As our name implies, Crux Collaborative is a highly collaborative company. We take this to heart, not only in how we work with each other, but also how we work with our clients. One of the most important factors of a successful collaboration is effective communication from start to finish. In this article, we’ll talk about how you can help us help you create the best possible experience for your users.
Why is this important?
After many years of experience working on interactive projects, we’ve learned that success is about more than just getting to the finish line with a product that meets the requirements that were stated in the original statement of work. The projects we feel the best about are the ones where everyone on the team, both the Crux team and the client team, felt like their voices were heard and respected. That feeling is created through open and honest communication throughout the project and a willingness to share ideas and concerns before they boil over and become a problem.
Our expertise is in creating high quality user experiences, but we depend on our clients to provide their expertise with their product or service so we can create a site or application with a full understanding of requirements, business and user objectives, and any possible technical limitations. A project is most successful when we don’t work in a vacuum. The more we collaborate, the better the finished product is.
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How to help us help you
Here are a few tips for working with us:
Use the tools and applications we use
At Crux Collaborative, we’re very fond of two online applications that help us collaborate with our clients, Basecamp and DoneDone. Each one is used for a specific purpose and works better than regular email communications for their respective tasks.
- Basecamp is where all the action happens for our projects. You’ll find the project calendar, meeting notes, deliverables, and files for the project. Basecamp houses all of the important project information, which helps us ensure that the whole team has access to everything they need instead of relying on remembering to copy all the right people on an email.
- DoneDone is our tracking application for technical bugs and issues when projects are being tested or are in maintenance. We love using DoneDone because it allows us to quickly see the status of all tickets and who is responsible for them. We can also use features like “priority” and “due dates” to prioritize what we work on and group related updates together to use our time more effectively.
Using these applications instead of email helps us process your message quickly and reduces the busy work—if you send us an email, we’ll end up having to copy and paste that message into Basecamp or DoneDone.
Give consolidated feedback
When we post deliverables to our clients for feedback, you’ll hear us ask for “consolidated feedback”. So what do we mean by this?
- Our expectation is that the client team will meet to discuss the deliverable and collect all feedback together. This helps ensure that everyone on the client side is on the same page and prevents confusion down the road.
- Feedback from all client team members should be collected in a single document. This prevents us from having to keep track of multiple feedback documents and minimizes the risk of us losing important comments.
Consolidated, actionable, and direct feedback enables us to quickly make the requested revisions. It promotes efficiency and saves time and your budget.
Have realistic expectations
When contacting us, be sure to give us time to review and consider your message. We may need up to a business day to respond due to existing commitments. In a future article, we’ll talk about how to handle emergency situations, but here are some things to consider that will help us understand your expectations.
Questions to consider in your message:
- What is your desired outcome?
- When do you need a response by?
- When does the issue need to be resolved by?
- Who do you expect to do the work?
- Are there any additional resources that may help?
Don’t be afraid to ask for a phone call
If an idea is complex or if you think that you’re not getting the right results online, we’re happy to hop on a call with you and the team to hash out the details. When asking for a call, let us know how much time you’ll need and consider providing the times that your team is available so we can quickly find a mutually agreeable time to meet.
Enough about us—we’d love to hear from you. Contact us to share your ideas and see how we can work together to make them a reality.
By Katherine Block
User Experience Consultant
Katherine is a jack of all trades with nearly every aspect of the UX process. Her broad approach enables her to fill gaps between the different phases of interactive design including Information Architecture, Development, and Project Management.View Katherine's Bio