Tag: remote working

10 FlowMapp features that boost collaborative online work

10 FlowMapp features that boost collaborative online work_banner

In FlowMapp, we have extensive experience in organizing remote work. In a sense, the FlowMapp was developed specifically to introduce familiar UX design patterns online and expand the ways of interaction with outsourced staff.  Remote work opens up new opportunities for teams, such as attracting highly qualified professionals from different parts of the world to the project. Today, when the world situation dictates new rules, many companies have faced the need to transfer familiar work processes online and our task is to make this transition as comfortable as possible.

 Addressing our customers

We’re pretty sure that users who have already used FlowMapp on their projects are aware of the set of useful features that we are covering here and use them regularly. However, today, a large number of people have faced a situation where, in order to increase productivity, they need to teach their colleagues to interact with new products, or they need to provide a justification for purchasing new software in front of their management. That’s why we’re writing this short overview article to help you familiarize yourself with or introduce your peers to the set of features that make the lives of FlowMapp users better every day, helping teams be more productive and achieve their goals quickly.

Forming the team

1. Team and its members

If your team has already been formed up and all areas of responsibility have been allocated you can start with forming your team in FlowMapp so every team member can get access to all current projects. Also, you can extend your team at any moment if needed by adding a new member. To make up a new team or to add a new member please follow these steps.

Note: This only applies to the owner of a Team or Agency plan.

To create Team:

  1. Click on People via the top menu
  2. Click on Create New Team button
  3. Enter your Team name
  4. Click Save

2. Inviting to the project

 While designing a new Sitemap, developing a Flowchart or creating an ideal CJM you can add your colleague to the project to boost productivity and accelerate the development at any moment. To do so:

Note: This only applies to the owner of a Team or Agency plan.

To add users to your team:

  1. Click on People via the top menu
  2. Click on Add People to Team
  3. Choose collaborators you need to add to a Team
  4. Click Save

To remove users from your team:

  1. Click on People via the top menu
  2. Hover over the Team member’s tile and click on Delete icon
  3. Click Yes, Remove from Team to confirm the deletion.

Warning: This team member could also be removed from all projects if they are removed from the team. 

Workflow with FlowMapp

3. Contextual communications

Sitemap on FlowMapp is not just a hierarchical structure of your site, but also a multifunctional system that allows you to structure data and save context in communications between each team member. Since each element of the site has an interactive modal window, you can make and edit the description and actually discuss the progress of the work in a certain site card. Here’s a small example: your copywriter has prepared texts for your homepage using a sitemap, he or she can open the card of the Homepage of your site, and use Page Structure to demonstrate new content. At the same place, you can evaluate the work done and comment on it using the Discussion block to communicate. The main advantage is that in the course of your project, your sitemap becomes not just a hierarchical structure, but also a navigation system underlying the course of development of your project, so you can get all the necessary information at any time just by selecting the appropriate card of the sitemap.

To learn more about the interface of the sitemap and page structure, please use the following instructions (https://flowmapp.com/help/working-with-sitemap/)

4. Notification settings

There are also flexible notification settings in your profile settings where you can edit the incoming information flow depending on your goals and your team responsibilities. To learn more about the notification settings, click the link in the Help Center.

5. Integrations

Slack

A huge number of teams set up communication with colleagues through Slack, so on FlowMapp in the Notification menu you can turn on the possibility of receiving notifications in Slack, and you can select a specific project that will receive new notifications for actions committed only within this project.

To turn on Slack notifications in your project, please use the following instructions

Notion

If you use Notion for your project, you can easily integrate iframe of FlowMapp’s workplace in any Notion document. To do, follow the steps:

  1. Create a share link of Sitemap, User Flow, Personas, or CJM.
  2. Copy the link;
  3. Open your Notion document;
  4. Create the «Embed» Block and paste the share link;
  5. Done! Now you can use FlowMapp’s interface in your Notion document.

6. Online control

If your team uses the whole functionality of page structure and follows simple rules of contextual communication then your project manager can easily control the course of work, take a look at source files and content and refer to the chat communications if needed, reducing the time spent on the search for the necessary information without distracting a certain specialist with the question ‘Where can I find..?’

6.1. Streams

It’s an unbelievable feature of FlowMapp allowing you to track down changes in the project in real-time. You literally can see how your designer pools the Personas, User Flow or CJM block from one place to another. This feature eradicates borders between people allowing your team to close the tasks faster and enabling your project manager to react to changes online.

7. Activity

 In order to quickly track current changes in the project, you can use the Activity function (the button with the bell icon in the upper right corner of the interface). With the help of Activity you can see notifications grouped by projects. You can also sort the displayed items so that you can see the notifications meant for you only. The following list of notifications is displayed in Activity:

  • Schedule of comments and changes,
  • An overview of your project history over time.

8. Sharing

Thanks to a built-in sharing system, you can always share the work done, for instance, with the Client, if you work on the development of a product. At FlowMapp you can share both the certain User Flow, Personas or CJM, and a link to the whole project, so the Client has an opportunity to evaluate the scope of the work done.

9. Main Link

Every Sitemap card has a field for entering a link above its Description block. This link implies at least two scenarios of using it. The first one, when you have just started the development of your product your designer can use the Main link to place there the link leading to a certain frame of the prototype (e.g. in Figma). Therefore every team member has access not only to all contextual chatting and discussions and content, and also everyone will be able to look through the latest version of the prototype of a certain page. The second one implies that later you can replace links to prototypes with links to ready marked-up pages in the Main link, and use the sitemap as a navigation system during the further product development.

10. Files

There is nothing tricky with the Files block, it allows you to escape overusing cloud storages like Dropbox or Google Drive and store all required files (e.g. source files, visual content, etc.) in a certain card of the sitemap providing easy access to the files for every member of your team.

Today, many teams don’t have an opportunity to stand next to a board to develop Personas, User Flow or CJM, since most of these teams have to work remotely. We suggest considering new ways of product development and increase the productivity of your team by using the best online collaborative tools.

Effective collaboration

 If you decide to use FlowMapp in a new project, try to follow the principles of essentialism and give up a lot of tools to avoid frustration from the incoming chaotic information flow. FlowMapp in conjunction with Figma can solve 99% of the designer’s product tasks. You can use Figma as a mood board, a space for brainstorming and a prototyping environment, and FlowMapp as a space for communications, information flow organization and marketing strategy development, as well as a cloud storage for project-related content. This way you can save your time and money. The most important thing to remember is that the fewer tools you use in the course of project development, the easier it will be to structure information in order to create new products faster and better.

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If You Have Never Worked Remotely

If You Have Never Worked Remotely

Hi! I’m Mila, UI Designer here in FlowMapp, and I have been working remotely for 7 years.
And today I am going to prove to you that working remotely is possible and maybe really effective and pleasant if you have the right attitude.
Here are 7 tips that help me to work remotely that you may take into consideration:

1. Organize working place

Try to find a nice and calm place at home where you can do your work. Sure, you may sit on the bed leaning upon the pillow. But soon you’ll realize that you cannot concentrate and about to fall asleep. That’s why I strongly recommend you to sit on a chair and put your PC on a table.

Though I believe that soon after some time you will google recommendations how to change your working place into the best one. So at least you may anticipate the wide and spacy table that would accommodate a big monitor and/or laptop, keyboard. Some designers would need extra space for tablets. You may also like the idea to have some space to put your earphones, smartphone, notebook, perhaps, some books. In one word, anything that you think may come in handy.

Eve at her st Kilda studio
Eddie Lobanovskiy
Cate St Hill

2. Follow the same daily routine

Follow the same daily routine as you used to do when you were attending the office. It is not a good thing to wake up and stick to your work right away from a bed. Usually, I wake up 2 hours before my working day starts just to have some time for myself: I take shower, do my morning exercises, cook some breakfast, chat with my family and friends  or read a book. 

Collecting inspirations in Eagle (read more about Eagle in our previous article) looking through Dribbble, Behance, Siteinspire, Bestwebsite.gallery, Onepagelove, Httpster, Collectui, Pinterest may make you want to do some shots or concepts to boost your portfolio. Some designers take this time to boost their Dribbble accounts preparing shots of the projects they once made. Others dive into professional education and take some courses in illustration, 3D graphics, webflow or read books on the topics in which they feel they have a gap. You may be also interested in reading some UX cases or even start to learn drawing.

It is really nice to start like that. You used to spend that time in a rush and your way to the office but now you can spend it on yourself. Isn’t it a positive thing about remote work?

3. Discipline

Try not to distract while working just not to make a mess of working hours and time for vocation. This means that the working hours are for work and time for rest is time for rest. And it would be better if at the end of the working day you just get up and go away from your computer. It does not matter what you do: wash dishes, talk to your partner or better go for a walk with your dog. Such an approach to remote work brings order to your life and feeling of calmness.

4. Look neat

Wear comfortable but not very homely clothes. This may sound weird but it really helps to feel organized. Forget about pijama or towels on your head. Comfortable jeans and casual T-shirt or long sleeved T-shirt would do, warm socks if your feet feel cold. But if some other clothes motivates you to stay tuned and organized, it is up to you. I like how Dawnn Karen, a fashion psychologist and author of Dress Your Best Life, tells Bustle (Publisher In Modern Media):

“You don’t have to wear a suit and tie in your home, but perhaps wearing a T-shirt and a blazer,” Karen suggests. “It’s okay to wear the same outfit that you wore the day before, especially if you were only in it for just a few hours. This is just to lessen decision fatigue. I would also say take the time to wear an outfit that you always wanted to wear to work, but perhaps due to your work restrictions, you’re not allowed to wear that particular outfit. Have fun and play in your closet during this time away from work”.

“I would also say take the time to wear an outfit that you always wanted to wear to work, but perhaps due to your work restrictions, you’re not allowed to wear that particular outfit. Have fun and play in your closet during this time away from work”

Get inspired by Sarah’s Outfits for work from home

5. Take 5 minutes rest

Do not forget to take a little advantage of working remotely: you’ve got a splendid opportunity to give your back some rest and take 3-5 minutes break just stretching your body on the bed, sofa or even floor. 5 minutes break like that and you are ready to move on with your tasks. My colleagues shared with me that to relax they switch to another task or project or just stare at beautiful landscapes (if any).

6. Enjoy your meal

Yes, you have a break for lunch. Do not forget to enjoy your meal or take your dog for a short walk (if you have any) or throw litter.

7. Besides work

Find your personal thing that gives you joy and has some sense for you immediately. If we need to sit at home most of the time we just need to find something that would “charge our batteries” and inspire us. Perhaps, you have not had enough time for tidying up, reading, watching films, spending time with your kids, studying. So, just take your time.

On weekends you may take into account one training that Julia Cameron described in her book “The Artist’s Way”. The training is called “artist date”. The essence of the date is that you have to spend some time on yourself and do this time everything to cherish the artist inside of you. You may go shopping for books, attend some master class, visit a beautiful cafe or gallery, or take some excursions. This is going to inspire you, evoke enthusiasm and childish delight. These feelings are going to be your fuel to do your best at work and gain your goals.

“The Artist’s Way”, Julia Cameron

Conclusion

To do one’s work effectively as a designer we should be open for good communication, and it is possible to work successfully from home if you follow the recommendations above. Try to keep balance in your life and take the advantage of the situation we cannot change. And here I would like to cite Dalai Lama: “If it can be solved, there’s no need to worry, and if it can’t be solved, worry is of no use”.

 

Author Bio


 
Mila, junior UI designer in FlowMapp. Enjoys sharing useful stuff: tools, books, and tips for colleagues. Adheres to minimalism philosophy in life and web design.

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