Great design is rarely a solo effort.
Creating compelling, user-friendly designs calls for the collective creativity of a skilled team. However, as with any collaborative project, it becomes complex to coordinate efforts, share ideas, and provide timely feedback.
Left unmanaged, these complexities can lead to miscommunications, delays, and less cohesive design output. This can then translate into a subpar user experience.
Enter design collaboration software—digital platforms that streamline the design collaboration process by facilitating seamless interaction, real-time feedback, and synchronized work among teams, regardless of location.
Ready to find out more about design collaboration tools and elevate your team's design workflow? Let's explore the top design collaboration software of 2023!
What is design collaboration software?
Design collaboration software refers to a category of digital tools and platforms that facilitate collaboration among individuals or teams involved in various aspects of the design process, such as graphic design, web design, product design, architecture, and more. Design collaboration tools are specifically tailored to the needs of designers and creative professionals, providing features and functionalities that streamline the design collaboration workflow.
How to select the best design collaboration software for your business?
Here are the five main points to consider when selecting design collaboration software for your business:
1. Identify specific needs for design collaboration
Define your team's collaboration requirements, workflow challenges, file types (e.g., graphics, web designs, architectural drawings) and the software used to create them while selecting a design collaboration software.
2. Set a budget for your design collaboration software
Determine a budget for your design collaboration software. Different tools come with varying pricing models, such as per-user licenses, monthly subscriptions, or one-time purchases.
3. Evaluate the features of prospective design collaboration software
Prioritize essential features like real-time collaboration, integrations, and security while selecting a design collaboration software.
4. Test the design collaboration software with trials
Take advantage of free trials or demos offered by software providers to test the design collaboration tools with your team. This hands-on experience will help you understand how well each design collaboration software option suits your needs.
5. Consider Integrations required for your design collaboration process
Ensure the design collaboration software integrates with your existing tools and can scale with your team's growth.
19 Best Design Collaboration Software in 2023
Here are the best design collaboration software to streamline the design process in 2023.
ruttl is an innovative design collaboration software that is making a splash in the industry. Its website feedback tool transforms static website and web app designs into interactive prototypes through visual collaboration.
ruttl is crafted to make design collaboration between designers and stakeholders easy, effective, and efficient. It helps speed up the process of website design and development.
Over 20,000 companies use ruttl to save time and money on their design collaboration projects.
ruttl stands out among many other design collaboration tools in the market because it offers unique features such as the ability to edit content, replace assets, and make real-time changes—options that many other tools do not provide.
- Live Comments: ruttl lets users place comments directly on live websites to facilitate real-time feedback. This ensures that everyone is on the same page and misunderstandings are minimized during the design collaboration process.
- Visual Editing, now powered by GPT: With ruttl, users can edit design elements like fonts, colors, and images on live websites, now they can also rephrase web page content in real-time with the AI text generator. This interactive approach helps the design collaboration process by reducing the time taken in back-and-forth exchanges between teams.
- Version Control: ruttl provides a visual history of all changes made to the website during design collaboration, for easy tracking and restoration of previous versions if needed.
- Collaborative Environment: ruttl allows users to invite team members and clients to review designs and provide feedback. It ensures a smooth and efficient collaborative process.
- Guest Sharing: ruttl provides you with the ability to share your projects with clients without the need for them to sign up, This streamlines the design collaboration process, ensuring a seamless experience.
- Third-Party Integration: ruttl can smoothly integrate with 3000+ tools and platforms through Zapier. It enhances productivity by allowing users to seamlessly share and manage content across different applications.
- Project Type: ruttl empowers you to seamlessly create and evaluate projects on live websites, web apps, PDFs, and images. Additionally, it offers bug-tracking capabilities, allowing you to establish a systematic workflow for efficient project management and design collaboration.
- Video Annotation tool (New): Users can now offer feedback on videos using ruttl's innovative video annotation tool. Whether it's commenting directly on videos or annotating with precise shapes for frame-specific feedback, ruttl offers a comprehensive solution for video feedback, making it an efficient design collaboration software.
Figma is a popular design collaboration software for designers because it can do so many things.
You can use this design collaboration software to make simple designs, detailed designs, moving images, interactive models, and more. It's like a one-stop shop for design.
Figma stands out in its ability to share your designs just by sending a link. This makes it easy to show your work to anyone. They don't need to have Figma; it's just a way to get online.
You can also use Figma to keep all your design stuff (like backgrounds, icons, fonts, etc.) in one place.
In addition to this, Figma has another design collaboration tool called FigJam. It's like a digital whiteboard for teams. You can use it to come up with new ideas, plan user experiences, or lead team meetings.
- Variants for organizing components
- Bulleted Lists to organize data and emphasize information
- Access all accounts on one screen
- Effortlessly switch between components
- Instantly share project updates within team
Trello is a project management tool that can easily double as a design collaboration software. It works like a big, shareable to-do list. It uses 'cards' that you can fill with text, pictures, drawings, and mockups. You can arrange these cards in any way you like, to implement efficient design collaboration with your team or clients.
Trello also has a progress tracker and lets you set reminders.
The best part about this design collaboration software is that it comes with a free plan.
- Kanban board for easy task management and design collaboration
- Customizable virtual work boards
- Comprehensive digital task cards with attachments
- Streamlined, all-in-one project handling
Asana is a well-known project and design collaboration tool, used by many paying and free users around the world.
It lets you look at your work in different ways, make custom work plans, automate tasks that repeat often, keep all your messages in one place, and track how well you're doing with charts.
Asana has many features, making it a good choice for big companies that need robust project management and design collaboration software.
- Organize work into shared projects and tasks.
- Give feedback directly on images or PDFs.
- Save projects as templates for repeated use.
- Works well with Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.
- Visualize project deadlines in a Gantt-style view.
InVision is a super popular design collaboration tool for working together on designs with your team. It's used by over 7 million people around the world, even by all the top 100 companies.
What's special about this design collaboration software is that it lets you make simple, interactive design models. You can share these models with your team or clients.
This is really useful because it helps everyone see how a website or app will work as you're making it.
Even though you, as a designer, might easily imagine the finished product, remember that this might be hard for people who don't know much about design.
So, by showing them an interactive model, they'll get a better idea of what you're planning to create.
- Vector-based design collaboration
- Rapid prototyping
- Freehand tool and commenting tool
- Third-party integration
ClickUp is a cloud-based, adaptable project management and design collaboration tool. It supports all teams and business sizes and helps manage tasks, documents, goals, and deadlines.
The customizable digital platform caters to varying workflows and integrates seamlessly with popular tools like Google Drive, Trello, and Slack.
This design collaboration software has unique features like digital whiteboards, templates for design teams, and in-app documentation and proofing tools to streamline the design collaboration process.
- Over 15 custom views for varied work display
- Whiteboards for mapping out ideas
- Auto notifications with Watchers feature
- Task assignments and mentions within tasks
- Multiple collaboration tools, including file sharing
Miro, which used to be called RealtimeBoard, is like a digital whiteboard that's good for working with others.
This design collaboration software lets you make notes and designs, move stuff around, and talk through video calls or online chats right in the app. It also has a bunch of templates that can give you ideas or help start your design collaboration project.
You can also use Miro's online whiteboard for leading design workshops in real time, even when everyone's not in the same place.
- Create share, work together, and store ideas in a single place
- Show your thoughts instantly using sticky notes, pictures, brain maps, videos, drawings, etc.
- Easily connects with other applications
When you start a design, you might want to save pictures or links that inspire you. Notion is a design collaboration software that's great for collecting these ideas together.
You can store and arrange them on different pages, so you and your team can look back at them anytime you need.
It's like a shared inspiration board that everyone can add to. Some of the top features of this design collaboration tool are listed below.
- Thousands of free Notion templates available
- Multiple integration options
- Keep track of design progress with assigned status
Basecamp is a project management app that can easily be used as a design collaboration software. It was made by a company called 37Signals, who couldn't find an easy enough tool, so they made their own.
It has everything you need for a design collaboration project, like to-do lists, document sharing, file sharing, and messaging. You can use it online or on a phone app, and they offer a free 30-day trial to test it out.
- To-do lists to create, assign, and track tasks
- Campfires and Pings for real-time group and private chats
- Comprehensive reports to provide insights on tasks and team activities
- Hill Charts to visualize and track project progress
- Enhance communication and details with file and image sharing
Mural is a design collaboration software that lets you gather and organize ideas in a fun way. You can drag and drop pictures, links, and documents onto a big online board. It's great for brainstorming with a team, even if you're not all in the same place.
This design collaboration software works well on an iPad, and changes appear in real-time. You just need to invite people by email or give them a password to join in. If you're new to brainstorming with a team, Mural is a good place to start.
- Inclusive design collaboration space with sticky notes & text
- Infinite, resizable canvas for unlimited flexibility
- Flexible permissions to control access levels
- Mapping and diagramming for easy visualizations
- Integrations with Noun Project, GIPHY, and Unsplash
- Option to create & publish custom templates
Webflow allows you to build websites visually without needing to code, making it a great design collaboration software. You just drag and drop to design your site, and Webflow creates the code for you. You can also add your own code if you want.
Webflow now has team collaboration in two modes: Design mode for building and designing your site and Edit mode for changing your site's content.
Only one person can be in design mode at a time, but others can ask to take over. You can also see what your team members are doing in real time.
- Design and edit websites without coding
- View teammates' real-time project contributions
- Share design control with your team for efficient design collaboration
Balsamiq is a design collaboration software that helps you make basic sketches of websites and apps for computers, phones, and tablets.
The company thinks of itself as a faster version of drawing with pen and paper. They care more about being quicker than getting every detail perfect.
Because this design collaboration software is easy to use, all kinds of people can use Balsamiq, not just designers. It's also great for business people, coders, and project managers.
It's a really good choice if you're working with folks who might get scared off by more complicated design collaboration tools like Adobe XD or Figma. Balsamiq makes it easy for everyone to get involved in the design process.
- UI Components & Icons
- Interactive Prototypes
- Real-time collaboration with unlimited users
- User test mode for getting real user feedback
Utilizing Podio, an online design collaboration software, enhances your workflow management. This platform facilitates task organization, delegation to team members, seamless file sharing, feedback collection, and provides project progress visibility, optimizing your design collaboration process.
This design collaboration software works well with many other services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Evernote. Plus, it has mobile apps for when you're not at the office. It's all about making work easier and more organized.
- Organize and schedule tasks with task prioritization and scheduler
- Shared Team Calendar for real-time milestones
- Store and access all project files using document storage
- Manage projects on-the-go with the mobile application
Filestage is a tool that helps manage reviews, feedback, and approvals, thus making it an apt design collaboration software for design teams.
If you're tired of too many emails, losing track of feedback, or always waiting for approval, Filestage could help.
Filestage makes things neat and tidy. It gives you a place to share designs, collect everyone's comments in one spot, and get your work approved once you've made the changes.
- Set due-dated review stages, inviting relevant stakeholders
- Use in-context comments, visual annotations, and attachments
- Convert comments into a task list for clarity
- Monitor project progress with the dashboard and reviewer statuses
Next design collaboration tool in our list is Marvel, a compelling web-based design platform.
It comes fully equipped with an intuitive interface and handy drag-and-drop tools that streamline the creation of wireframes and interactive prototypes for websites and mobile apps.
Sharing prototypes with collaborators, the design team, and colleagues becomes a breeze with Marvel.
- Showcase animations and transitions in their prototypes
- Team members can comment directly on design prototypes
- Code export feature that simplifies the process of sending code to developers
- Integration with popular design tools
- User testing and analytics
ProofHub is a web tool for managing and working together on projects, which can also function as a design collaboration software. It helps you plan, put things in order, and finish projects of any size more quickly.
It has all the necessary tools, like Gantt charts to schedule and keep track of tasks and a tool to make approving and checking designs easier.
You can use it online or as an app on Apple or Android. You can also try it for free for 30 days.
- Real-time design discussions and brainstorming
- Markup tools for design collaboration revisions
- Reuse successful design project frameworks
- Categorize and organize design tasks effectively
GoVisually is a free tool that lets you and your team give feedback on a project. You can mark notes and comments directly on the project. It's easy to use and saves time because you don't have to send lots of emails.
You can choose different ways to mark notes, like circles, rectangles, or freehand. If many people work on the same project, GoVisually uses layers to show who did what. You can also easily upload changes and switch between different project versions, making it a suitable design collaboration software for teams.
- Upload, annotate and share multiple file types
- Unlimited reviewers for easy feedback and approval
- Organize and label multiple design revisions
- Receive notifications for client feedback
- Supports integration with Slack for updates
Moqups is a design collaboration tool that over 1.5 million people use to share design ideas. It lets you develop ideas, make a quick model, share it, get feedback, make changes, and then pass it on to the coding team.
Moqups is easy to use but also very powerful. It's great for people new to design who want an easier way to share their visual ideas.
- Comprehensive design collaboration tools
- Diverse styles, fonts, and icons
- Cloud-based with multi-device support
- Icons and stencils at fingertips
- Real-time collaboration and integration with other apps
Mockplus has a few different design collaboration tools.
Mockplus Classic is a computer app for designing websites and phone apps. It focuses on speed. You can use ready-to-go pieces to work fast, and it also works with Sketch.
Mockplus Cloud - design collaboration software, helps managers, designers, and coders work together.
Mockplus DS is a web app for making and managing design systems. It lets you keep all your design stuff in one place, make sure everyone has the latest version, set up security rules, and more.
You can cover all your design collaboration needs by using all three apps, making it a super useful all-in-one solution.
- Customizable workflow for seamless design collaboration
- Direct design spec export from popular design collaboration tools
- Page/version comparison for efficient workflow
- Intuitive comment and review modes with document references
- Seamless integration with Sketch, PS, XD, Figma, and Axure
And there you have it! We took you through the best of the best in design collaboration software. We explored offerings from the feature-packed powerhouses to the more streamlined options and all that lies in between.
These design collaboration software are created to help your team work more efficiently and collaboratively, but choosing the one that best fits your needs is an important decision. We hope that our list has helped you in your quest for the perfect design collaboration tool.
However, if you're looking for a design collaboration tool that truly stands out from the crowd, we'd suggest giving ruttl a try. With its unique abilities, it offers a user experience that's hard to beat.
Stay creative, keep innovating, and most importantly, enjoy the process!