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I'm an Interaction Designer working in an Agile environment, and my team members are located across the globe. My challenge is getting the team to move away from making design decisions over email and having a centralised place to store/document our decisions for each release.

We currently use Rally for tracking our User Stories. However, what I'm looking for is a way to store artifacts from our design process; they could range from wireframes and prototypes to presentations. I'd love to store this information so it's organised sprint by sprint, but also to have a way to search by feature. Bonus points if it gives us a calendar to also show our design reviews past/present/future, so folks can sign up for them.

I should mention that some teams rely on wikis extensively, but I find they tend to be a bit disorganised and aren't maintained regularly.

What tools do you use and would recommend to tackle this problem?

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This is more about software engineering in general, so maybe ask at programmers.SE? –  giraff Aug 12 '11 at 10:39
    
I neglected to mention that I am an interaction designer, so I thought tools that other designers use might be relevant. Otherwise, I could cross-post on SE. –  Janel Aug 12 '11 at 11:04
    
We use Rally at my workplace. I hate Rally. It is the most horrible bug tracking system I have ever used... –  Chris Morgan Aug 13 '11 at 5:56
    
@Chris Morgan, I second that. It doesn't help that it violates many good design principles with the request username/password scenario. –  Janel Aug 15 '11 at 9:18
    
@Janel: the thing that I object most strongly to with it is that it stores the page you visited last as global state and doesn't use URLs (oh, for /defect/de7715...), meaning that for most tasks you are stuck with working in a single tab. Want to compare two defects? Record their numbers and keep switching between them manually. Yuck. –  Chris Morgan Aug 15 '11 at 11:02

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I use BasecampHQ for this sort of situation:

  • create overall projects and projects for each sprint
  • follow message threads within a project and attach documents to messages
  • messages are usually copied to email - and can be replied from email
  • get a collective view of all the files attached to that project
  • collaboratively edit documentation via the writeboards
  • you've got a calendar for events and milestones which you can perhaps organize according to your needs

And it's done by 37 Signals, so unsurprisingly it's clear, simple and easy to use. The only thing it's not is free. Well actually, there is a free plan but it's only for 1 project, 2 writeboards and 10MB file usage - see the small writing underneath the three promoted plans.

For some projects, I also tend to throw Google docs into the mix.

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Roger, thanks for the recommendation. I know of Basecamp but have never tried it. It was the tool I was going to try next, but it's great to hear how it's working for you. –  Janel Aug 12 '11 at 12:53

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