- User experience design teams can expect "the death of design files" in 2020, according to research derived from more than 2,400 links and about 359,000 designers globally from UX Collective.
- In an effort to keep pace with new tools and functions, designers emphasized the quality of collaboration in 2019. Companies of all sizes transitioned workflows to a file-less model by using Dropbox Paper, Google Spreadsheet, Notion, Whimsical and Figma.
- Competitors in the user interface space strived for the one-stop-shop offering for design, prototype and feedback, according to the report. Customers tasked companies such as Figma with showing designers open access to their work wouldn't impede productivity.
Designers can often get stuck when worth is only measured by the mockups they produce. But design, by nature, demands collaboration.
An "atomic unit of documents" in a cloud-enable environment is "archaic," writes Kevin Kwok, a former investor at Greylock Partners, in a blog post. Kwok argues productivity tools, such as Dropbox, and collaboration tools, such as Slack, are two of the same genres of software. "There is no distinction between productivity and collaboration. But we're only now fully appreciating it."
Google was one of the first companies to revamp document sharing with cloud-native Google Docs. The rest of industry followed suit.
Still, the length of traditional feedback loops kept productivity and collaboration tools separate. With software's evolution and emergence of the cloud, documents could be centrally stored, ripe for sharing.
Slack "began to displace Dropbox as the center of gravity for companies," said Kwok. Collaboration platforms, including Slack, Microsoft Teams, Workplace by Facebook and Google Chat, are dependent on application integrations.
Communication platforms began blurring the line between productivity and collaboration — some companies are simplify better at that coordination.
Ideally, companies want to remove designers as the "key holders" to afford real-time process participation, according to the report. Opening channels of communication comes as the designer space transitions to be more inclusive (UX writing, video editing UX, conversational UX, etc.)