Last week, a number of frogs joined designers across the world for Remote Design Week, a conference of workshops, talks and community building for designers. The festival was organized by DesignX, a community platform for designers across Canada and the US. As many conferences and events are cancelled or postponed due to social distancing measures, these remote events give us a change to connect with the wider design community on topics such as remote work, collaboration, and best practices for designers.
Throughout the week-long conference, four frogs from studios around the US joined in to share workshops and talks on a number of different topics—from understanding how to get the most out of your design language system to re-imagining collaborative workshops in our new remote age. We also teamed up with our friends at Miro on two talks that focused on remote work and collaboration.
Check out some highlights from the talks below:
Kat Davis, a Design Director from our SF studio, kicked off the week on Tuesday with Design System in Practice, which walked people through the ins and outs of creating a design system in an organization. Along with some practical tips and tricks, Kat also dove into what it takes to get organizational buy-in. Kat answered questions and brought in some real-world examples to talk about approaches frog has taken to build out the design system and roadmap.
Next up, Sean Rhodes, Executive Design Director in our NY studio, guided viewers through the Design Talent Lifecycle in a Post-Studio World. Sean’s talk looks to the Disruptors of the design world—many of whom had already gone global or started working with distributed teams even before the COVID-19 era. As Sean says, “like the primordial fish that evolved to live on land,” the designers and organizations that continue to put their talent first and adapt to the distinct challenges and opportunities across the remote design talent lifecycle will have distinct advantages in the future where the studio model is less dominant.
We finished out the week strong with two panels co-led by our friends at Miro.
First, Iris Latour, Customer Success Manager at Miro, and Cristina Crespo, Associate Director, Product Delivery, encouraged us to Reimagine Workshops for our new remote world. Using Miro, a remote collaboration tool, the talk addressed the crucial question “how do you keep remote meetings engaging, productive and efficient in a virtual environment?” Cristina and Iris cover key areas for designing and conducting successful remote workshops, including setting out your goals, purposes and key audiences. There are many different types of workshops, so it’s important to make sure your team has a clear purpose, framework and flow in order to accomplish what you’ve set out for the given time.
Finally, Iris and Breyna Braden (Associate Design Director, frog) teamed up to take a closer look at how to run a Remote Design Sprint using Miro boards as a collaboration tool. The workshop set out to provide a solution to a problem affecting many newly distributed design teams: How do we transition our internal design and collaboration functions to a remote world? Pulling from examples of how our own design teams have been working—not just in the months since the coronavirus outbreak but as a global and connected design company—Breyna outlined crucial steps for how to run a productive design sprint in a virtual environment. A big takeaway: don’t fight against the challenges that remote work presents, but rather work to understand your new normal—whatever that might look like—so that you can learn to adapt and get back to designing the products and experiences people love!
View Miro’s “visual notes” from the talk below:
Thanks again to all our frog contributors, our friends at Miro, and the organizers of Remote Design Week!