Sometimes we wish we could just wave a magical wand and *poof* - we have a finished product. But where’s the fun in that? Doing a project from start to finish requires a lot of thought, discussion and carefully planned out time. Let’s talk about the process of doing a project:
Talk to the client.
Before any design project can begin, it’s always best to talk to the client beforehand. It’s always a good idea to speak to them about the project at hand, find out their likes and dislikes, learn and understand what their vision is. Not having this sort of information can lead you into multiple barriers, and most likely will end up with the client asking “What the heck is this?” The number one thing you want to avoid is having a client tell you “Well… I had something completely different in mind.” Thoroughly talking to your client at the beginning of a project, as well as during, helps eliminate misunderstandings and miscommunications.
Not to say that designers have nothing going on in our minds (trust me – there’s a lot going on up there…), but sometimes we can just use that extra little push to get the creative juices flowing. There are over a billion designs out there, from all different types of designers, meant for all sorts of different audiences, each with their own unique flair to them. Look at them. Take the time to really look at them and think about “what makes this one different?” Try to use what you see and discover to build your own unique design. Put elements together and make it yours. When you think you have enough inspiration, you’re ready to start. But hang on… don’t start if you don’t have a plan!
Plan it out.
Just like every great final product out there, you need a plan. Can you imagine if engineers dove into building that new bridge without a definite plan? Total. Major. Disaster. I’m not saying your project is bound to completely fall apart, but planning it out in steps leads to efficiency, and making sure you are doing everything that needs to be done without forgetting simple tasks that take a backseat to the more major parts of the project. It’s always best to do the planning with the whole team that will be involved in working on the project. Divide the work into sections and assign it to the appropriate team member(s). You’ve done that? Good. Then I think you’re ready to start!
Ready. Set. GO!
If the whole team is comfortable with the steps mentioned above, and everyone is clear what needs to be done, you’re on your way to a successful project! Here comes the fun part, and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty! Build your mockup. Use the information you got directly from the client, and use the design knowledge you got while getting inspiration. I know sometimes it’s horrifying, that empty, white canvas staring back at you. But hey guess what? It’s just a computer! It won’t bite. Get all your ideas out there and start building from that. No thought is a wasted one. You definitely will have some ideas where you think to yourself “what on earth are you thinking?!” But sometimes it’s the craziest ideas the produce an awesomely epic final product. (And who doesn’t want that, ammarite??) Show your stuff to your team and get their feedback. Most importantly, don’t take any criticism negatively.
I wish I could talk about the programming aspects, but I’ll leave that to the professionals.
Test, test and more testing!
Now that the fun part is over, it’s time to move along into the nitty gritty, but probably the most important part of any project. Test your stuff. You don’t want to hand over your finished product on a silver platter (well, at least you think it’s on a silver platter…) without having tested it first. “But what’s gonna happen?” you innocently ask. The client will come back with the not-so-shiny-anymore silver platter. And client will not be happy. We want happy clients, yes? YES! So to all designers, coders, programmers out there, test your stuff! (Do I really have to tell you though?) Get all hands on deck and literally try to break your stuff. That’s the best and only way to see if your final product is up to par.
Eh voila, with dialogue, inspiration and careful planning, you can do anything you set your mind to! (Within human capabilities. Please do not attempt to fly.)
Until next time!