Collaborating between NIRL and IRL designers

At Automattic Design we like to experiment with connecting large groups of people remotely NIRL with large groups of people IRL. Recently we collaborated with the Google Material Design team and set ourselves up in their New York office along with a team distributed across US and Canada.

The way it worked was:

  • One laptop was used to speak face-to-face.
  • Another laptop was used as a document camera.
  • Paper prototypes accelerated IRL conversation.
  • Quick conversion to digital mocks happened in NIRL.

I’ve never seen this kind of prototyping work done across teams, and I felt amazed by how it all came together as improvised IRL/NIRL fusion. —JM