August 12, 2011

Collaboration Website

Over the years we have learned that keeping a private, project collaboration site is essential. I have used several solutions from SharePoint, through Wikis and BaseCamp, but one of the simplest to use and most practical is Google sites.

On the collaboration site you post screenshots of the newest versions and graphical assets for the next iterations of the product. Also, you include the documentation, use cases and problem descriptions.

The site, when well organized is an excellent tool to update customer on work in progress: "Can you look at page 3.a - product details?"

We try to create a page for each piece of functionality.

It is important to put most recent screenshots on top of the page, and it is easy to see pervious versions as you scroll down. Other, non visual files can be attached.

Another trick is to set page layout in two columns, which Google sites allow you to do easily. Left column is for developers to post the current state and the right column for artists to show the vision of what it should be.

A great site saves a ton of confusion and delays. We literally prohibit our people from sending Word Docs, images, Spreadsheets, etc. via email, or Skype. All useful documentation should be posted for sharing with update alerts and revision history available.

Uki's Google Java Technology blog