The Importance of Having a Design Process
When you look at successful businesses, sports teams, and professionals, it becomes clear that almost every success story is backed by a process. In other words, achievements don’t happen out of thin air. They’re generally tied to a procedure or progression that clearly outlines how tasks are handled each step of the way. The same should be true when designing a website. If you want to achieve good results, there needs to be a process.
The Value of a Process
Nick Saban, the head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide football team, just led his team to a fourth national championship in seven years – a streak that is unprecedented in the modern era of college football. And while you could point to any number of factors that have led him to success, he’d point you right back to something he calls “The Process.”
The Process is something that’s been largely covered by the media over the course of the past 10 years, and players, assistant coaches, and fans believe it’s the reason Alabama has been so successful.
“Whether it’s pursuing the pinnacle of success in your field or simply surviving some awful or trying ordeal, the same approach works,” writes Ryan Holiday, author of the book, The Obstacle Is the Way. In terms of web design, developing and maintaining a process will allow you to establish a consistent model for future success.
3 Tips for Establishing a Web Design Process
While every web designer’s process will look different, let’s review some helpful tips that will allow you to develop a unique process that pushes your career forward.
- Brainstorm and Set Goals
At the beginning of every web design project, you should begin by brainstorming your options and setting goals that allow for optimal success for the end client. This forward-thinking approach will simplify the rest of the process.
This is something that Titan Power, a leader in data center construction, makes a priority in their process. In fact, the first phase of their process is designed to help clients “establish key criteria including your organization’s specific needs now and in the future, developing a conceptual plan…”
That term “conceptual plan” is something web designers can take from this process and apply to their own. When setting goals, you want to do so with the frame of a conceptual plan. This simultaneously gives you the stability and ability to pivot later down the road, should the need arise.
- Implement and Manage
The next step is when you spring to action in order to accomplish the goals you’ve developed. This implementation stage is typically the longest part of the process and requires careful project management. It’s best to take things slow during this phase and sort through issues as they come up, rather than waiting until problems become apparent down the road.
- Present the End Product
While it may seem like a simple and straightforward step, you’d be surprised how many designers mess up the delivery phase. When presenting the end product to the client, you need to take their needs and preferences into account.
“Present your work to the client in their preferred method of communication,” writes Aaron Kitney, freelance graphic designer and art director. In other words, don’t assume that your method is the same as their method. While you may prefer to send a link over in an email, the client may want you to make a personal visit. No sense in frustrating the client this far along in the process.
Consistency, Repetition, and Attention to Detail
The key to developing a successful web design process involves consistency, repetition, and detail. The process you choose isn’t nearly as important as your ability to stick to it and remain consistent. As coach Nick Saban says, “Focus on the process of what it takes to be successful.” Anything more is just a distraction.