4min read

Remote Communication Tips for Designers

No reason to beat around the bush: remote communication is no piece of cake! It can come with some advantages but also disadvantages. Being in our private or professional life, it is nothing close to physical meeting in real time. The remote communication disadvantages may include using e-mails or chats which can often cause misunderstandings. Indeed, in our today’s real time connected world, Skype, Google hangout and many more, sometimes make us forget the difference. We just can’t share all emotions and meaning using a bunch of emoticons. Also, important information can be misread or forgotten in a lengthy message or/and thanks to Slack/Skype and other chat platform it is not rare to miss an inbox notification. Finally - the lack of prompt and accurate answering from your interlocutor can be really overwhelming (especially when we work in the different time zones and we need answer right now!). In this blog post I give you 4 tips to overcome those daily communication problems that designer often encounter with clients (or their team).


I-From the very beginning, make the design process clear for your client


Having a remote collaboration obliges us more than ever to take care of clear explanation at each step of the design process. You should go through every detail with your client from the very beginning. It will pay off at every stage of your project - it eliminates most of the confusion from all sides. Always double check if everything is clear for your clients - that you have the equal set of goals, expectation and understandings for the project. Remember that we, designers, have the responsibility to make ourselves understood, not the other way around. Try to put yourself in your client’s shoes (as a designer you must be empathic don’t you?) - they can be totally foreign to the IT world. Often Facebook or Twitter can be the only app your client is using! So remember not to be concise in your explanations.

II-To convince them, express yourself with talkative examples -from your past experiences (or other study cases)


Clients want to know they have some space for taking decisions. They are simply paying you for improving their ideas. But you also want to bring them your way. You are a designer, and client should trust your ideas. However, most of them will be reluctant to the ones that are too far from their initial idea. In order to convince them you will have to earn their trust. The best way is to convince them with past experiences (it doesn’t have to be yours), that your expertise is trustworthy. Point at previous proof of success you have encountered while using a certain methodology, or design. Examples and graspable proofs have a great persuasive power. Give well known examples, even if they can appear really mainstream and overused for you, it probably is not the case for your clients. Don’t be afraid of showing your personal opinion. You remain the expert in the room! So don’t loose your self-confidence as a designer and explain your clients what’s good, bad, and on what you should put your focus to make it even better.

III-Support you message with video chat and visual language.


In the case of remote communication, face to face meetings are out of range, therefore regular skype calls are the best answer to develop top-notch designs projects. Not only are they less time consuming than emailing, but face to face discussions (even remote) rule the world! Thanks to them you can avoid misinterpretations of messages sent by e-mail or via Slack. What’s more about writing…nobody loves to read a long text with a “lot of wisdom” and snooty sentences. Do not get me wrong, obviously e-mailing is necessary in order to have the main issues written in black and white. Apart from this, we have to remember that one graphical communication can convey better an idea than words. People are visual learners and we are designers. General fact is that drawing comes to us much easier than writing. So do it simple! Visualise what you want to discuss and just discuss it! And remember that it’s not showtime, you do not need to make art! Just focus on effective communication as presented below.

pic5 Quick wireframes correction and changes

pic6 A brainstorm to find the best metaphor illustrating the privacy policy page for a banking app.

IV- Team work makes dreams come true.


Sharing your passion with your client should sound a little bit better than educating them about design rules. It will give you more meaning to your explanatory sessions, and let’s not lie to ourselves: design is awesome! Try to involve your clients in the design process. Be open for their feedback - even if they are unpredictable, sometimes irrelevant and even hurtful. Encourage your client to take a part in discussions with you and the rest of the team. Remember that you have similar goals. They might also have access to material that will make your design better (end user’s surveys, market studies etc..). By giving responsible tasks to your clients you boost their involvement in a project. It will then be harder for them to criticize your/their work. Moreover, it gives a more rewarding experience to the clients. They will feel more part of the process, hence the end product will be their baby too.


Working during a Skype call on shared Google Slides to discuss the application flows.


Often, our customers have more opportunities to conduct important duties for a project. That happened when we needed to carry out user-testing observation in Ghana. An employee of the company we worked for was currently in the country and surveyed the end-users for us. I asked him to conduct observations for me - how users handle our application and to then report to me. I prepared a special presentation for him where I explained how to perform the task. He did a really great job and the results of his work were really helpful for the application we were designing.

Remote collaboration is not easy for sure, but it’s something that is only starting to boom and we should all find good practice to make it smoother. But such problematic are what designers love most. One more challenge to tackle and experience to improve at. What is your experience of remote collaboration? What are your solutions to make it smoother? Let us know and share your knowledge and examples.


MagdaUI Designer


Sign in and expect sharp insights, recommendations, ebooks and fascinating project stories delivered to your inbox

The controller of the personal data that you are about to provide in the above form will be Polidea sp. z o.o. with its registered office in Warsaw at ul. Przeskok 2, 00-032 Warsaw, KRS number: 0000330954, tel.: 0048 795 536 436, email: (“Polidea”). We will process your personal data based on our legitimate interest and/or your consent. Providing your personal data is not obligatory, but necessary for Polidea to respond to you in relation to your question and/or request. If you gave us consent to call you on the telephone, you may revoke the consent at any time by contacting Polidea via telephone or email. You can find detailed information about the processing of your personal data in relation to the above contact form, including your rights relating to the processing, HERE.

Data controller:

The controller of your personal data is Polidea sp. z o.o. with its registered office in Warsaw at ul. Przeskok 2, 00-032 Warsaw, KRS number: 0000330954, tel.: [0048795536436], email: [] (“Polidea”)

Purpose and legal bases for processing:


Used abbreviations:

GDPR – Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016
on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement
of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation)

ARES – Polish Act on Rendering Electronic Services dated 18 July 2002

TL – Polish Telecommunications Law dated 16 July 2004

1)        sending to the given email address a newsletter including information on Polidea’s new projects, products, services, organised events and/or general insights from the mobile app business world |art. 6.1 a) GDPR, art. 10.2 ARES and art. 172.1 TL (upon your consent)

Personal data:name, email address

2)       statistical, analytical and reporting purposes |art. 6. 1 f) GDPR (based on legitimate interests pursued by Polidea, consisting in analysing the way our services are used and adjusting them to our clients’ needs, as well as developing new services)

Personal data:name, email address

Withdrawal of consent:

You may withdraw your consent to process your personal data at any time.

Withdrawal of the consent is possible solely in the scope of processing performed based on the consent. Polidea is authorised to process your personal data after you withdraw your consent if it has another legal basis for the processing, for the purposes covered by that legal basis.

Categories of recipients:

Your personal data may be shared with:

1)       authorised employees and/or contractors of Polidea

2)       persons or entities providing particular services to Polidea (accounting, legal, IT, marketing and advertising services) – in the scope required for those persons or entities to provide those services to Polidea


Retention period:

1)       For the purpose of sending newsletter to the given email address – for as long as the relevant consent is not withdrawn

2)       For statistical, analytical and reporting purposes – for as long as the relevant consent is not withdrawn

Your rights:


Used abbreviation:

GDPR – Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016
on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement
of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation)

According to GDPR, you have the following rights relating to the processing of your personal data, exercised by contacting Polidea via [e-mail, phone].

1)       to access to your personal data (art. 15 GDPR) by requesting sharing and/or sending a copy of all your personal data processed by Polidea

2)       to request rectification of inaccurate personal data
(art. 16 GDPR) by indicating the data requiring rectification

3)       to request erasure of your persona data (art. 17 GDPR); Polidea has the rights to refuse erasing the personal data in specific circumstances provided by law

4)       to request restriction of processing of your personal data (art. 18 GDPR) by indicating the data which should be restricted

5)       to move your personal data (art. 20 GDPR) by requesting preparation and transfer by Polidea of the personal data that you provided to Polidea to you or another controller in a structured, commonly used machine-readable format

6)       to object to processing your personal data conducted based on art. 6.1 e) or f) GDPR, on grounds relating to your particular situation (art. 21 GDPR)

7)       to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority,
in particular in the EU member state of your habitual residence, place of work or place of the alleged infringement if you consider that the processing
of personal data relating to you infringes the GDPR
(art. 77.1 GDPR)

No obligation to provide data:

Providing your personal data is not obligatory, but necessary for Polidea to provide you the newsletter service

Refusal to provide the above data will result in inability to receive the newsletter service.


In the process of providing the newsletter service, we make decisions in an automated way, including profiling, based on the data you provide.


“Profiling” means automated processing of personal data consisting of the use of your personal data to evaluate certain personal aspects relating to you, in particular to analyze or predict aspects concerning your personal preferences and interests.


The automated decisions are taken based on the analysis of clicked and viewed content. They affect the targeting of specific newsletter content to selected users registered to receive the newsletter service, based on the anticipated interests of the recipient.