The Ultimate Guide to Leading a Remote Design Team

Best practices for keeping your remote team happy and productive

Cassie McDaniel
Published in
12 min readJul 1, 2019


Photo: Hero Images/Getty Images

EEarlier this week Alexis Lloyd, Head of Design Innovation at Automattic (she’s moving on to Medium, congrats!), shared on Twitter some insightful best practices for leading design teams remotely and asked others to chime in. As in, a community sharing ideas—not just complaining! Be still, my heart. I don’t know Alexis personally but her receptiveness inspires me.

I started to reply in unrolled, unthreaded, Twitter-novel form, but I realized I have had this topic in my brain for years now, and if I don’t get it out today it will be trapped inside forever with only cobwebs and dusty memories for company, and no one will know the wonderful things I learned (mostly) while working at Mozilla.

Here are the basics I’ll cover in greater depth below:

  1. Designing intentional interactions, including best practices for meetings
  2. Building culture and collaboration into a variety of team touch points
  3. Experimenting to find what works for your particular team

What do I know?

First, my remote credentials and why I’m passionate about remote work culture.

I have spent about six years working remotely as a team lead, an embedded designer, a design contractor, and the owner of my own business in which clients and team members were not local. Remote is the best thing that ever happened to my work life; as a self-driven extroverted introvert, it suits me so completely. I also have a busy life with two young kids and a mother with some chronic health issues, so working remotely helps me balance it all.

I’ve been designing with remote teams since 2013. Check out my wicked headset.

I started at the Mozilla Foundation as a UX/UI designer in 2013 and became Design Director a…



Cassie McDaniel
Writer for

Words, design, community. Leading w/ kindness. Product Design Director @ Lattice. Prev. Webfflow, Glitch, Mozilla, Adobe, Jane & Jury.