Working as a professional visual designer, time is always of the essence. There’s always a budget or deadline you have to work with. Here are five smart tips to speed things up and design more efficient.
1. Start with the bigger picture
It’s very tempting to focus immediately on the details of a project and in case of a new website design you could start burning a lot of hours in fine-tuning the shape of a button or finding the right font. Instead, take your time to analyze the scope of the project. This will prevent you from making design decisions you have to undo later on. For example: choosing an extended font for the headers on the homepage might seem like a good idea, until you learn that there’s also a news section with articles with long titles. Knowing this before you start the actual designing, you would probably choose a font for the headings that is more condensed so that the long titles will fit as well.
“Visualize and prototype your ideas as fast as possible will help them to know what they want, and will help you to learn what they actually need.”
2. Have as much contact with your client as possible
Don’t wait until you have the “perfect” design before presenting it, let the client join and cooperate in the idea and design process. Show them moodboards, color schemes, different sketches of a homepage. Most people are not designers, and are not able to imagine the designs and ideas you already foresee. Visualizing and prototyping your ideas as fast as possible will help them to know what they want, and will help you to learn what they actually need. Instead of designing a whole week and then showing your client the result, it’s better to involve your client in the design process early on. This will help you to make the right choices more quickly, which will minimize a potential “back to the drawing board” situation.
3. Make a lot of different versions
You don’t have to show your client 23 versions of a button, try and filter them yourself. It helps you to keep up the speed. It’s easier to choose between two variations than trying to remember which version you had a few hours ago. It will also stimulate you to experiment and do something different because you already saved the old version. And still, you could use those old versions to show your client where you made some important design choices.
4. Make sure you design things that can actually be build
Know a bit of programming and the possibilities in CSS and HTML. Most of the time you can’t choose the developer who is building your design. So instead of bitching about the lack of programming skills of the developer, because he can’t translate your “brilliant” design into code, communicate and find the best solution together. You save time by not designing things that can’t be build.
5. Done is better than perfect
Realize the fact that your design will never be finished in your mind and there are always elements you can improve. So no matter how much time you have, it will never be perfect. Looking back at your old work, you’ll probably see a lot more room for improvement than you would have seen when you were creating it. This will also happen after a year, when you look at the designs you are working on now. Your client doesn’t see this. He would probably also be happy with you as a designer a year ago. So when the budget or deadline is coming to an end, you should focus on finishing the project instead of making it perfect.
Actually, an online project is never really finished, as you might know. New technology, changing user behavior and a new company strategy will make a website or application a living product that needs adjustment all the time. We have some agile methods to fulfill this need. Please contact us if you want to know more!
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