Designer Life in Lockdown

{ 👩‍💻 } – Working from Home: The New Normal for Designers Worldwide

Photo by Allie.

I’ve been working as a remote designer for over seven years. But a lot of designers started their remote journey only this year. A lot of my creative friends have been working remotely for 6–8 months. They experience everything that I went through my seven years only now. In this article, I will share the main differences between onsite and remote work for UX/UI designers and explain why remote work allows you to be more productive.

Remote Tools

The first thing that you will notice are the tools that you’re going to work with. You used to work with user testers face-to-face and communicate with your design team on the real board, among other things.

Now, by switching to remote work, the major problem is how to save all this activity that was before. Luckily, there are plenty of tools that help you make the switch effortlessly.

It is possible to switch fully to remote work without compromising. You can still conduct user testing with usertesting.com, collaborate with other designers using Figma, and communicate with your team via Slack or Zoom.

I talked about all the main tools for designers to communicate remotely in a recent article. I found working remotely extremely productive with all these tools because they allow you to focus on work.

Figma

I suppose that Figma is a lead tool in terms of designers’ collaboration. During 7 years of experience, I tried many tools; I went from Photoshop to Sketch, I tried, Adobe XD, Figma, and Invision Studio recently.

Before Figma was released, Sketch was a lead design tool for me. But when it comes to collaboration, Sketch is not powerful. Yes, they have released Sketch Teams, which allows you to collaborate with your team, but I expected it to work similarly to Figma. Unfortunately, they don`t provide even 20% of what Figma does. And this made me consider Figma as my main tool for collaboration.

With Figma, you can create your design and collaborate with other team members in real-time. That is very important when you work with big products. All features are divided between your design team and everyone needs to see each other’s work. You can easily manipulate the whole project, not only your part, which is great. I worked even with marketers on Figma. This tool is user-friendly and similar to Sketch. So if you are a Sketch user, switching to Figma will be easy for you.

New Work-Life Balance

Now let`s talk about the benefits of working remotely. And the very first thing I would like to mention is saving time. That`s why I love working remotely so much.

When you work from an office, it means you have to get up, have your breakfast, and spend time on public transportation to get to your workplace and back.

Working from home allows you to save considerable amounts of time every day. And you can use the time you’ve saved in any way you can imagine: sleep longer, spend time with family, do yoga, write that article about a designer’s life in lockdown… Anything, really.

I personally find this aspect of remote work amazing and understand people who want to continue working remotely even after the pandemic.

Conclusion

In 2020 working remotely became really popular and a necessity for a lot of us.

Remote work is becoming an everyday reality and continues to change the life of designers. As technology transforms our lives, at the same time remote work is transforming the way we create products. Accepting the future leads to innovative ideas and new opportunities for designers.


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Olha Bahaieva Avatar

Olha Bahaieva / UI/UX Designer, Medium Author, Public Speaker @ Toptal

Olha Bahaieva is a senior UI/UX designer, Medium author and public speaker at Toptal.

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