This paper presents a novel method for modeling the complexity of collaborative design systems based on their analysis and proposes a solution for reducing complexity and improving the performance of such systems. The interaction and interfacing properties among many components of a complex design system are analyzed from different viewpoints and then a complexity model for collaborative design is established accordingly. In order to simplify complexity and improve performance of collaborative design, a general solution of decomposing a whole system into sub-systems and using a unified interface mechanism between them has been proposed. This proposed solution has been tested with a case study. It has been shown that the proposed solution is meaningful and practical.