Finding a Common Workflow and Toolkit
It's natural for UX designers to want to work with tools that best suit their personal needs, but a lack of standardization of team workflow will hurt productivity in the long run. In discussions with my team, we've had plenty of back-and-forth on which tools are best for design, prototyping and testing. Should we base our decision on features or tasks? Should we use an all-in-one tool or combination of tools that compliment each other? For any one of the tools in consideration, it was easy to find an article or video that said "XYZ is the winner".
To put this debate to rest, we had to come together as a team and documented which features were most important to us, nice to haves, and pie-in-the-sky. We treated this exercise just like any other project, identifying pain points, the benefit of having this feature, and acceptance criteria for what would satisfy our needs.
Each feature had its own card with problem, benefit, and acceptance criteria
Once we completed defining all the features, we were able to tag each one with labels that represented tools in consideration. Filtering by label allowed us to easily visualize how much each tool covered, or what combination of tools gave us the best coverage.
Features organized by category and tagged by tool
In the end our team decided on Confluence + Figma + Zeplin. Having team members in different geographical locations, we felt that Figma was the best choice as it is known for its highly collaborative features. Files are stored in the cloud, team libraries ensure consistency across projects, and it even has a "multiplayer mode" for working on projects simultaneously in real-time. Lastly, we wanted to make sure developers could easily translate our prototypes to code so Figma's inspect mode for developer handoff coupled with the Zeplin plugin for React Native code seemed like the best fit.