October 2014

Interview : The vision of online Collaboration from a UX designer

For this article, we spoke with Lander Muruaga, UX designer who works, amongst others, for the new Planzone release. Strong supporter of new technologies and new way of working, he gave us his vision of Online Collaboration and most particularly the importance occupied by the design in professional digital tools.
Happy reading!

Tell us a bit about yourself (who are you, what are you doing)

My name is Lander Muruaga. I am from the Basque country and now living in Barcelona. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Design, with a post graduate in Advanced Illustration, and give a Masters Class at Elisava in web design and user (UX) experience since 5 years. I started working as a web designer in the late 90’s and migrated to doing interaction design work early 2000. Today I have specialized in experience design, helping customers to design digital systems and services helping bridge the gap between people and technology systems.

I worked for different consultancy companies in government, airline, insurance, banking, leisure and service areas, both in b2b and b2c, and have been managing my own interaction design studio since early 2011 in Barcelona, a well-connected and international city.

Why did you choose the topic of Collaboration for your presentation at the event WebVision?

I discovered a whole new world in business collaboration and online collaboration platforms. It is a fundamental way inside digital environments. I’ve been working and collaborating with Planzone for almost 2 years now and have understood a lot of the complexities in online collaboration, the needs of the different actors inside a collaboration platform and the different goals of users and companies.

How would you define Collaboration?

Collaboration is the art of working with a group of other people around a clearly defined common objective. It can take very different forms depending on the company size and culture, but necessarily has to be something done “together”. It is key to understand the different roles of the users that can take part in each collaborative space.

What are the methods and tools that facilitate collaboration and those that are a barrier? Can you give us a simple example?

Online collaboration is about culture, technological culture and how we (users and workers) understand it. It implicates a mentality switch to accept that there are new tools that can make your life less complex on a daily basis. Even if it seems logical, we are creatures of habit and tend to use tools we feel know and feel comfortable with. That is why we use email to "collaborate" even if it in a lot instances it’s not the right tool to get work done.

There are great new tools such as Planzone that help you collaborate online, and they are absolutely necessary if you want users to participate and get the benefits of working in a collaborative environment. But you need to make that switch, and it requires a conscious effort to participate and take that step. I know because it happens to me.

What impact can design have on effective collaboration in an organization?

Design is necessary to almost everything. When you create a business you design a strategy to accomplish your goals, we design cars, machines, cities and everything that is related to us or we need to interact with.

Collaboration in business is a complex mixture of needs and obligations and we need to design that complexity to make it easier to understand and use. And all the actors that take part need to understand it, from collaborators and workers to project managers or stakeholders. And every actor has its own needs.

A big thank you to Lander for the time he spent with us and see you soon for another interview!

Feel free to test Planzone to get used to online Collaboration.

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