Tips and Tricks for Effective Web Design/Development Management
February 10, 2022
At Mayune we work on a ton of different things, and as technology keeps moving forward faster and faster, we see that our skills in design, development, and production are always adapting to new visual experiences.
For example, just a few years ago in web design, we were talking about responsive design in terms of just a few breakpoints in CSS styling – now, we are designing mobile-first, and are creating design systems that work well for many screen sizes and devices.
Over the years, we have made many incremental improvements to our process for designing and developing websites for our clients. Below, I will outline some of the most notable that come to mind. Obviously, this list isn’t exhaustive, and even more obviously, we must be aware that each company/professional has their own methods that best suite them, or even, specific ways of doing specific things.
Not gonna bore you any longer, here’s the breakdown:
Initial Information Gathering is Very Important
Sometimes it is easy to be excited to start a project with a client and want to get right in, but just like painting a room, most of the time goes into the prep-work, and the least amount in actual painting. The same holds true for any design project in my opinion. I like to spend as much time as I can talking to the client about their company, audience, competition, past experience with other agencies, their work style, expectations, and so on. From these discussions, take as many notes as possible and brainstorm approaches. If your client doesn’t have a lot of time to talk, do your own research – basically, do as much as you can and be as prepared as you can – when the actual design phase comes along, you will easily go through variations based on the initial discussions.
Be Honest with Yourself and your Client
Based on the budget/time and many other factors, there are always limitations involved with any project. The best way to go is to be open and honest – what is the best approach which will lead to the most benefit for both parties? Sometimes I have had clients who want a website that is similar in functionality/design/complexity as a competitor website, but at a fraction of the cost/time – obviously we can try, but being honest and open to what is possible is always the best way to go – even if it means losing potential business.
Wireframes and Prototypes
Always start with a wireframe or any other low fidelity design that you can go through and edit very quickly with your client. At Mayune, we usually split the beginning work up into two phases: 1. Wireframing – low fidelity mockups of all the pages to be designed in the website, and 2. Mood boards/Design Initial Prototypes – these are sections of the website that we know we will end up designing regardless of the wireframe, we use these to create different aesthetically varying versions of the UI of the website. Once these two are approved by our client, we can easily proceed to designing the entire website with minimal input from our client, making everything much easier to manage. What you don’t want to do is to design a ton of pages and at the end “surprise” your client, only to find out they hate the design.
Set a Realistic Deadline
It is always best to create a scope-doc before commencing any work, so that you and your client are on the same page. In this, try to reasonably calculate how long each step of the project will take, and share that with your client. When you break down a project into little parts and set times on those parts, it is easy for you and your client to judge a realistic deadline based on the requirements.
Try to Have Fun
This may seem out of place, but I really believe that this is one of the most important aspects to any job. Jocko said “Discipline equals Freedom” and I can definitely see how that relates to design and basically most creative jobs. As long as you have a solid base of understanding, can adequately organize the project well, manage expectations and discuss openly with your client, you will gain the freedom to enjoy the design process and get rid of as much anxiety/stress as possible. When that happens, amazing designs are created.
I hope you enjoyed reading my tips about web design and development. If you have any ideas you would like to discuss or let me know about, I would love to hear them. The main and most important thing here is learning, we are all learning every day, and I very much enjoy and appreciate coming to “aha” moments.
Happy designing friends!
Etrit Haxhiu, CEO