We’re sponsoring this year’s New Adventures conference, and with a nod to the speakers’ topics, we’ve put together a mini-series of posts aimed at web designers. Enjoy!
Improving your design process makes all the difference to your efficiency, your clients’ happiness, and your own motivation. The more time you can save with design shortcuts the better, so we’ve dug out some of the best resources on the web to help you saving time creating websites.
“Things we conceptualize in our heads that seem awesome regularly turn out to be terrible ideas when we put them in a more concrete, visual medium such as a piece of paper or a computer screen.”
“At the outset, the job is investigative; with detective hats on, the creative team researches, asks questions, analyzes the target audience, scrutinizes competitors, and brainstorms. The process then moves from factual to conceptual, with creative inspiration coming from any number of sources until it finds its way to paper.”
“It is better to use simple, obvious and terms that are easy to figure out than to keep to industry-only terms for your navigation menu. Any link that takes users more than a second or two to figure out is probably unsuitable for use.”
“Define a use case that will guide your design process. How do most people use your tool? Understand that you cannot please every single user. As a designer, your aim should be to provide the best tool for most of your users, most of the time.”
“The job is tough undoubtedly and to make the job easier a bit various logo design apps have come up to the world of logo designers to help them work whenever and wherever they want in a more effective manner.”
“When you’re creating a website or an application from scratch, you may need a collection of patterns helping you building thing up.”
“Some of us make our living off doing client work and accepting new projects. While all of us are different in the amount of work we can do and handle, it’s no secret that we don’t want to spend lots of unnecessary time stuck doing revisions and trying different designs.”
“Photoshop is an extremely powerful application for photo processing and image manipulation, and we can make it even more powerful by using handy tools, actions, plugins and templates to save time for solving mundane regular tasks. The better our professional tool set is, the more time we can spend to focus on the actual design process rather than the tool we are using to implement it on screen.”
“…with so many choices, how do we determine the right tool to move from concept to functional design?”
“Photoshop actions are an extremely easy way to automate all of the mundane daily tasks that have made their way into your design workflow.”
“Design is often thought of as an artistic, intuitive activity. It isn’t really that at all – at least few targets think of it that way.”
“Unfortunately, everyone has a different opinion about what “good design” actually is. This is a problem if you’re creating products, software, graphics or other media for a client. Your design may need to be agreed by multiple people all with their own notions and prejudices about how the product should look, feel and work.”
“What we know about our users viewport resolution this month my be vary different to what we find out next month. Responsive websites should be flexible and perhaps a bit freeform – but so should the design process.”
“As a freelance designer, my income greatly depends on my ability to produce quality work, and if I can do that even slightly faster than the other guy, I will not only have happy clients, but returning customers. In this post I’d like to share some of the things I’ve learned throughout the years that I use or do on a daily basis to help me with my workflow.”
A collection of great articles on proven web design workflows.
“I’m not sure about you, but I still favour using Photoshop to create my designs for the web. I agree that this application, even with its never-ending feature set, is not the perfect environment to design websites in. The ideal application doesn’t exist yet, however, so until it does it’s maybe not such a bad idea to investigate ways to optimize our workflow.”
“It is the nature of the web to be flexible, and it should be our role as designers and developers to embrace this. – John Allsopp”
“About three or four years ago—when I mostly did just static width sites—my projects went through the different phases in the order illustrated below, which looks like a typical waterfall process. Back then there wasn’t much room for revisions, and what clients saw were either the wireframes or almost finished Photoshop designs.”