The art of collaboration as a Product Designer

16 March, 2023 - 2 min read

Collaboration is an essential part of my work.

I need to work with other designers, engineers, stakeholders, and sometimes even customers to create products. Building effective partnerships with others can help me overcome challenges, generate innovative ideas, and create successful products.

Let me share some insights on how to collaborate effectively with others as a product designer, based on my own experiences.

Build trust and respect

The foundation of any successful partnership is trust and respect.

To build trust, I need to be open and honest with my collaborators. Share my ideas, listen to feedback, and be willing to compromise. Respect my collaborators' expertise and contributions, and acknowledge their work.

For instance, I worked closely with the product and engineering teams to develop the design for the new Tokopedia app. The design team made a point to build trust and respect by showing their knowledge and expertise in user-centered design, and by being open to feedback and collaboration from other teams.

Communicate clearly and effectively

Clear and effective communication is crucial in any collaborative project.

Use simple language, avoid jargon, and be concise. Be open to feedback, and ask for clarification if don't understand something. Establish a regular communication routine, and make sure everyone is aware of their roles and responsibilities.

I used various communication tools and channels to communicate clearly and effectively with other teams. We used online collaboration tools like Figma to share design files and collaborate in real-time, and also held regular meetings to ensure everyone was aligned on project goals and timelines.

Be flexible and adaptable

Product design is an iterative process, and it requires flexibility and adaptability.

Need to be open to change, and be willing to pivot if necessary. Be ready to adjust the designs based on feedback from collaborators or customers. Be patient and don't get defensive if the ideas are challenged.

Remember that the goal is to create the best possible product, and that requires collaboration and compromise.

When developing the new Tokopedia app, the design team remained flexible and adaptable, and were open to feedback and input from other teams. They also made sure to consider the needs of different user segments, and made design decisions that could accommodate a wide range of users.

Foster a positive and inclusive environment

Encourage everyone to share their ideas, and make sure that all voices are heard.

Avoid negative or confrontational language, and focus on constructive feedback. Celebrate successes and learn from failures together.

By creating a positive and inclusive environment, I can build a strong sense of teamwork and achieve the goals together.

Disagreements and conflicts are inevitable.

However, it's important to navigate them professionally and constructively. Try to understand the other person's perspective, and avoid making personal attacks. Focus on finding a solution that benefits everyone, rather than trying to win the argument.

If necessary, involve a neutral third party, such as a mediator or project manager, to help resolve the conflict.

When disagreements arose during the design process, I navigated them professionally by being open to different perspectives and working together to find a compromise. They also made sure to keep the end goal in mind, which was to create a user-friendly and intuitive app that would meet the needs of users.


Collaboration is an essential part of product design, and building effective partnerships with others is key to creating successful products.

By building trust and respect, communicating clearly and effectively, being flexible and adaptable, fostering a positive and inclusive environment, and navigating disagreements professionally, you can create strong partnerships that lead to innovative and successful products.

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