In terms of website design, there are two main traits that will take you from a basic regular website designer to one that is highly respected and popular web expert, and these are the quality and speed of your designs.
Increasing your efficiency and accelerating your workflow, while producing high-quality work is essential in staying on top of the fast-paced and constantly changing work environment. If you are a freelance designer, this will be advantageous to you personally as well as your clients. Look at it another way, suppose you are paid to create a basic website with 5 pages in a week, but what if you can cut that time in half? You could now design two websites in that timeframe and double your income. It is worth saying again that producing high-quality work is a priority and you should never compromise on that. The key here is to speed up the process and the tips and tricks below will be very helpful.
First, a quick website design does not mean you rush the process. You need to work smarter and optimize your workflow to produce the high-quality designs but much more efficiently. Great website designers prioritize high quality but they are also aware of the value of efficiency.
Procrastination sneaks up on every web designer at some point in their career and we are all victims of the same distractions like nonstop emails regarding other projects, meetings with various teams and notifications from social media. You have to protect your time from the distractions in order to become more efficient as a website designer. Resort to turning off your phone and notifications if necessary.
Pro Tip: Get rid of distractions by setting up a designated workspace, if you are at the office, at home or in a shared space with co-workers. Let people know that you are in work mode and don't want to be distracted.
Besides protecting your time and getting rid of distractions, you also have to utilize your time efficiently. At the start of every week, set aside some time to plan what you would like to achieve and assign times to every task. Depending on if your schedule is ahead or behind, you could always reassess and modify your plan in the middle of the week.
Pro Tip: Plan your days according to your own productivity. Are you more creative in the mornings? Are you more effective at analytical tasks after lunch? Then set your schedule accordingly. That way, you will use your time more effectively.
Any expert web designer will let you know that the best design ideas don't come from when the project is first pitched. Sometimes they have to marinate and develop. Speed up this process by immersing yourself in inspirational things that produce great ideas. When you have a burst of inspiration, it is a good idea to sketch it on paper first. You could save hours of work by sketching ideas before using Photoshop right away.
Pro Tip: Get inspiration from other places besides websites. To get innovative ideas, get out of your comfort zone and look into new areas and material.
Bad planning and an unclear project brief are responsible for most project delays. Get around this by always leaving a meeting with a very clear idea, preferably in writing, of what you have to do and by when. Reasonable milestones including sufficient contingency time should be included in a good project brief. If the client wants alterations or updates in the middle of the design, the brief should be updated to suit.
Pro Tip: Research and planning have to be included in your final project brief. Therefore, set aside enough time for these tasks. Designers shouldn't be expected to begin design unless they have enough time to absorb the project and brainstorm.
These 3 tips might sound simple and appear obvious in hindsight, but they are essential if you want to increase productivity and begin working more efficiently.
Would you like some more tips regarding website design? Do you have a project you want to get started? Please contact Russell Clow at Clow Creative via email firstname.lastname@example.org or request a free quote.
Freelance Website Designer & Developer