CRISTEN TORREY is the Director of Research at Figma, “the design platform for teams who build products together.” Cristen leads the research team at Figma to produce a report that underscores the must-haves for better team collaboration. In this interview, we talk about the components of good collaboration and why it’s so hard for teams to achieve.


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The 5 behaviors of good collaboration

“When we say we are “collaborating,” what we actually mean is we’re performing a variety of synchronous and asynchronous acts that are in tension and harmony with each other.”

In their Collaboration Report, Figma found five statistically significant behaviors of good collaboration:

  1. Co-creation: simultaneously working in the same file while bouncing ideas back and forth.
  2. Rapport: Building a sense of camaraderie, knowing one another beyond the work.
  3. Role clarity: Understanding who needs to be involved in making decisions.
  4. Feedback: Comments and discussion on design work that supports iteration.
  5. Reflection: Time to discuss what is and isn’t working and make adjustments.



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Podcast production by Podcast Monster

Graphic design by Alfred Boland


More resources

279 – The ABC’s of Collaboration With Tobias Windbrake

276 – Collaborate Less On What Matters The Most

257 – Create Collaborative Work Relationships With Donut

248 – Visual Thinking For Great Collaboration With Yuri Malishenko

242 – Facilitate Online Collaboration With Line Mørkbak



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