Worse, they run the risk of going overbudget. It’s a recipe for disaster, and we want to show you some neat tricks and tips to boost your web design workflow confidence.
Getting the Client’s Perspective First
Too often, web designers want to rush into a project to get their pay quickly. It’s easy to get into the habit of rushing and not following client directions.
We recommend you have a meeting with your client either in person, by email, over the phone or Skype. You can ask them all sorts of relevant questions to improve your knowledge. When you receive their input, it will give you a chance to inform them about all the technology you’ll be using and the required steps to finish the project on time.
Good web designers have the basics of project management down. The initial stage of meeting with the client or stakeholder is no different.
Web Design Workflow Pipeline Guidelines
Meeting with the client is not the only action you need to take to increase web design project success. You need to be able to do everything from creating goals to finding shortcuts for quicker Photoshop output. Let’s get started!
Step 1: Create Your Site Expectations & Goals
Whether you’re working by yourself or relying on others on a team to help you, you need to be able to come to an agreement on what kind of content, layout and colors should go on the site. Use these elements when you flesh out your wireframe and create prototypes of what the site will look like before messing around with anything like WordPress or Dreamweaver.
During this step, you can also work out your budget and schedule and set up daily reminders so you don’t fall victim to the procrastination trap many web designers encounter. Even falling behind on the project for a few days adds to your procrastination if you don’t remind yourself of the deadlines. Nowadays, your smartphone will have a calendar app where you can add reminders to.
Step 2: Get Messy and Get to Work
It doesn’t have to be perfect the first try. Use this part of the process to go wild and experiment with many color combinations and styles and find something you like. It could take a couple of days max to really discover a design you’re happy with, though you do need to keep the deadlines on your mind constantly.
Some of the ways you can make this part even faster is if you have a good understanding of shortcuts in Photoshop. It’s even better if you’re working on a Mac because of all the different shortcuts available to you, though the program is functional on Windows too.
Use hacks and tricks like setting up your Smart Objects feature to preserve the original state of your images, so you can make non-destructive edits easily. Also, take the time to create your own set of custom styles and save them to a folder to save time in the future. As you grow and do more web design projects, you will build up a great repertoire of designs and color schemes to choose from.
Step 3: Launching the Project
After you’ve gotten all the initial design work completed, it’s time to implement your designs and content. Depending on whether you’re using a CMS or hand-coding the site yourself, it’s all up to you. The process goal is roughly the same and at the end, your job is to have a working site you can then test and play around with some more.
The site may not be perfect, but it beats living in poverty. In other words, stop worrying about your project turning out 100% perfect.
If you get caught up in that mentality, you’ll never get anything done and you will waste your client’s time.
Step 4: Iron Out the Kinks & Testing
Remember how you were so worried about fixing mistakes. Now, you have a chance to see whether you need to make a few changes to your site. Even if you have an excellent design, flaws still exist. Maintaining excellent user experience is always a must.
Make sure you test every page on your site and make sure each page is mobile responsive. A design may look great on desktop, but turn out to be a horrible mess on mobile. In an environment where more people search for content on your phone, a site that isn’t mobile responsive will kill your client’s profits. The thing that matters most to clients is attaining results regardless of time or effort.
Let’s Go Over Everything Again
A proper web design workflow will save you a lot of time and money, and stop your client from pulling their hair out. You will need continual input from the client to make sure you’re on track with your web design projects. The client is paying you to deliver a certain product and you need to be able to live up to their expectations always. If you want more excellent web design advice, feel free to contact us.