As a web developer and a member of a giant web development team have to come across many tasks simultaneously. If you have designed some initial design drafts for the customer, and waiting to get a response on it. This makes you curious about your work and the way it would be perceived by your client. It’s quite easy to get frustrated because of loads of work to handle at the same time and also if the project is complex. There are several different steps in designing a website or an application. They differ from person to person, but the main concept of designing them remains the same.
But, with a consistent and healthy design workflow pre-settled and with some useful tool and software you can easily go through the toughest projects easily. Our today’s discussion is meant to help you create a design workflow that aids in increasing your productivity.
Preparation Phase: Managing the Expectations
It doesn’t matter if you are maintaining an existing site or preparing a new one, your clients, in both perspectives, would have some expectations from you. Your utmost responsibility must be able to understand the demands of your client, and his responsibility should be to understand each detail that may affect the scope and budget.
You should confidently aware your client of the required tools, budget, and the time duration for winding up the project. This will save your time, efforts and budget.
Phase 1: Defining Site Goals
It is the first and most important phase for any type of designing a project. Here you’ll define the goals, setup your structure, decides about the content and finally assign roles. With the proper strategy and planning from the initial stage you’ll save from the grief later upon.
You’ll be working with the client in order to establish the schedule, time frame, budget, requirements, needs, style and the content structure for your targeted market.
When you are to manage the expectation and getting thing rolling in with the design, we would recommend you using a lean and user-friendly project management so as to keep a track of your goals, budget, task and schedules.
A popular and user-friendly project management resource that allows you to set up different platforms for multiple projects. You can get an overview of the current task and also on pending ones.
With Asana you can do great things. It is a task tracker where you can collaborate with your colleagues and clients and manage your projects and deadlines.
Basecamp is another popular project management platform that has all the necessary tools that allow you keeping a track of the project, the timeframe, budget and deadlines.
Phase 2: Developing Site Structure and Getting Your Hands Dirty
Site structure is the core thing on any website. It is a guide for the team during the whole project. You can use flow charts for making a perfect structure.
Sitemap: Sitemap is very important for the users in understanding the content management. You have to update the sitemap with every change, else things may get messy.
Wireframe: Of course, you have to fix the content of the site before its design and graphics are adjusted. Wireframe are lower-fidelity sketches on your website or a mobile application that develop a placeholder for individualized content and prepare priorities for different elements on the page and for the document demands. This gets more crucial for the next phase
With Balsamiq, that is Wireframing equipment, helps you in creating multiple designs and then arranges the ready-made widget into its drag and drop editor where the team can view and suggest any renderings.
Mock-ups features multiple drag and drop features. You don’t need any browser plugin to operate it. It lets you manage and organize, design layout for your client.
With Invision, you can upload the working designs and also create interactions with the aid of hotspots. An outstanding feature of Invision is the ability to transfer clickable design via SMS. This gives you the convenience of evaluating your design.
Notism is another great, yet a creative tool that helps the team in speeding up their work. It is a popular design and video collaboration tool that helps the creative professionals like you in sharing their work and receiving a feedback through sketches and documents. You can also create unique versions of the screen. Moreover, it also allows switching between screens to get a better overview of the project development.
Phase 3: Design and Production
This phase ensures that designers can work collectively with the programmer as to execute coherent designing elements. Once the client approves designs and drafts the designer and graphic team can have an overlook on the website. They’ll look for the transparency, color, design and creation of graphics.
The development stage is the point where the creation of the website begins. Once the design and layout is completed, the site undergoes the engineering process. At this point you have to carry along the individual graphic elements from the prototype and utilize them in creating a functional website.
You may need to change the code many times. With Github, you can effectively work for different versions. It becomes a perfect tool, especially when you are working with a team.
CODEPEN is an online editor that is perfect for HTML, CSS and JS. It collaborated with Github and the main purpose it to test different piece of codes and find a reasonable solution without fussing up with the rest of the code.
Phase 4: Testing, Collecting, Feedback and Fixing Bugs
There is no project that doesn’t have any flaws. Of course, we execute the testing process as to examine different things, errors and bugs. This is the entire development process to clear the bugs and other renderings. Apart from the software bugs, the design can also by buggy.
So, it’s crucial to test the project like a crazy freak. Early testing and troubleshooting can help save much of your time and effort. The team should be wholly involved in the testing process. The testing can be an agile procedure. When the site is launched or is about to launch, most of the people will be using it and sending their feedback.
Even after reasonable testing and evaluation, there can be some minor bugs that you have missed and can pop out anytime. It is important to gather such information on bugs and errors and get the issue resolved ASAP.
Usersnap is a visual bug detecting and feedback tool that makes the work of testing your site, tools and software with ease. It also allows the clients, visitors and colleagues report a bug, renderings or give a feedback on your design and website. Moreover, Usersnap is a safer bet for manual website testing. It helps a lot in speeding up the process of testing the workflow and makes it easier for you to use.
Design projects demand a team to work collectively. With consistent feedback you can overcome the deficiencies easily and make the project 100% for your client within the specified time, budget and demands.
The web site is becoming complex day by day, but with the proper tools you can keep the ball rolling and get satisfaction from your clients.