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July 25 2012

13:30

How to Build a Killer User Experience Team

We are in an era where the term ‘User Experience’ is still evolving and enterprises are still figuring out how to fit this piece of the puzzle into their organization’s structure. The field is new and filled with lots of uncertainties for the decision makers of an organization, but it is definitely promising and filled with tremendous opportunities!

Being a User Experience designer right now is an interesting and rewarding experience for the fact that the scope of exploring unknown lands is infinite and I feel proud to be one. The Internet obviously has a major role to play in the upkeep and growth of this field, and it has lived beyond its expectations up to now. There is a lot of stuff happening around UX nowadays. There are UX conferences, more blog posts explaining the need of User Centered design, and people surely are getting a better picture of the topic, day by day.

While this really is great news for us UX designers, we have miles to go ahead until we reach the pinnacle, where UX design will be considered most pivotal in a system’s design and development process. For this to happen, inclusion of Experience design in an enterprise scenario should be justified, i.e., UX should yield results in terms of tangible values like increased hits, high user conversion rate, improved task completion time and so on. I work for a large enterprise where people don’t have time for elaborate UX sessions and detailed demos on the benefits of embracing UX holistically. All that matters is the revenue, and it is the single tangible entity that defines the importance, or rather, it is what defines whether something deserves respect or not. Fortunately enough, the team which I am a part of within a large enterprise took the bold step of taking UX seriously and demonstrated the benefits of doing so, in our own way, to the top management.

This post makes use of my personal experience and wisdom that I have collected over time working in large enterprises, and I will try to present a detailed analysis of key points which will be decisive towards the making of a User Experience team, that delivers.

What is the need of a UX team?

The scope of this post is confined to large enterprises where revenue matters the most, where things are already working fine (in terms of revenue) and where there is very little awareness on the need of a good UI. In other words, where the word ‘user’ is often forgotten and has taken the backseat! The result will be ill-designed applications with significantly diminished user experience, insanely long task completion times and a huge dent in the reputation of the company, when it comes to the quality of interaction and the overall experience with the product. Though these negatives are obviously visible, people never realize the missing link, the reason is being unaware of the importance of a good UI, less tech-savvy customers who never demand a better experience and, most of the time, simply the lack of proper resources to get the job done!

Push for a UX team here! The challenge lies in convincing management, that this is the solution which connects the dots effectively. It’s just the beginning. Challenges will come like a landslide upon you, and only perseverance will work.

Starting to build the team from scratch

I am not a perfectionist, and I fully understand that there is no ‘perfect’ team. But without understanding what you are looking for, you will never be able to identify if you have found the right person or not. A great UX team is not one which is solely comprised of highly qualified or certified professionals, but one with  productive, passionate and positive thinkers who have the right skills. So it’s not only important to identify passionate people, but equal weight should be given to identify the right balance of skillsets, before you go on a recruitment drive. My understanding so far on the right ingredients for a UX team has worked out well and I take that gut feeling forward.

1. Bring in the experts

Like every other trade, there is no replacement for the wisdom that experience brings to the table. Experienced and seasoned professionals are an integral part of any team. Make sure you have experienced professionals who are self-driven. In many cases, people land up recruiting misfits just because either the hiring team didn’t have an in-depth understanding of the required profile, or the process of evaluating the candidate was not effective enough. This is where the importance of effective recruitment process comes into play.

Be focused on the specifics of skill-sets you are looking for when you set out to hire a person. For example, while recruiting a front-end engineer, look for his preferences of tools and techniques, which will give you a better first hand idea on his expertise and way of working. This has worked for me most of the time. My point here is, make your recruitment process more creative and find out your own ways to get great talents aboard. Also remember, always be on the lookout for better talents than you, and create a team of greats and not a team of dwarfs!

2. Fresh people bring vibrancy to the team

Often, in my experience, freshers (trainees) are the most underestimated resources in a team. I believe if you are recruiting a passionate and enthusiastic fresh soul to the team, the amount of positive energy and raw talent that these people bring into the team is unimaginable. If harnessed and directed in the right way, they can be one of the best sources of productivity for a team. Provide clear direction to the trainee, clearly set goals and checkpoints along with continuously motivating and directing them to reach the target and let them grow to their strengths. The key lies in identifying their interests and letting them grow with those interests and passion. The dividends being paid back will surprise you.

3. Certification is not the ultimate benchmark

Professional education/certifications definitely is an added value but not a necessity. Personally, I have worked with people with certifications/design education and also with passionate self-educated professionals, and most of the time the quality of the output was directly proportionate to the level of passion displayed rather than the education/certification. My point here is, let’s not take certification as a benchmark while recruiting an experienced professional. As I mentioned above, there are gems waiting to be discovered, and the only way to find them is to adopt some really creative recruitment methodologies. This is really important for a domain like Experience design, where passion is paramount.

4. Referrals might not always work – screen thoroughly

I decided to include this point based on some of my bitter experiences in hiring referrals. The ideology behind bringing referrals onboard is to increase the coordination and productivity of the team, assuming that people will find it encouraging to work again with their ex-colleagues or friends. But this might not always work unless you have a solid screening process in place. Blindly roping in a referred candidate can be suicidal at times. I am not completely against referrals, but my point here is to never take anything for granted when it comes to building a team that matches your expectations. Backfires in hiring can prove fatal for the team in the long run, and can seriously hamper the team spirit and productivity if not dealt with in the right way.

5. Never go with the numbers – assess based on the quality of work

Numbers can be deceiving and may not necessarily be proportional to the productivity/quality expected. You might come across a beginner who does magic with code while you may also tumble upon a veteran with no basic knowledge at all. So lets come out of the number game and give respect to those who deserve to be on the team.

6. Make training/sessions/workshops mandatory in the appraisal cycle

Creative designers feed on constant inspiration and that is one single thing that can drive the show forward. It is essential for a design team to conduct frequent knowledge sharing sessions, and exchange ideas. Make training sessions and workshops mandatory, this will help bring fresh inspiration to the team and will promote sharing and bring a sense of pride.

Key Roles in a UX team

While I am not a veteran professional with many years of experience, I’ve had some career defining moments where I have been closely associated with teams struggling to establish the right balance in the team when it comes to Experience Design. The diversity in my career (a video post-production artist to a web graphics designer to a front-end engineer to a User Experience enthusiast) has been most helpful for this state of mind. It has enabled me to look at my team from a variety of perspectives and identify shortcomings and positives. From my limited experience, let me suggest some key roles which can make the difference in a User Experience team:

1. User Experience Architect

The User Experience Architect is the team’s visionary. Every product thrives on its own vision, and unless the vision is clear, the influence it has on a user’s mind cannot be directed in the intended way. Designing a good experience is meticulously planning a chain of events in which the users are involved, and helping them find what they are looking for easily and smoothly. A UX Architect’s job is to carefully sandwich the vision into the product, while helping the user to be happy and satisfied in using it.

  • Should have extensive experience in driving the Experience design processes, as they might have to make key decision just based on his past experiences and wisdom.
  • They should be passionately associated with a product’s life cycle.
  • Knowledgeable in UX best practices and processes.
  • Ability to generate a User Experience Document based on personas and scenarios.
  • Deliverable will be in form of User Experience Document, Personas/Scenario details and a close association with the team at every stage to make sure the product is shaping up as they wanted.

2. Information Architect

The Information Architect is the authority when it comes to the information design of the product. A skillful Information Architect should be able to cruise along when presented with the challenge of organizing the information in a huge data-driven application with complex scenarios and screenflows. He will be responsible for laying out information and plays a key role in deciding the screen flows and interaction patterns to be followed.

  • Should be an expert in various wireframing tools like Axure, Omnigraffle, Visio.
  • They should be a master of IA techniques like card sorting.
  • Extensive knowledge in standard UI interaction patterns.
  • Deliverables will be wireframes, screenflows, sitemap and interaction design documents.

3. Visual designer

The role of a visual designer is crucial to a UX team’s success. Though the efficiency of a product is not skin deep, the skin does matter. The UX vision of a successful product is driven by a visual designer. While there will be numerous apps and services offering the same service or experience, the first impression and the visual aesthetics plays a very important role in carrying forward the experience of the product.

  • A visual designer should be a magician when it comes to color combination, typography, visual hierarchy and importantly should be a great communicator of ideas through whatever medium available, as design is all about communicating ideas.
  • Madly passionate about visual communication, colors, type and aesthetics.
  • Share the passion and ideologies of the UX architect and carry forward the UX vision the same way as he would have imagined. This is a key requirement for a UX team to click, and this is often ignored and overlooked upon.
  • A pixel perfectionist, and a critic lover.
  • A Photoshop rockstar.
  • Should have an open-minded approach to design, questioning each design decisions, and contributing to the Experience of the product in his own way.

4. UX All rounder (UX+ VD+Frontend engineering)

From my diverse career experience, this is a role which I feel will make the difference for any UX team. Someone who understands each stage of an Experience design process and who will be able to connect the dots seamlessly across each phase of the Experience design  process will be an asset for the team. They will make sure that the UX vision of the product doesn’t get blurred across each phases. The primary job of this person will be to be involved in each phases of the Experience design process, collaborate with the experts of the respective phases (eg. visual designer, while in the designing phase, information architect during the wire-framing phase and front end engineer during the prototyping and front end development process) and make sure the product gets transitioned between them smoothly. This includes guiding the visual designer in authoring graphics/UI elements which doesn’t fall out of the scope for a front-end enginee, or which is completely non-implementable from a front end development perspective.

  • Diverse and extensive knowledge in UX practices, Visual design tools & techniques
  • Front end development concepts, tools & techniques
  • A trend watcher
  • Should be on the bleeding edge of all updates, tools and techniques
  • A good communicator, and importantly a great team player.
  • The key is communication in this profile, as this person would be working closely with almost all members of the team.
  • Should have a strong hold on the concepts of each phases, and his/her experience will be put on test, while team discussions, as this person holds the baton for making convincing statements to bring the team to a common understanding and to clear out conflicts that are bound to arise in each phases of the Experience design process.

5. Front-end engineer

This is a key role in a UX team in my opinion, and I am surprised at the level of ignorance some enterprises (at least in the country I work in) show towards this role. Front-end development is when the product jumps into the first phase of life after much conceptualization and designing from other members of the UX team, and for that matter, this is the most vital part of the Experience design process. Front-end engineer’s responsibility will be to give life to the concepts and mockups and make them work on a browser or any other medium on which the product is expected to work on. The challenge lies in translating the ideas which are in the form of wireframes, documents and visual mockups into a working prototype. Working closely with the ‘UX all rounder’ will yield good results for a front-end engineer. In short:

  • a front-end engineer brings together the 3 forms of an application, namely content, presentation and behavior.
  • A rockstar in HTML/CSS/JS based techniques.
  • Should be a cross-browser compatibility samurai.
  • Should give attention to detail and should be able to appreciate design.
  • Well versed with optimization and performance boosting concepts and techniques.
  • Should have a solid understanding of the technology behind an application in which he/she is working on.
  • A sharp learner of new techniques and tools.
  • Ability to bring about a set of processes and standards, and in turn institutionalize the whole front-end engineering process within the organization at large.

6. Content Strategist

It is high-time we start thinking of content as one of the important parts of a product. The role of a content strategist has been a topic of discussion for a long time and the term ‘Content strategy’ itself is evolving. As an Experience design team, content should be considered as an important part of the product, be it web, mobile or any other medium. A content strategist will be responsible for shaping up the ‘tone of voice’ of the product. He sets the tone of the product by carefully planning the content. Here the content is not only text. It refers to whatever element used to communicate with the user. A content strategist might even have a call over the design element that the visual designer created, because it communicates something to the user. It is important to convey the right things in the right way to the user for a consistent ‘tone of voice’.

  • A passionate writer and communicator.
  • Should have impeccable command over the language and grammar.
  • Exposure to latest trends and developments in the web world will make a content strategist more desirable.
  • Ability to appreciate design.

7. Usability Expert

They are the Nielsen and Norman of a UX team. With much established techniques and tools available a qualified usability expert is always an asset to the team. They are responsible for assessing and making sure the product ships out as a usable unit. Most often, usability comments are best consumed at the initial stages of conceptualization, as keeping the very basic usability issues in mind can help the team move in the right direction. Also methods used to conduct user research and similar exercises can prove to be life-saving for highly sensitive which are:

  • Extensive experience in conducting usability tests and other usability related tasks.
  • Strong understanding on the working of the product, from a user’s perspective.
  • A good communicator.

Building a productive team takes time, dedication and lots of effort. Bringing in just the right skills may not always work. It is always important to bring in a balance to the team, by smartly utilizing fresh talent, setting goals and enabling each of them to have a sense of belonging and ownership within the team. While everything above is based on my experience in the field there are lots of other factors that some into play while building a team that delivers. The attitude, the passion, the thought processes, everything can make a major difference. Personally I believe in having members driven by passion and interest in the field, rather than just professional and academic achievements, and this has so far helped us in bring the right blend of talent to the team.

These are the words of wisdom which my diverse career has gifted me with. I would be excited to know more about this topic from experts and passionate UX practitioners. Share your thoughts, experience, and suggestions on building a rocking Experience Design team!

June 19 2012

13:30

Designing the Team Experience

A few years ago, the company I was working for ran recruitment for an entry-level position in which they asked applicants to email over samples of their work as attachments. Aside from the work itself, I was fascinated to see the different filenames applicants had chosen for their attachments. Most of them were named according to the project they had come from or were just called something like sample_for_companyname. Some, though, used names like theirname_jobrole_application. I had a good feeling about those ones.

Whether you’re sending a file to a friend, colleague, or potential employer, context is important. The project title might have been a useful file name to applicants on their own computers, but to us – stored in a folder full of resumes and samples – it was meaningless. The people who’d told us who they were and what the sample was for in their filename had given consideration to the recipient of their application.

“That’s the spirit,” I’d say to myself. They were thinking like UX designers.

The point of this story is that we spend a lot of time thinking about people in the experiences we create professionally, but not enough time applying these insights personally. Doing so can help us create with less friction as we function within our teams.

A powerful mental model

When we’re designing, we often consider our audience’s mental model – how do they perceive the world? Mental models are created from a mixture of past experiences and assumptions. Computer filing systems offer a classic example. Files can be grouped together and stored in folders. People get that concept pretty easily because – just like real life filing – it fits their mental model.

Icons help interaction designers communicate abstract concepts; how can we do the same?

Consider mental models when talking to your colleagues and clients, too. If we talk about ideas in a way that draws on what they already know, it’ll be easier for them to slot new information in alongside it. We can use analogies to show how what we’re doing relates to something they’re already familiar with. I was once working with a client who wasn’t following the difference between client-side and server-side code, so we started using a shop window/shop storeroom analogy, with reloads being like a trip to store room. It made the conversation easier for both of us.

It works it the other way around too. Elements of our clients’ business that we’re not familiar with can be baffling, so we can try to make sense of abstract or complex concepts by suggesting comparisons. We might get the comparison wrong at first, but that doesn’t matter – it’ll still get them thinking about alternative analogies that do work.

Plain language

Clarity is essential to good design. There’s not much point in something if people don’t understand what it’s for or what it’s trying to say. This applies to any communication with our clients and colleagues, written or verbal.

Keep conversations, emails and documents straightforward. Professionally, we’d never fill a website with long text, written in the passive voice and packed with jargon, so we can’t let that kind of language creep into our emails either.

Other people might do it sometimes – people often get a bit strange and formal when they’re writing – but their job probably isn’t focused on how the person on the other end will react, so they’ve got an excuse. We haven’t.

Add helpful headings

Another simple way we can make ourselves clearer is by making good use of subject lines in emails, section headings in documents and slide headings in presentations. In her book, 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People, Susan Weinschenk provides the following paragraph without a header:

First you sort the items into like categories. Using color for sorting is common, but you can also use other characteristics, such as texture or type of handling needed. Once you have sorted the items, you are ready to use the equipment. You want to process each category from the sorting separately. Place one category in the machine at a time.

It seems almost meaningless – abstract sentences about sorting things into categories. Then she shows it again with the header “Using your new washing machine,” and it makes perfect sense. As Dr Weinschenk says, “Provide a meaningful title or headline. It’s one of the most important things you can do.”

Keep everyone interested

We often think about how we can grab users’ attention, so we know it’s not easily done. Keeping it is even harder.

One of the best ways to stir emotion and grab attention is to employ a story. Think about how often we see case studies on websites explaining how something worked. Think about how charities don’t just give us statistics about the number of people in need of our help, they tell us the story of one person’s individual struggle. Stories, especially with characters we can relate to, make things more real, more memorable. The need for a story is the whole reason we use personas to help the team focus on who we’re designing for.

We need to keep stories in mind when we’re making a case for a particular design option. We can use a character – usually one of the project personas or a research participant – and tell the story of how the character would use the product and how they would react to it. Using a story like this to make a case will be interesting and memorable, which means it’ll be a far more persuasive than relying on statistical findings alone.

Cater to wandering minds

No matter how driven and committed the team is, people’s minds are going to wander. Research by Jonathan Schooler has shown people’s mind wander even when they don’t notice it happening, so almost no one is going to have caught one hundred per cent of what went on a meeting or a phone call.

We need to make sure that we allow for wandering attention by always doing thorough recaps at the end of any conversation. We can send summary emails around the whole team and ask everyone else to chip in and add a note if anything’s missing. This takes the pressure off any one person, and stops vital pieces of information slipping through the net.

Recaps are useful for both informal chats as well as organised meetings. If you came up with a great way to deal with that navigation problem with your developers while you were waiting for the kettle to boil, send a quick round-up email afterwards outlining what you agreed upon.

Give people control

The self-determination theory says that people find autonomy and competence most motivating. We all like to feel that we are in control of our own lives, and that we’re developing our skills and capabilities. These things motivate us far more than any external influences like earning more money or fear of the rules. We also like to feel like we’re getting somewhere so we’re constantly on the look-out for signs of progress.

Increasingly popular websites such as Treehouse make great use of this theory. Not only are they giving users an opportunity to take charge and develop on their own, but they’ve grouped tutorials into badges, giving people something tangible to collect in order to track their progress. It’s not the badges themselves that people are interested in; it’s the sense of achievement.

Applying this theory to our team has obvious implications for anyone who manages or mentors others – give them plenty of opportunities to develop their skills and give them freedom and independence in their work – but we can apply it to our clients too. They might have come to us for a service but that doesn’t mean they want to lose control of their project, and anyway, it’s likely that they know their business better than we do. We can’t confuse providing a service with taking over. We need to find ways to work collaboratively and help our clients feel as much ownership of the project as us.

Be careful to keep them in the loop, with frequent, informal catch-up calls. You don’t have to wait for scheduled deliveries to get their feedback. Even if they don’t want to actively contribute at every stage (or if you can find reasons why their suggestion isn’t the best) they’ll feel like they’re valued if you’ve take the time to ask their opinions. Sometimes it can be tempting to save things up for a big reveal, but this rarely has the effect we were hoping for. Clients will automatically feel more strongly towards an idea that they feel they had a hand in, even if none of their ideas made it into the final design.

Put yourself in their shoes

This one’s last for a reason – it’s what all the others boil down to.
UX design is all about empathy. We spend all day trying to imagine what’s it like to be the user – what they would want to read here, which button would they press there – so it shouldn’t be too much of stretch get into the habit of imaging what it’s like to be in our colleagues’ and clients’ positions, and thinking about what will make the design process easier for them.

We know that good design isn’t about us – the designers – at all. It’s not about showcasing our skills, or trying to impress anyone. It’s about giving users what they need and want. This mindset can be applied to whoever you’re dealing with. Don’t focus on making yourself look good, focus on making the team feel good.

Turning design principles inwards

This article considers just a handful of the psychological principles that we use every day. There are plenty more that I could’ve included – just think of all the lists of heuristics and design guidelines you’ve ever read!

Those design principles aren’t based on what computers can do or how code works – they’re about people. Our colleagues and clients are people too, so we need to keep the principles in mind all the time – not just when we’re thinking about our end product.

Each time you make a design decision, think about the principles that guided that decision. Then think about how that same principle can be applied to your team to consciously create great team experiences. The better we can make the process of designing user experiences, the more people are going to want get involved and embark on their own UX design projects. And that means better user experiences for everyone.


The post Designing the Team Experience appeared first on UX Booth.

March 18 2010

21:00

15+ Amazing Project Management and Collaboration Tools

Everyone knows about what is project management. It’s nothing but planning, organizing and managing the resources.But how to do? What is the right way to do it. Are there any tools available for project management and collaboration. How these tools can be useful and what are the features. These are the things we are going to analyze in this article. We will see best project collaboration tools available on web to manage projects easily.

Pros and Cons of Project Collaboration Tools

  • Online project management lets you collaborate with project resources, manage project users, analyze risks, assign tasks, coordinate schedules and make your project a success from anywhere in the world.
  • These project management apps are here to save you time, but they can also be very time-consuming and not intuitive.
  • If you have a team who works with you remotely, then this is the right choice.

Project management process and its approach

Projects were generally managed by creative architects and engineers themselves. Major process steps are initiation, planning or development, production or execution, monitoring and controlling . To handle these process number of approaches are there like:

  • Traditional approach
  • Critical chain project management
  • Extreme project management
  • Event chain methodology
  • Prince2 (Structured approach)
  • Process based management.

1.Teambox

Teambox is listed first because it’s the application we are currently using for 1stwebdesigner, but don’t let that sway you. This is a place for your team in twitter like project collaboration tool. You can share tasks, messages, attach files and Notification by email.And also it’s an open source project.Teambox offers up to three projects free and offers 2000 projects for premium plans.And it’s very easy to use.

Advantages

  • Easy to setup in 1 minute.
  • Access from anywhere, anytime.
  • Secure and backup of your data.
  • Updating new features constantly.
  • Notified by mails.

2.Basecamp

This is a project management,Collaboration and task web-based tool trusted by millions of users.The features are Share files, Meet deadlines, Assign tasks, Centralize feedback, Basecamp tackles project management from an entirely different angle: A focus on communication and collaboration. They have some extras and addons also.Four price planning is available , Each and every plan has30 days trial period.

Advantages

  • Dashboard
  • To-do lists
  • File sharing
  • Message boards
  • Milestones
  • Time tracking
  • Project overview and comments on messages

3.Activecollab

A project management and collaboration tool.It will make your work and cooperation with your team, clients, suppliers and others much easier. Useful to keep projects on track, Email support, Extend and integrate of  modules,Collaborate,Save time.And new added features are invoice,subversion integration,Global documents,Drag and drop task management, Improved visual editor and much more…

Advantages

  • Dashboard
  • Manage projects
  • Invoicing
  • Track time
  • Share files
  • Email integration etc…

4.DeskAway

It’s an online project management, project collaboration,Task & issue tracking software.Easy to use for virtual,distributed and global teams.The main reasons why you have to use Deskaway are simple & affordable,Less email clutter,Delegation and tracking, Control is in your hand, Nothing to download and install,Backup of your data in daily basis,No risk and little more.Please read their FAQ’s and it will be very useful before your picking this tool.

Advantages

  • Track work
  • Delegate
  • Share
  • Collaborate

5.Teamwork

Web-based project management tool that helps managers,staff and clients work together more productivity online.Stay on track,Share & collaborate,work faster and host it yourself.you get room for 2 projects, free storage space and you can instantly upgrade to a paid plan at any time.

Benefits

  • Manage projects
  • Manage task lists
  • Schedule milestones
  • Add messages
  • Time tracking
  • Upload files
  • Manage people
  • E-mail integration
  • Multi language support

6.5pm

5pm is an intuitive web-based project management tool.It is flexible and easy to use.you can request a custom plan here through mail.Backup your data nightly.256-bit high grade encryption for data security.Desktop tracker widget is available.Filter users in time line and much more features are available with multi language support.

Benefits

  • Manage projects and tasks online.
  • Share notes and files.
  • Track time
  • E-mail integration
  • Customized reports
  • Interactive timeline

7.Wrike

Project planning,management and tracking software.Can easily track your project.It gives you the full insight to your business.Your project plans are always up to date.30 day free trial pack is available for plans.Outlook synchronization,Windows mobile sync, icalendar and rss feeds are available for a reasonable price.

Benefits

  • Complete picture for your business.
  • Unique control
  • More productive
  • Very easy to use
  • Intelligent email engine, So it works with any email software.

8.Wridea

Free online idea management and collaboration service.It’s a web-based service first to avoid your ideas being forgotten and organize your ideas.It’s already being used by more than 40,000 users.With the help of this tool, you can store your ideas, manage and organize them, collaborate with your friends over your ideas, etc. Wridea provides you all required tools and services for organizing your ideas.

Wridea Features

  • Categorize your ideas under different pages.
  • Share your ideas.
  • Commenting on ideas.
  • Customized environment.

9.ZOHO projects

A centralized place where relevant project documents and contents are stored, updates are posted, everyone exchange ideas and get work done.Top reasons to choose ZOHO projects.Beyond your planning …get projects done,Planning,Works smarter,Reporting and value for your money.The updates of ZOHO are project stream, Dedicated wiki, Group chat MS project integration.Free for one project with unlimited users.

Features

  • Task dependency
  • Milestones for a project
  • Meetings
  • Document sharing
  • Dashboard and time tracking.

10.onstage

Team collaboration,Project management,File sharing and task software.Your business and communication can be more efficient and better organized.Easy file sharing,A free version forever, not just for 30 days. Plus, an unlimited number of users at no extra cost!

Technical features

  • Document preview with ipaper from scribd.
  • Optimized for PDA’s
  • Multi language
  • SSL encryption

11.Springloops

Source code management tool for web developers.You can do code in parallel and share it safely.Ultimate work flow,Easy management,Unique code browser and Basecamp integration are the main features in this tool.It’s free for 100MB only.

12.Rememberthemilk

This is an online to do list and task management.You can manage tasks quickly and easily.Get remind anywhere and you can locate your tasks here too.Remembermilk providing more number of services for their users like sync with Blackberry, Gmail, Android, for twitter , Manage your remember through google calendar and third party applitication or services etc…

13.Comindwork

Tools for Collaboration,Communication,Tracking and project management too.Comindwork  SaaS improves the knowledge work productivity in projects performed by teams in professional service firms (e.g. software, advertising & marketing, consulting, lawyers, NGO) and by divisions within enterprises (e.g. support, marketing, R&D, upper management).More benefits for project manager, to team and for your clients.Free for 20MB

Customizable features are

  • Personal and project dashboards
  • Business wiki and files with permissions
  • Time tracking
  • To-do lists,Milestones and notifications
  • Report in Gantt charts.
  • Customizable work flow and business rules
  • Project level settings and lot more 250+customizable features.

14.Central Desktop

Central desktop “Over 375,000 users around the globe rely on Central Desktop every day to accelerate their business, connect their people, and manage their projects.” Free usage for 25 MB.

  • Quick setup
  • Enterprise grade search.
  • Real-time collaboration
  • Centralized communication
  • Team accountability

15.Ajaxworkspace

AJAXworkspace offers more than 10 powerful online project management and collaboration features such as project dashboard, tracking software, task management, document management, file sharing, and discussion board.It consists of an integrated suite of simple and easy-to-use collaboration functionality.This is an ideal tool for any type of project management regardless of whether you are working in a company or a freelancer from home.

Other Features

  • Bookmark
  • Personalization
  • Security access control
  • Event calendar
  • Graphical reporting tool

More tools

Let us know what are your favorite project collaboration tools and tips.

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