Rait from Codester recently took some time to look at the web design and development process of a new website build. Check out his insights here.
Web design doesn’t differ from other industries when it comes to looking for new ways to improve the processes and become more efficient and productive. Since web design is constantly evolving, there is a lot of room for improvements.
Over the years, web designers have learned that there is an ultimate list of things to do, to stay on top of your game, to finish the tasks before the deadline, and to have satisfied customers. Here are five proven ways to speed up your web design process.
Good Communication Delivers Excellent Results
The first step towards speeding up the process is communication. This applies to communication with clients and between coworkers in a team of web designers. Having an open conversation with clients is of the utmost importance as, without detailed instructions and feedback, web designers will not be able to determine what to do and their work can have up to several revisions because of this.
Additionally, communication within the team also has to be improved. This is also a major factor in the web design process. Many web design firms implement chat software. This software is helpful in many different ways: it collects all correspondences in one place, teams and managers can have their own channels for discussions, and some chat software tools even support voice and video calls to further foster collaboration and understanding.
Having a Plan is a Must
As in any other business, jumping head first into a project without a plan leads to uncertain results. Once web developers learn how to effectively communicate with clients, project planning becomes a breeze. So, what are the main elements you need when planning to speed up the web design process?
Goals – a plan has to have goals because otherwise, it would be impossible to track the progress of any project. And no, this doesn’t apply only to end project goals, but to all tasks, a project contains, regardless of how big or small they are.
Tasks – since web design consists of so many milestones, e.g. graphic design, UI & UX design, front-end and backend development, the plan has to describe all those actions down to every little detail. With clear goals attached to each task, web designers are able to plan their time and track their progress.
Deadlines – the last item on this list are deadlines. Web designers usually have a clear deadline that goes with each project, and therefore, each specific task has to have a deadline as well. This becomes very important in this line of work because there are a lot of task dependencies.
Bonus tip: A good plan most certainly helps web designers speed up their efforts but in order to make everything even more efficient and streamlined, they usually use a project management tool with a built-in time tracking tool.
Code Quality and Efficiency
The most productive web designers don’t write code that performs the same function over and over again. Instead, they make a template function out of it, store it aside in their documents folder under a specific name and with a comment attached. This is a huge energy and time saver.
Furthermore, efficient developers and designers are proficient in finding solutions online. Instead of writing entire chunks of code from scratch, developers use scripts, apps and themes that are developed in advance.
And last but not least, the most efficient web designers always test their code after writing it. This minimises the risk of hitting major obstacles – the ones that may cause serious delays and thus affect the workflow of other team members.
Web designers rely on a plethora of tools. Some of these tools are specifically designed for coding. They make the process straightforward and efficient. Since the market for code editors and IDEs is constantly fed with new solutions and updates, coders are always looking for those that pack the most power.
Sticking with one editor or IDE just for the sake of it is bad for business. This is why coders experiment with numerous editors and identify the best uses for each one of them. For instance, Cloud9 received a lot of the attention from the web design community after it was bought by Amazon.
Cloud-hosted IDEs, such as the one mentioned above, offer a lot when it comes to productivity. Thanks to this tech, developers can work on the go and contribute to their projects as if they were in the office.
A Version Control System is a Big Yes
In web design, there are many instances where both developers and designers have to revert back to the earlier version of their design. Digging up old files, backing up current ones, and uploading old ones again is a very time-consuming process. Not to mention that, quite often, big chunks of code happen to disappear during this process.
This is why web designers who are focused on speed start using a version control system. These systems are very light and they don’t affect the performance of the devices they are used on. By tracking changes in files, thus increasing speed and efficiency, these systems became a must for web design teams, on both small and big projects.
The web design process might be complicated and time-consuming, but these five proven ways are widely used by those focused on streamlining their work and speeding up the process.