by Jason Winstanley on March 13, 2009
Like many companies, we are being more mindful of our expenses. One challenge this creates is fewer opportunities for face-to-face interaction with our peers from across the company. With design sites on three continents we're constantly on the lookout for tools than support the engagement of remote teams in creative activities such as brainstorming.
We recently tested MindMeister from MeisterLabs. It is a Web 2.0 mind mapping tool that supports real-time collaboration between remote participants. Setting up an account was a snap, as was creating our first map, and giving team members access. With a group of 14 participating in a brainstorming exercise, the phone lines fell silent as team members became engrossed in adding and then organizing concepts. Surprisingly, there was little lag to interrupt our work; the tool supported the flow of the exercise well.
In three 15 minute brainstorming sessions, we generated over 300 ideas. I think we were all pleased with our first outing with the tool and expect to spend more time exercising its capabilities. What new tools have your teams been using to support design collaboration between remote workers? Let us know.