaboration benefits teams, individual team members, and clients. It involves people sharing ideas to achieve a common goal. A web design agency can only scale its business if all its team members work collaboratively, not individually, and have a sense of purpose in the organization. 

Here are the top benefits of working collaboratively and establishing a good team communication channel:

1. It establishes clear responsibilities

Whether you are a small team or a big organization, you need to define clear responsibilities to avoid disproportionate employee workload and burnout. Higher employee turnover is not good for any business, and it can get really costly. According to peoplekeep.com, the average cost of replacing an hourly employee is $1,500. For those in technical positions, it’s 100% to 150% of their salary. For C-level positions, the cost is higher still — up to 213% of their salary. So you need good people to stay longer in order to scale: they are deal breakers. 

Those are the most common roles any web design or web development agency would most likely need to fulfill to be truly effective and grow:

  • Project managers. Their job is to interact with clients, create project briefs, distribute tasks to team members and ensure everyone follows the rules. 
  • Web designers. Their job is to set website design and development guidelines, understand client requirements, develop unique ideas and add design elements. 
  • Web developers. Their job is to take care of website updates, handle technical issues, and maintain the website’s functionality. 
  • Content writers. Their job is to write content for the website, follow search engine guidelines and give content suggestions to the team.  
  • QA engineers. Their job is to review the quality control of the website and make sure that they conduct rigorous testing.
  • Account managers. Their job is to be the client-facing representatives for the agency, meeting with new clients, discussing ongoing projects with recurring customers, and being a bridge between them and the back office team. 

If you have a bigger team, these roles will narrow down to multiple new ones. With streamlined team collaboration, each member becomes aware of their role, responsibilities, and expectations. 

Effective Collaboration in a Web Design Agency

2. It supports knowledge sharing 

Effective team collaboration supports knowledge sharing. It allows your team members to share ideas, provide insights, and communicate experiences. 

For instance, if your website is not ranking and you are looking for new ideas, it doesn’t only have to come from the content team; it can come from anyone. 

And this can only happen if your team regularly shares updates and project statuses and exchanges possible ideas. There will be instances where your employees would feel stuck, and that’s where knowledge sharing can “make it” or “break it”. 

3. It improves team efficiency

Larger website design and development projects demand high levels of digital collaboration between designers, project managers, QA analysts, and engineers. With tasks divided, it takes less time and effort to complete projects, assess quality, and deliver amazing results. 

Here are three ways your team can maximize their efficiency through digital collaboration:

  • Frequent progress updates. As team leaders, your task should be to check the project progress of each individual team member to ensure that all tasks are done on time. 
  • Immediate feedback. The channel for getting feedback should be the shortest. Whether you are a coder, designer, or client-side representative, quick feedback is necessary to avoid bigger changes that will cost your business time, money, and reputation.
  • Focused efforts & clear goals. Agency owners can only maximize efficiency when team members know their purpose and the goal they have to achieve. You can then identify bottlenecks that are not letting your team members give their best. 

4. It promotes regular feedback 

Website design and development is a creative process full of trial and error. It sometimes takes a few days or stretches over months. After doing all the hard work, nobody wants to hear those hurtful words, “It was rejected.” 

The only way to avoid this is by providing regular frequent feedback at any stage. Every collaborative team includes niche experts. They dedicatedly work to help the agency achieve its goals. These experts take regular updates and assess your work to point out mistakes and give their opinions. 

Collaborative teams mostly spend hours evaluating their designs on a micro and macro level. This way, there are lesser chances of getting your work rejected by the client. 

5. It boosts employee engagement

The majority (86%) of employees blame a lack of collaboration as one of the top reasons for workplace failure. They believe that teamwork and collaboration are crucial parameters for deciding whether they want to continue with the organization. 

Good team collaboration promotes employee engagement and happiness as it:

  • Makes employees feel valued, equal, and heard
  • Creates a positive collaborative environment 
  • Reduces project completion time 
  • Brings in new ideas and helps make decisions quickly

Employee engagement increases when they feel that their views are valued. A high graphic design collaboration index will also increase customer satisfaction ratings, improve product quality, speed up product development, and increase sales. 

Ways to Streamline Web Design Project Management & Collaboration in your Web Agency

Building a collaborative team requires appropriate strategies and teamwork. This comes with a number of trials and errors and takes a lot from your team on the website project management front. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Give & collect feedback seamlessly via the web design collaboration tool.

A web design collaboration tool is dedicated software that helps designers, agency owners, and project managers provide visual feedback and mark design changes directly on any live website or digital asset

Previously, the graphic design collaboration process was done over calls, emails, or screenshots, which was exhausting and time-sensitive for both parties. That’s why agencies are now switching to web design collaboration tools to identify and limit barriers to conversations and make the collaborative process frictionless. 

Characteristics of a good website project management and feedback tool:

  • Collaboration: The web design collaboration tool should allow multiple team members to access, review, and respond to feedback in a centralized location.
  • Customizable branding: The tool should allow for custom brandings, such as adding the agency’s logo and colors to the feedback form and reports.
  • Integration with other website project management tools: The tool should integrate with other website project management tools, such as Asana, Trello, or Jira so that feedback can be easily linked to specific tasks or projects.
  • Access control: The web design collaboration tool should have access control features, so that team members can only view and manage feedback for the projects they are assigned to.
  • API: The graphic design collaboration tool should have an API that allows the agency to integrate the feedback data with other web agency tools, such as CRM, marketing automation, and analytics platforms.
  • Automation: The tool should be able to automate certain tasks, such as sending follow-up emails, assigning feedback to team members, and closing feedback when a task is completed.

Utilize the Webvizio design collaboration tool for design feedback 

Looking for a website project management tool that reduces your review time by half? Webvizio can do that for you. Webvizio is a web design collaboration tool with all the features you would ever need for graphic design collaboration and to provide feedback. Those are some of those features:

Review live websites and digital assets all in one place  

web design agency collaboration

With Webvizio, you can review live websites, as well as static images, screenshots, PDFs, and PSD files under one roof. Enter the URLs or download projects from local files to start the graphic design collaboration and make changes. 

Add video feedback

video feedback web design

As much as text-based suggestions work great for giving feedback to your web designers, we shouldn’t underestimate the power of video feedback. These work well when project managers or senior designers want to give detailed feedback on changes they want to see in the web project. 

Conduct bug tracking to deliver an error-free website

You can identify bugs on each page for different desktop, tablet, and mobile resolutions. Mark visual feedback on the website, assign team members, and set deadlines to get things done more quickly.

Assign tasks, set priorities, and establish deadlines

web design task management

Task tracking is quite simple in Webvizio. All comments made on the projects are automatically converted into task cards available on your dashboard. Here, you can add information about the changes, create deadlines, tag people, and set priorities. The task card will include browser info, a task screenshot, a file attached, and the task details.

Use a reliable collaboration tool

Completing a project requires a lot of back and forth. Without a specific channel, communication between members can easily become chaotic- leading to missed deadlines, high employee turnover, and dissatisfied clients. 

Whether your team works in-office or remotely, collaboration web agency tools will play a significant part in ensuring team collaboration and efficient communication. 

Examples of collaborative web agency tools include web design project management software, team chat apps, and document team collaboration platforms. These web agency tools allow users to share information, collaborate on tasks, and communicate in real time, regardless of location.

Characteristics of a good collaborative app are:

  • Real-time collaboration. A good collaborative tool should allow team members to work together on projects in real time, regardless of their location.
  • File sharing and storage. The tool should provide a secure way for team members to share and store documents, images, and other project materials.
  • Communication. The tool should have built-in features like chat and video conferencing to facilitate real-time collaboration and discussion.
  • Access control. The tool should have mechanisms for controlling access to project information, such as user permissions and password protection.
  • Version control. The tool should include features for tracking changes to documents and other project materials and allow users to revert to earlier versions if necessary.
  • Mobile accessibility. The tool should be accessible from mobile devices and have a mobile app, to allow team members to collaborate and access project information on the go.
  • Integrations. The tool should integrate with other apps and platforms, such as calendars apps and email, to facilitate seamless digital collaboration and information sharing.
  • Reporting and analytics. The tool should provide insight into project progress and team performance by providing reports and analytics.
  • Scalability. The tool should be able to accommodate different team sizes and projects and should be able to grow as the team does.

In addition to the characteristics listed above, a good collaborative app should also have a user-friendly interface and be easy to navigate. One example of such a tool is Webvizio, as it offers all the features and customizations necessary for successful digital collaboration. Webvizio also has a reliable and robust infrastructure to ensure that team members can access the tool and collaborate seamlessly without any interruptions or downtime.

Learn more about Webvizio ?

Create templates to simplify repetitive tasks

As you keep doing projects, you will notice a series of repetitive steps. You connect with clients and explain the deliverables, project timeline, execution process, etc. Internally, you introduce the project to the team, the steps to get started, and the deadlines. 

Recalling the same points and establishing a similar project execution method is tiresome. All of these steps can be easily documented through templates. Templates in web design save time, increase efficiency, provide consistency, and speed up the process for both the designer and the client. 

Here are some examples of templates that you need for your web design agency: 

  1. Project proposal 

A project proposal is a written agreement between the client and the web design agency to determine the scope of work, deadlines, and costs. The main purpose is to provide an agreed-upon roadmap that the agency and the client can easily refer to. 

Here is what you should include in your web design proposal-

  • Cover page. This contains the basic overview of your agency, client, and project. An attention-grabbing cover page makes clients interested in your offer and sees your agency as a professional in their niche. 
  • Problem statement. The problem statement identifies the issues or challenges the prospect is facing. It hooks your client’s attention, showing them how well you understand their business and needs. 
  • Proposed solution. This section will outline how you will solve the problem statement for your client. You can discuss your design process, possible strategies, and expected results. Talk like you are one of them who has successfully discovered a way to get through this problem. 
  • Deliverables. The deliverables section will expand the proposed solutions into timelines and milestones. It talks in detail about the scope of work, and the number of tasks it will take to complete. 
  • Pricing. The pricing page is a dealbreaker. It has to be on point, easy to understand and tell exactly where the money is going. Don’t drill down too much, but just enough so the client can evaluate that the quote is genuine. 
  • Call to action- This is your last chance to close the deal. Your call to action should create urgency about why they should hire your agency. You can also include discounts to encourage them to make a decision. 

Here is a template example that you can use for project proposals 

  1. Customer onboarding 

A customer onboarding template is a go-to guide for agencies to ensure a consistent and efficient process for welcoming new clients. It clearly outlines the steps involved in the onboarding process, which helps to ensure that all necessary tasks are completed, and nothing is overlooked. This helps streamline digital communication and collaboration and enhances the client experience. 

Here is what you should include in your customer onboarding proposal-

  • Introduction. Gather basic information about your new client, like their team members, point of contact, and primary communication channel. Provide a brief overview of the project so that your team members know the client’s problem, the scope of work, and delivery dates. 
  • Initial consultation. Start the meeting with an overview of your process and then explain the contribution of each of your team members. You can create a set of questions regarding the project and client expectations.  
  • Gather digital assets. Digital assets refer to any digital files used in creating, designing, and developing a website. Gathering digital assets from your client is an essential step in the web design process. It ensures that the final website is consistent with the client’s branding and meets their content needs. 
  • Share your first creative brief. A creative brief is a document that outlines the key information and requirements for a creative project. It typically includes details such as the project’s goals, target audience, brand guidelines, messaging, and other relevant information that will guide the creative process. 

Here is a customer onboarding template by Hubspot that you can get your hands on. 

  1. Designer’s brief 

A design brief is a document that specifies the details of a design project. It also ensures that the designer clearly understands the target audience and any specific requirements or constraints that need to be considered during the design process. Overall, a designer brief helps to ensure that the designer can create a design that effectively meets the client’s needs and communicates the intended message.

Here is what you should include in your design brief:

  • Project overview. A brief summary of the project, including the purpose of the design and any specific goals or objectives that need to be achieved.
  • Target audience. Information about the target audience, including demographics, habits, and needs.
  • Branding and tone. Information about the company or organization’s branding, including guidelines for color, typography, and imagery.
  • Design requirements. Specific design requirements, such as the size of the design, the number of pages or screens, and any technical constraints.
  • Inspiration and references. Examples of design styles or previous work that the client likes and wants to emulate.
  • Content. Information about the content that will be included in the design, such as text, images, and videos.
  • Timeline and budget. Information about the project timeline, including when the design is needed and any deadlines to be met. The budget for the project should also be discussed.

Here is a designer brief template by GDS that you can give a shot at. 

4. Optimize your agency workflow

Workflow optimization is enhancing the efficiency of your web design process to increase productivity, save time and improve the overall quality of the final product during web design project management. 

Here is how you can optimize your agency workflow:

Define SMART goals

smart goals web design collaboration

Goal setting is extremely important, so your team is focused on accomplishing their tasks. One of the most popular methods used in goal setting is the SMART framework. It ensures that your goals set are clear, measurable, and achievable.

SMART stands for

  • S-Specific (goals are clear and understandable)
  • M-Measurable (goals are quantifiable)
  • A-Achievable (goals are realistic)
  • R-Relevant (goals are relevant to the overall mission and objective)
  • T-Time-bound (goals have a deadline)

Get rid of paper trail

There are a lot of smart web agency tools in the market that can automate your entire design process. Doing this will increase efficiency, reduce errors, improve client communication, and save tons of hours. This is how you can do it-

  • Use digital collaboration software to automate repetitive tasks such as data entry and file management. 
  • Use website project management tools to manage project information from start to end.
  • Use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system to automate lead tracking, client communication, and data management. 
  • Use digital asset management (DAM) systems to automate the process of storing, managing, and sharing digital assets.
  • Use API (Application Programming Interface) integration to automate the flow of data between different systems and applications.

Identify bottlenecks 

It’s important to prepare your team for workflow optimization. You need to understand what works for your agency and what doesn’t. Once you set your goals, thoroughly review your current workflow. Dive deep into processes or interview team members who are familiar with them. You can identify what’s holding them back so you can strategize to eliminate those bottlenecks. 

Track relevant metrics

Once you have optimized your workflow, collecting and tracking relevant data is important to evaluate workflow performance. This will help to identify any inefficiencies and areas for improvement. Some of these metrics are-

  • Project completion rate
  • Client satisfaction 
  • Revenue growth
  • Lead generation
  • Website Traffic
  • Engagement 
  • Social media performance 
  • Return on investment (ROI)
  • Employee productivity 
  • Time tracking 

5. Create an internal knowledge management system

web design agency knowledge management

A knowledge management system includes certain tools or processes businesses use to collect, store, organize, and leverage information. A KMS aims to make the organization’s collective knowledge and expertise more easily accessible and usable by its employees to improve decision-making, increase productivity, and enhance digital communication and collaboration.

Because when your agency scales up and recruits more talents, you don’t want to spend half your day answering the same repetitive question and streamline web design project management. If left unanswered, answers can lead to bottlenecks, miscommunications, or even conflicts. 

Here is how you can create an internal knowledge management system for your web design agency-

  • Determine the specific types of knowledge and information that your agency needs to effectively manage and organize. 
  • Identify the stakeholders (employees, managers, and owners) who will maintain and access the information.
  • Start collecting and organizing the information you want to include in your knowledge management system. 
  • Choose the appropriate platform; you can easily do this on Google Drive or a dedicated KMS platform. 
  • Create a plan for managing and updating your KMS. Like what information will be documented, how knowledge will be added, and how existing knowledge will be updated. 
  • Train your employees on how they can contribute to the KMS
  • Lastly, continually monitor your progress and make adjustments as needed.

Wrapping up 

Streamlining digital communication and collaboration within a web design agency is crucial for maintaining productivity, meeting deadlines, and ensuring the satisfaction of clients. By implementing web agency tools such as web design project management software, communication platforms, and clear guidelines for file sharing, agencies can ensure that all team members are on the same page and that projects are completed efficiently.

If you are also an agency looking for a comprehensive website annotation and feedback solution to save feedback time, encourage quick turnarounds, and build stronger relationships with clients and designers, then Webvizio is all you need.

Boost Your Web Design Collaboration with Webvizio

Create account on Webvizio website review and collaboration tool

See How Lena Forrey utilizes Webvizio

Lena Forrey is a digital marketing & web design agency using Webvizio to help customers build modern and effective websites with sales funnels. Lena and her small team specialize in creating websites for health and wellness professionals, service providers, and entrepreneurs getting ready to take the next giant leap in their businesses and start selling online.

Most clients are small business owners with busy schedules, and they are not the most tech-savvy people and need a lot of help with the digital part of it, and that’s where Lena Forrey comes into play. 

Before Webvizio Lena was using another project tool for comments and edits and loved it at first, but then it started getting glitchy, comments were disappearing and it didn’t conquer responsive design well. So she started her search for a better solution that will also be easy to understand and use even for non-tech-savvy clients.

 Webvizio, she says, was easy for the customers to use, even with their not-very-advanced tech skills. Lena admits she is a tough buyer and often cancels purchased tools if they don’t do everything she wants them to do, so she was very surprised when Webvizio ticked all the boxes.

“The best feature Webvizio has is its responsiveness. That has been an ace in the hole! This feature alone has saved me endless time!”

Lena Forrey

If you are also a web design agency looking for a comprehensive website feedback solution to save feedback time, encourage quick turnarounds, and build stronger relationships with clients and designers, then Webvizio is all you need.

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