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How to Manage Your Design Team Effectively

Not only middle designers but also managers in the creative industry one day realize that they are not satisfied with working in other people's businesses or freelancing. Some reach the maximum in their field, others begin to feel a lack of profit. One way or another, the realization comes that you are capable of more: starting your own company or heading up the design department. To do both requires skills and knowledge. You need a unique experience that allows you to delve into the essence of new tasks and responsibilities.

Before assembling a team to work with, you need to think carefully and understand what kind of business you are going to build. A lot of design teams work hard and fast for the first few years. When they are looking for employees, they position themself as young, hustling, and wild. It allows them to attract the right people. Self-determination is a great thing. Without it, it's hard to get what you want.


Good PR is also very important for recruitment. If no one knows about the company, it is unlikely that talented designers who want to get recognition will go there. So first you have to figure out what you are, and then tell everyone about it.

What is effective design team management?


Design team management is the ability to coordinate designers and processes to achieve the desired result. There are general principles of design team management:

  • Clearly articulate the goals and objectives on which the team is working
  • Allocate roles and responsibilities
  • Organize processes so that everyone has an algorithm of actions
  • Provide everyone with the necessary tools and resources
  • Establish communication between all team members to get feedback from everyone

Management is built effectively if:

  • The team has a good understanding of its goals
  • These goals are the same as the objectives of the company or the customer (for the project);
  • Each member of the team understands how and why they can achieve these goals
  • Everyone is aware of their contribution to the common cause and their value to the team

Each team has its ways of managing tasks, as well as criteria for evaluating results.

The design team needs a good leader


Managing a team is always a certain challenge. A true leader must skillfully combine the four functions and switch from one to the other in time. You have to be the administrative director, dealing with day-to-day tasks, like hiring or paying salaries and bonuses. It's pretty simple, the difficulties begin next. You have to become a master, behind whom your team is ready to go forward because you have abilities and skills that are not yet available to them.

Then you turn into a wise mentor - someone who helps the team understands the task and focuses on accomplishing it, rather than falling into procrastination. The mentor instills confidence and awareness in people, criticizes, and at some stages even supervises.

As a rule, the most difficult function of a mentor is the role of a friend, without which dialogue with the team is impossible. A friend is the reverse side of a mentor, the one who calms and motivates when something goes wrong. It is the friend who keeps the team from burning out.

The design team needs to be synchronized

Design teams face challenges at one time or another. It is a classic story about the interaction between managers, designers, and developers.

Management sells a project to a client with a certain deadline for X amount of money. Designers create a product design and developers make the designers' layout work. Each side has its interests. The designers want the client to approve everything, and the realized project looks as good as the layout. The management must meet the budget and deadlines. The developers want to get more time for programming.

If there is no synchronization between these three departments, something goes wrong. For example, the designers draw a very beautiful, but complicated project. When it gets to the developers, it turns out that they should have had more time to implement it, but there is no money left in the budget. In the end, everyone is at a disadvantage, quarreling and sad. How do you prevent such a fiasco?

At the initial stage, the entire team should be engaged in the sale. The project should be evaluated by designers along with the developers. And management is constantly synchronizing the team at all stages of work. With such a system the output is a result that no one is ashamed of, and the team makes a profit.

The design team needs delegation

Sooner or later employees are just going to burn out at work if they don't learn how to delegate their responsibilities clearly and wisely. It is important to delegate work in case your team is too busy with tasks. Many project managers use Awesomic to find experienced designers when they are busy. This way they save the team's time and increase their productivity.

As long as your employees can drag the whole business on themself, they will do it. But when they start missing important meetings or don't sign the right contract, you'll have to delegate some of their responsibilities. It's very scary at first, but then you'll learn to trust your partners and your team.


Tools help implement management decisions, set and distribute tasks, control the process, communicate, and collect feedback. The most popular among design teams are:

  • Trello. It helps you organize tasks, set deadlines, and assign people responsible.
  • Notion. It has a wide range of templates for making plans, timelines, and mind maps. Especially convenient for working with text and graphic content that needs to be put together in one place.
  • Confluence. It is a single interactive knowledge base where you can collaboratively create, augment, and edit pages for use in projects, brainstorming, and presentations.
  • Google Workspace. It helps bring together all corporate folders to collaboratively work on documents, create work instructions and forms, and store files and links.
  • Telegram. It is a handy messenger with group chats and channels, file sharing, and delayed messaging.
  • Slack. It is a corporate messenger with advanced tools for communication, file sharing, deadline tracking, and group discussions.

The success of a design depends on various factors, including design team management. Therefore, this issue should be considered as carefully as the others.

Did you enjoy this article? Give Pics.io a try — or book a demo with us, and we'll be happy to answer any of your questions.


Rebeca Willis
Rebecca Willis is a talented writer, editor, and active guest contributor. She is passionate about the latest trends and always looking for new challenges as a content creator. You can reach her at guestpostingninja@gmail.com.

Pics.io Team
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