10 Interesting Ways to Plan Web Design Projects
Planning a website is not an easy task. There are many considerations that need to be made and there are often lots of people involved in each step of the work. Sometimes the repetitive parts of the design process can be boring, or your team might not agree about who should work on what.
If you are planning a website, you might also be struggling with ways to make the workflow smooth and make it more fun for the people who are engaged in the project. There are many repetitive tasks that must be done during this kind of project and this can get a little boring after a while.
If you want to learn some interesting ways to plan a web design project, read on to get some tips and tricks that will make your next web design project engaging and effortless!
Interesting Ways to Plan Web Design Projects
The first stage of any web design plan is to define the project goals and the website’s purpose. This cannot be skipped and it might be tedious, but having the right information about the purpose of the website can save you time and money down the road. A good web design firm can offer their expertise and creative solutions if you don’t have much knowledge in this area.
Once you have the important decision about what the website is going to be for out of the way, you can start the process of building it.
1. Define Subtasks
A lot of what makes web design projects feel daunting is the lack of a clear road map for each step of the process. If you and your team can identify all of the smaller tasks that will make up the larger project, you can assign these tasks to the right people and get them done efficiently.
One of the best outcomes of this portion of the planning stage is that people can actually see what is needed and can ask to be tasked with certain parts of the project. For many people, being able to choose their jobs makes them much more likely to enjoy them.
Subtask lists should be shared with the whole team so that everyone knows what needs to be done and there is no confusion about who is doing what. The team-building aspect of this process is that everyone has a higher-level view of the work that needs to be done and no one will feel left out, or like they were given too much work to handle on their own.
2. Use the Milestone Method
Large tasks always feel chaotic and unpleasant when there are no smaller goals planned out along the way. Using the milestone method, you can break the larger tasks of the project up into smaller jobs that bring goals closer.
Milestones should cover the distance between the planning phase, the development phase, and the final stages of the website’s creation. You can add as many milestones as you need to cover the phases of the project.
Milestones can be linked to rewards for your team like gift cards or work parties. Keeping everyone invested and enjoying themselves can make a project move along smoothly from start to finish.
3. Use Visual Aids for Progress
While it might seem silly, visual representations of the progress that is being made on a big project can help to make it fun and also to track the steps that are needed to get to completion. Having a whiteboard, or maybe even a poster board that everyone can see which details the steps and stages of the project from start to finish can help keep everyone focused on their work.
Being able to check off items on the list is very satisfying and you can even gamify the process by including rewards or achievements to the list. Being able to check off the last item before a work party, or a reward is very gratifying and helps make it feel like progress is being made daily on the project as a whole.
4. Have the Final Presentation in Mind
You can save time later by making sure that as many of the items related to your process are fully complete before they are checked off the list. There is nothing worse than thinking that something is done, only to find that you still have hours of work left on it before you can finalize the design.
Always be meticulous as a team about finishing up your work for each stage of the project and each milestone so that you don’t have to double back later. This is really good for team morale and it can make sure that you have a really nice and seamless presentation when the final product needs to be shown to the customer.
It always helps work on later steps if you can see the project taking shape before your eyes, and being thorough and making sure that as much of the work is complete as possible can help save time related to misunderstandings later.
5. Think About Content Right Away
There are very few websites that will not need to include content, either in the form of a blog or video training, or some other form of added value marketing and outreach. If you build the website you are designing without thinking about this, you will have to go back and retool many portions of the website.
There is really no excuse for excluding this step since it will make so much work for you later on. The client will appreciate your forethought as well, and they will have the ability to plan with you for this step rather than having to ask about it later.
The other benefit to thinking about this added value portion of the website right off is that you can tailor the design of this section more carefully and make sure that it has the same aesthetic and styling as the rest of the site. It is really common to see websites with blog pages that look accidental. This can be avoided if you design this portion of the site right away.
6. Allow People to Pass Work Into Other Hands
It goes against a lot of the common logic that is used when working on a project, to allow your team to shift parts of the project to other team members along the way. The only real detriment that can result from this shifting of work, however, is if there is a lack of communication and steps are forgotten along the way.
If you carefully document who is working on what, it is possible, and even valuable, to transition work from one part of the team to another if that will make sure that it gets done efficiently and with authority. Open lines of communication are all that is required to make it possible to hand off work that really should have been assigned to another part of the team from the start.
This will free up your team to work on the things that they are best at without the burden of having to interface with other people at every step of the process. There is nothing more cumbersome than having too many cooks in the kitchen, and being willing to let people hand off work solves this problem right from the start.
7. Use Examples
While you are trying to build something unique and specific to the needs of your client, you also need to match the trends and styles that are correct for the marketing space of the site. You will want to be certain that you are not building a site that does not seem on brand for its stated intention.
A good way to make sure that there are no issues with the styling of a site, provide to your team examples of the kinds of websites that the site will need to compete with. The idea should be to create a better version of that same idea. Your team can tweak, change and customize, but you need to adhere to industry standards for many projects in order for the website to work as a marketing tool.
This set of examples can also help guide decisions that might otherwise result in tedious meetings, or the need to wait for a sign-off from another party before work can be done. You can use the set of examples to help but down on questions along the way and streamline the unity of the project at each step.
8. Limit the Intrusion of Deadlines as Much as Possible
Looming can cause stress and no one likes to feel under the gun. Know your team and be aware of which of your team members do not enjoy feeling like they have to do work under a strict timeline. You can help manage this deadline-related stress by dividing up work and by making the focus of deadlines be less about total completion and more about steps being taken toward the end goal.
The milestones method that was mentioned earlier dovetails well with this style of deadline-free goal-setting and your team will likely feel like the deadlines for their work are not a source of stress and are instead just a goal to reach each week under this management style.
Creative work rarely gets along well with deadlines and pressure, so trying to make daily tasks be focused more on progress toward completion rather than a set deadline is often very helpful. While you still have to make it to those deadlines, you can make the looming presence of the ultimate end date of the project less stressful with milestone-focused goal setting.
9. Be Willing to Jump In
Everyone knows that management has their own work to do and most team members appreciate not being tasked with management-level tasks during the process of a project. However, there are times where everyone can help out the team, including the manager.
It is always great for morale to have the manager of a project jump into the trenches and help to solve a problem or meet a looming deadline and many managers know so much about the overall end goal of the project that they can be a huge help toward completion of tasks.
Being the kind of manager who is willing to jump in and help out can have a noticeable effect on completion dates, as well as employee trust and investment.
10. Try to Make Things Fun
While you can push this too far by being over the top, encouraging an environment that allows communication and a sense of family can really help to make the design process move along smoothly and effectively.
People who work in an environment that they find fulfilling will always do better work and the manager of a happy team will have a much better end result to present to customers. There is really no scenario where team effort doesn’t help make the project run more smoothly from start to finish, and having the freedom to have a little fun while you are working can do just that.
Employees might be allowed to bring their dog to work, or maybe you could have people take turns bringing in their favorite treat. Allow discussion and a free-flow work area if possible, as well. These small touches of homey comfort can really help to make your team happy to come to work and do their job.
Interesting Ways to Plan Web Design Projects Are Often About Team Spirit
Keeping the web design process fun is often the biggest factor involved in keeping web design planning interesting and fresh. Employees who love their jobs and feel creative when they come to work will create really wonderful final products for their company and their clients.
Being willing to think outside the box can allow you and your team to find interesting ways to plan web design projects that work best for you. Happy employees and well-thought-out websites are a few easy steps away with these tips and tricks.