Design and development can be messy (both time and management wise) especially when the project turns out to be an unchartered territory for you as a designer. As a designer make good use of time, since it is a limited resource.
Efficiency as a designer enables you to deliver better. It is for this reason that I have put this article together. To make you productive and efficient.
Task management is imperative when dealing with a project. Whether small or big, you need to breakdown the project into smaller tasks. As a result, you will have an easy time managing the tasks. How? You might ask. Breaking the tasks down, helps you bundle the related tasks together. This improves on the efficiency with which you tackle the tasks.
After you have broken down the project into smaller tasks, schedule a time plan to work on each and every one of them. Keep the task limited to a given number: get in the habit of doing them early in your day. This will give your day a purpose. Start with the hard tasks first. Beginning with the hard tasks avoids procrastination and distractions. Secondly, we both know that hard tasks don’t exactly provoke excitement. As you clear the hard tasks, you become more excited. The project ends up becoming interesting.
There are also task management software that you can make use of. Research on the available options and stick to one.
I won’t pull the “no man is an island” saying on you. But I will tell you these; outsourcing doesn’t mean that you are incapable of certain things nor does it mean it’s a cost cutting technique. Thus, outsourcing should be about process improvement.
There are probably tasks that you find too simple or you just don’t like doing them. Outsource them. This will allow you to focus on the critical part of the project with the available limited time. Checkout Envato studio; It offers outsourcing services ranging from photo editing (and other graphic design services) to testing and fixing of PHP issues (website programming).
In any project, time is a perishable commodity. Being able to exercise control on the time spent on certain tasks will improve your efficiency and productivity. You can do this by:
- Focusing on one task at a time. Avoid surfing the web and reading mails because they are a distraction.
- Develop a daily cycle that works for you. Chaos are not conducive when working out a number of projects/tasks. A routine will save you the hustle.
- Make maximum use of your high energy time. It might be late at night or early in the morning. Whichever case, make maximum use of when you are at your peak.
- Don’t forget to keep track of time.
- Reuse templates in recurring projects. Also create a library for the most used graphics. sketch has been tailored for the modern day designers. It allows you as a designer to reuse elements.
- Use batch processing in projects that have hundreds of files.
Make Use of Web Services
Use affordable cloud-based services to help you work faster. It will take you some time to set it up. Once you are done your work flow will be streamlined. Cloud based computing services which includes Dropbox or Google drive will help you share files quickly to your team and clients. Send to Dropbox is a tool that will help you email your files to your Dropbox account. Cool, right? Guessed so.
Apart from cloud based services there are social media tools that will help you manage social media accounts without struggling. Hootsuite is one such tool. Therefore, choose a social media platform that is best suited for your needs.
This is the process of enhancing users’ satisfaction with a service. As a designer, you need to improve the usability and accessibility nature of the products your users interact with.
User analytics and event tracking tools help you understand what users are doing in your website. This enables you determine a particular design that should be changed or incorporated to improve it.
- Clicky – This tool registers and reports activities on your site. These activities include download and page views. It has a dashboard friendly to beginners and its analytics are in real time. Check it out here Clicky.
- Mousestats – This tool helps you determine which part of your website attracts attention (using interactive heatmaps) and which doesn’t. It records your users’ mouse scrolls, clicks and movement. For more information on the tool, visit mousestats.
- UsabilityHub – This is a platform that comes in handy if you need to test your websites usability status. You can choose your own testers (anyone can be a tester as long as they are 18 years and above) who have registered in this platform. This platform offers a numbers of tests. They include; click tests that help you determine how effective your design is at accomplishing tasks, navigation test for navigation effectiveness and design test that measures the clarity of your design. For more information visit Usability Hub.
Web interface design is the ultimate determinant of how successful your work as a website designer is. You can’t have good code and cluttered colors plus blurred images and expect users to enjoy interacting with your website. Consequently, a few users might be comfortable with the services offered by your site, but the question you should ask yourself is, is it appealing? As a result, anticipate your users’ needs, and tailor interface elements that are easy to understand and access. The tools below will help you mold the best interface design.
- Anime – This a a tool engineered for web developers who are in the habit of incorporating animations in their designs. Noteworthy, it allows lightweight synergy of animations with your website, making even the most complex animations an easy task.
- ADOBE Experience Design – This application has been built to address your users’ interface design complex needs: adobe experience incorporates Vector and Raster canvas to develop screen layouts, wireframes and interactive prototypes all in the same application. You can simply switch from design mode to prototype mode.
- Antetype – This is a tool designed to create responsive user interfaces. It allows you to create responsive prototypes that you can use to present ideas to your client(s). It is efficient and quick to learn. For more information regarding the tool, visit Antetype.com.
This article has been built around a number of ideas. Study them closely and try out a few tools and the workflow ideas. See what works for you. Don’t be in a rush. Don’t worry about how messy it might be at the beginning. Eventually, you will figure it all out. Take it one step at a time and your design career will gradually grow.