How we used Refinder for the redesign of Refinder

Designing a website typically involves a diverse set of stakeholders. The process between kick-off and launch is heavy on tasks like ideation, analysis, communication, opinion forming, discussion and decision making. We went through this process while redesigning the Refinder application. But on top, we used Refinder as the collaborative environment and communication platform to support the Refinder redesign project.

Here´s how we did it and what we learned:
1. Creating the "Refinder Redesign" collection
This collection was setup six months ago to act as the focal point of the design process. 
2. Inviting participants
Next to internal staff we invited Markus Stefan, owner of  markus stefan websolutions, our external design partner. By that, we virtually connected a team of six, which in reality work across four different locations in Vienna and Poland.
3. Sharing and discussing design artefacts
One of the main purposes of the collection was to trigger feedback, the expression of likes as well as to induce comments and suggestions for improvement after uploading of new iterations of design drafts.
4. Organisational input
Apart from the actual design, the collection conveyed meeting dates, meeting notes and other organisational context.
5. Dealing with coding issues
As the design evolved and got implemented, the collection´s content started to articulate coding challenges. In consequence, participants referenced external content via commented bookmarks for related reading or they pointed towards solutions for particular markup- or javascript challenges found elsewhere on the web.
Benefits gained en route
The Refinder redesign process is not yet finished, however, a bunch of benefits materialized from the use of a collaborative workspace:
  • Unified and focused a geographically distributed project team
  • Enabled timely and appropriate participation
  • Kept all participants on the same page, despite vacation breaks
  • Retained all interim design drafts, including the related pro/con arguments
  • Documented the process and reflected the design decisions on the way
  • Achieved an integrated view of the entire design activity, comprising the graphical transformation, UI/UX aspects as well as the coding/implementation agenda
  • Achieved great visibility into the project´s progress and the completion of intermediate tasks